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Nude, portrait, fashion: the best of Helmut Newton in an exhibition of his most iconic photos in Barcelona


The FotoNostrum gallery exhibits the 'Private property' collection, made up of 45 works belonging to the photographer's foundation

'Self-portrait with wife and models', one of Helmut Newton's photos at the Barcelona exhibition. Krause & Johansen (HELMUT NEWTON FOUNDATION)

Sie Kommen

, they come.

The title of the famous and revolutionary photograph by Helmut Newton of the four nude models advancing fearlessly and self-confidently towards the camera would serve for the entire

Private Property exhibition,

which opens on Saturday at the Barcelona gallery FotoNostrum (Diputació, 48, until July 3).

They are, those who come to Barcelona, ​​the most iconic photos of Newton (Berlin, 1920-Los Angeles, 2004), with all his power and his ability to provoke intense reactions and emotions.

It is a collection that he composed himself selecting 45 of his originals (all in black and white) and that is presented in the Catalan capital in which it constitutes, those responsible for the room point out, the first exhibition of the author in the city.

More information

Helmut Newton, the man who looked at women differently

All the photos, taken between 1972 and 1986, are as impressive as the one of the four models (did Helmunt Newton joke with the title of the famous book

Sie Kommen!

by former Afrika Korps fighter Paul Carell about the German vision of the Normandy landings?) .

A large-size reproduction has also been made of that photo that receives the visitor over his head together with the other part of what was a diptych: a second photo in which the same models appear in the same position, but dressed.

“Photography is always a form of seduction”, can be read on one of the gallery walls on which phrases from the photographer have been arranged, quotes to get closer to the mentality of the author.

“I photograph what attracts me”, “I like dangerous women, perhaps not to be with me but in my photos”.

He also said that his photographs of nude women never ceased to be fashion photos, "they are fashion photos without clothes", he settled.

Among the photographs in the exhibition, with a display of


, exhibitionism, glamour, surrealism and irony (without forgetting eroticism), the one of the model holding her breasts in front of Talma's tomb in the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris, suggesting the gesture of recumbent sculpture of the actor holding a mask;

that of the woman in a fur coat adjusting her garter belt between statues;

that of the model Jenny Kapitan naked, with a cast leg and neck brace next to a bed under a painting of a merman and a Nereid by Bocklin, in the Dorian boarding house in Berlin;


Winnie at the Negresco,

with a woman on the balustrade of a balcony, facing Nice, her bare bottom pompous towards the observer.

Mystery, dreams, desire.

Many portraits: Natassia Kinski nursing a doll that reproduces Marlene Dietrich, Karl Lagerfeld with a monocle, Elsa Peretti (so linked to Barcelona, ​​by the Akademia theater) in New York in 1975 dressed as a

Play Boy

bunny , David Hockney in a swimming pool (where else) , Paloma Picasso, Sigourney Weaver -

pure Ripley

- with a body of transparent tulle, David Bowie with glasses, Veruschka barely covering her pubis, Charlotte Rampling looking with blasé beauty at the camera in Saint Tropez in 1967, Andy Warhol , Raquel Welch with an impossible swimsuit and a dog in Beverly Hills in 1981…

'Sie Kommen', by Helmut Newton.HELMUT NEWTON FOUNDATION

The curator of the exhibition, Matthias Harder, director of the Hemut Newton Foundation (Berlin), has highlighted during a visit to the exhibition an image of what looks like a scene from the shooting of a movie and that it is actually a moment of the session of jewelry photos.

"He always did something different from what was expected, he created scenes and left the interpretation open, 'the viewer decides what he sees,' he said," Harder pointed out, pointing to another "very iconic" and revealing photo,

Self portrait with wife and models

, which has been compared to

Las meninas

, no less, and in which Newton appears reflected in a mirror wearing a trench coat (the ad was for Burberry's in


Italian) photographing a nude model while the photographer's wife, June Browne, watches the scene in a director's chair.

The curator also considered very relevant the one of the woman with her legs open looking with evident desire at a man with a naked torso (a notable change in perspective).

Harder, accompanied by the director of the room, Julio Hirsch-Hardy, explained that the Newton Foundation, in the building of an old Prussian barracks in Berlin, opened six months before the death of the photographer (who suffered a heart attack at the wheel of his Cadillac in Hollywood).

He has reviewed the biography of the artist, born Helmut Neustädter, a member of a wealthy Jewish family who lived through "the happy years of Weimar Germany" ―a noticeable influence on Helmut Newton's photos: cabaret, echoes of the world of Kurt Weill, of the branded as degenerate art―and had to emigrate with Nazism.

He has explained that Newton's first teacher was the photographer Iva, famous in 1920s Berlin for nude and fashion photos of her, and who died in the Majdanek death camp.

An image of the exhibition in the FotoNostrum room.

Quique Garcia (EFE)

The young Newton escaped from Germany in 1938 and ended up in Singapore, from where he went to Australia where he lived for 17 years and opened a photography studio in Melbourne.

There he met June, an actress and photographer, and married her.

In 1956 he returned to Europe and worked in London for

Vogue .


A year later he went to live in Paris and worked for the different editions of the magazine, as well as for others.

At first he didn't do nudes.

He worked with designers like Pierre Cardin or Courrèges achieving a perfect symbiosis with them in his images.

In the seventies he developed the style that made photos of him unmistakable.

“He managed to convince the models to do what he wanted and the magazines to publish the photos”, reflected the curator, who has synthesized what is seen in the exhibition: “Portraits, nude, fashion”.

Newton also photographed landscapes, "but no one cares about them," he joked.

From 1981 he settled in Monte Carlo.

He was knighted in arts and letters by Jack Lang and received numerous awards.

He never had a digital camera or used Photoshop.

The exhibition, for which the 1989 book from the

Private property collection has been reissued as a catalog

, is complemented by posters and posters of other samples of the photographer and pages of his work in magazines (with some color photos).

Asked if Newton would not have problems today with the Me Too movement or feminism, the curator said that Helmut Newton "considered himself a feminist" and "loved women".

He has pointed out that in many of his most famous works he let the models perform for themselves.

"In his sessions he gave total freedom to women, he was an advance of women's liberation, there is no misogyny in Newton, nor objectification of women."

Of a photo for Hermès that was particularly controversial, that of a model on all fours on a bed and carrying a saddle on her back (it is in the exhibition), she has said that it was the result of a very playful session, of the game of the models.

Newton's exhibition at FotoNostrum, a private gallery dedicated "to the dissemination, exhibition and promotion of the work of great references in photography, as well as emerging photographers", is combined in the basement with a parallel exhibition of five photographers around to female eroticism (Paul Giggle, Renée Jacobs, John Wright, Iness Rychlik and Nico Hardy).

After the current exhibition, FotoNostrum, which opened with an exhibition of photos by Steve McCurry, has scheduled another by Richard Avedon, no less.

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Source: elparis

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