Helmut Newton. Legacy. A retrospective exhibition in Berlin

The king of sexy pictures, the master of black and white sensuality, the photographer that has influenced an entire generation and put the basis of a whole culture. We are talking about Helmut Newton, the one and only, the man who, until the end of his life, he continued to both disturb and enchant people with his visions and visualisations of fashion and femininity. This year, in Berlin, more than 300 works (half of them being shown for the first time) are exhibited at Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin in “Helmut Newton. Legacy”, a retrospective exhibition. 

Photo up – Helmut Newton, Thierry Mugler Fashion, US Vogue, Monte Carlo 1995, © Helmut Newton Estate, Courtesy Helmut Newton Foundation

The Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin launched the major retrospective exhibition, “Helmut Newton. Legacy”. Originally scheduled to coincide with the photographer’s 100th birthday, it was postponed for a year due to the pandemic. Visitors can now look forward to seeing not only Helmut Newton’s many iconic images, but also a number of suprises.

Duration: 31 October 2021 – 22 May 2022. At Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin. www.helmutnewton.com

The exhibition 

The entire space on the first floor of the museum will chronologically trace the life and visual legacy of the Berlin-born photographer. With around 300 works, half of which are being shown for the first time, the foundation’s curator Matthias Harder will present lesser-known aspects of Newton’s oeuvre, including many of his more unconventional fashion photographs which span the decades and reflect the changing spirit of the times. The presentation will be complemented by Polaroids and contact sheets that give insight into the creation process of some of the iconic motifs featured, as well as special publications, archival material, and quotations from the photographer. 

Helmut Newton – Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel Paris , 1983, copyright Helmut Newton Estate, courtesy Helmut Newton Foundation

The Helmut Newton road 

It was in the 1960s that Newton found his inimitable style in Paris, as seen in his photographs of the revolutionary fashion by André Courrèges. Working for well-known fashion magazines, he not only took classic studio shots but ventured into the streets, staging models as participants in a protest, protagonists in a paparazzi story, and more. 

In the 1970s, Newton began to enjoy unlimited creative possibilities while shooting on location – whether by helicopter on the beach in Hawaii or in a Parisian hourly hotel, where he included himself in a lingerie campaign through strategically placed mirrors. Repeatedly testing social and moral boundaries, sometimes he even redefined them. No other photographer has likely been published more often than Helmut Newton, and many of his iconic images have become part of our collective visual memory. Now, following intensive research in the foundation’s archives, forgotten and surprising photographs are coming to light.

Helmut Newton – Elle Paris, 1969, copyright Helmut-Newton Estate, courtesy, Helmut Newton Foundation

To note:

  • For the duration of the retrospective, June’s Room will host a special exhibition on the work of June Newton aka Alice Springs – in memory of the foundation’s president, who passed away in Monte Carlo in April 2021.
  • An extensive catalogue will be published by TASCHEN to accompany the exhibition Helmut Newton. Legacy. 

Photography: (C) courtesy of helmut Newton Foundation.