Helmut Newton - White Women, Sleepless Nights, Big Nudes
There are certain names in the photographic industry, both living and deceased, that invoke an immediate recognition of style and authority – there’s Avedon, Weber, Richardson and LaChappelle, but perhaps more than any other, the name Helmut Newton has remained controversial and iconic for more than 40 years, even after his death in 2004. Through his extraordinarily powerful, noir-ish images of women, Newton provided a deceptively simple but compelling counterpoint to society’s political correctness, where contradictions of dominance and submission, empowerment and vulnerability, sensuality and fetishism inhabit the space where fashion, art and subversion intercept.
Headlining images from Newton’s first three books – White Women, Sleepless Nights and Big Nudes, The Annenberg Space for Photography plays host to the city’s first retrospective of the fashion photographer (outside of his gallery shows), with over 100 works printed specially for the exhibition, with some towering nearly 6 feet in height. In addition, the show features 2 films about the artist, most tellingly ‘Helmut by June’, the definitive behind-the-scenes documentary shot by Newton’s wife, that provides a fascinating glimpse of the photographer at work and insight into the couple’s 56-year marriage. Herself a successful photographer, June Newton was in turn her husband’s editor, art director, confidante and curator, and a more fitting and personal tribute would be hard to find.