Helmut Newton. Photos
WHITE WOMEN / SLEEPLESS NIGHTS / BIG NUDES
The exhibition Helmut Newton. Photographs. White Women / Sleepless Nights / Big Nudes presents, for the first time in Venice, more than 200 images of Helmut Newton, one of the most important and celebrated photographers of the twentieth century.
The exhibition, curated by Matthias Harder and Denis Curti, organized by Civita Tre Venezie in cooperation with the Helmut Newton Foundation, is the result of a project launched in 2011 by the will of June Newton, widow of the great photographer.
The exhibition gathers images of White Women, Sleepless Nights and Big Nudes, the first three of Newton's books published in the late '70s, now considered legendary and unique volumes treated by the same Newton.
In selecting the photographs, Newton puts in sequence, one beside the other, the shots made for patrons with those freely made for himself, building a narrative in which the search for style, the discovery of the elegant gesture underlying the existence a further reality, a story that is the viewer to interpret.
In White Women, published in 1976, Newton chose 81 images (42 in color and 39 in black and white), introducing for the first time nude and eroticism in fashion photography. In the balance between art and fashion, the shots are mostly female nudes, through which presented contemporary fashion. These visions have their origin in the history of art, particularly in the Maya and Maya vestida desnuda of Goya, held at the Prado in Madrid. The provocation launched by Newton with the introduction of a radical nudity in fashion photography was then followed by many other photographers and filmmakers and will remain a symbol of his personal artistic production.
Are still women, their bodies and clothes, the protagonists of Sleepless Nights, published in 1978. In this case, however, Newton starts with a vision that transforms from fashion photo image portraits and reportage to portraits almost from the crime scene. It is a multi-volume retrospective that brings together 69 photographs (31 in color and 38 in black and white) made for several magazines (Vogue, among all) and that is what defines her style making it an icon of fashion photography. The subjects, usually half-naked models wearing orthopedic corsets, women, dress with leather saddles, as well as dummies for the most lovingly connected to real human beings, are educated systematically out of the studio, often in provocative attitudes, suggesting a use of fashion photography as a pretext to create something totally different and very personal.
With this volume of 1981, Newton reached the title role in the history of the image of the late twentieth century. The 39 shots of Big Nudes in black and white inaugurate a new dimension of human photograph: that of the giant who, by this time, enter in galleries and museums around the world. artist's autobiography published in 2004, Newton explains how the naked full-length shot in studio with a medium format camera, which produced the life-size prints of Big Nudes, had been inspired by the popular posters from German police to search for belonging to the terrorist group RAF (Red Army Faction)
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