Virtuallyunparalleled in scopeand spanningmore than five decades, the photography of visionaryHelmut Newton(1920–2004) reached millions through publication in magazines likeVogueandElle. His oeuvretranscended genres, bringing elegance, style, and voyeurism tofashion, portrait, and glamour photographythrough a body of work that remains as inimitable as it is unrivaled. Having mastered the art of fashion photography early in his career, Newton’s shoots invariably wentbeyond standard practice, blurring the lines between reality and illusion. Newton’sclear aestheticpervades all areas of his work, particularly fashion, portraiture, andnude photography.Women take center stage– with subjects such asCatherine Deneuve,Liz Taylor, andCharlotte Rampling. Moving beyond traditional narrative approaches, Newton’s fashion photography is imbued not only withluxurious elegance and subtle seduction, but alsocultural referencesand a surprisingsense of humor.
During the 1990s, Newton shot for theGerman, American, Italian, French, and Russian editions ofVogue, primarily in and around Monte Carlo where he was living from 1981 onwards. Transforming locations like his own garage into starkly contrasting or particularly minimalist theatrical stages, Newton would often portray theeccentric lives of the beautiful and rich, full oferoticism and elegance, in unconventional scenarios. He made use of and simultaneously questioned visual clichés, at times tinged with self-irony or mockery, but always full of empathy.
Helmut Newton. Legacy, which accompanies aninternational exhibition tourof Newton’s work, showcases highlights fromone of the most published bodies of work in photography, including numerous rediscovered images. A prolific image maker and genuine visionary, this book celebratesNewton’s lasting influence on modern photography and visual art to this day.
The exhibition HELMUT NEWTON. LEGACY will be on view at the Helmut Newton Foundation, Jebensstraße 2, 10623 Berlin from October 31, 2021 to May 22, 2022.
Helmut Newton(1920–2004) was one of the most influential photographers of all time. He first achieved international fame in the 1970s while working principally for FrenchVogue, where he became celebrated for his controversial scenarios. Most striking was his ability to make a throughly planned photograph seem fresh and dynamic. His many titles and awards includedCommandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
The editor and author
Matthias Harderstudied Art History, Classical Archaeology and Philosophy in Kiel and Berlin. He is a member of the German Society of Photography and an advisory council member of the European Month of Photography. Head curator of the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin from 2004, and also its director from 2019, he has written numerous articles for books and exhibition catalogues.
The contributing author
Philippe Garneris an expert in 20th-century photography, design, and decorative art. He has written numerous essays and books, from studies of the lives of designer Émile Gallé and photographers Cecil Beaton and John Cowan, to hisSixties Designfor TASCHEN. A former director of Christie’s, he has also curated shows for museums in London, Paris, and Tokyo.