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Helmut Newton

Newton was born on October 31, 1920, in Berlin, Germany. Son of wealthy Jewish factory owner, he attended the American School in Berlin. From an early age, Newton developed a keen obsession with photography, purchasing his very first camera aged 12. Four years later, Newton was to turn his back on mainstream education, taking an apprenticeship with renowned German photographer, Elsle Simon, known as Yva. Her surreal, multiple exposure photographs that took in fashion, theatre and the nude were to inspire Newton throughout his career.

On November 9, 1938, due to Hitler’s increasing persecution of the Jews, his family left Germany and fled to South America. Newton, instead, was secured passage to China, where he stopped in Singapore until 1940 before leaving to Australia and finding work as a truck driver in the Australian Army.

In 1948, he married actress June Browne, herself a photographer under the name of Alice Springs, a name she chose from a map of Australia. The two would form a lasting artistic duo- Browne art directed many of Newton’s shoots. High-profile contracts with Australian Vogue in the 1950’s; British Vogue in 1957-1958; French Vogue in 1961 provided Newton with the exposure that would allow him to stamp his style on fashion photography over the next 40 years.

Known as the ‘King of Kink’, Newton’s erotically charged imagery was provocative as it was masterful in its compositional and narrative direction. Creating highly charged images layered with voyeuristic, sado-masochist undertexts, Newton was drawn to empowered woman presenting a potent image of female sexuality in the 60’s and 70’s. Often working at night and known for his dislike for the studio, Newton championed Brassai’s street photography, borrowing from New Wave cinema and the surreal images of Man Ray and Eugène Atget. Along with Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, his influence on future generations has been seismic- most notably in the work of Terry Richardson and Juergen Teller.

Newton’s work gained increasing prominence following his first one-man exhibition in Paris in 1975 which was quickly followed by his first book, White Woman; and then exhibitions in New York, Paris, London, Geneva, Los Angeles and Toyko through the rest of the 70’s.

Major retrospectives at the Berlin’s national Neue Galerie (2000), Barbican (2001), International Center of Photography, New York (2001) and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2011), have now secured Newton’s reputation as one of the 20th centuries photographic masters. His auction record stands at $950,000.

Newton died, aged 83, in 2004 following a major car accident in Los Angeles. The Helmut Newton Foundation survives him.

Sylvia in my Studio Poster

From the series “Big Nudes”, this image of Sylvia was one of ten images chosen for the posters used to promote the...

£195.00

Sigourney Weaver

This portrait of a scantily clad Sigourney Weaver, shot on the Warner Bros film studios lot in California, presents...

£1,800.00

Karl Lagerfeld

This candid portrait for a young, monocled Karl Lagerfeld was taken in 1973, at a time when he was producing ambitious...

£1,650.00

Shoe

In ‘Shoe’, we see Newton moving away from full-length portraits and towards more abstract explorations of line and...

£2,700.00

Comme Jackie O

Perhaps the most remarkable work, at least for its sensationalist story, in the gallery’s collection is this photograph...

£1,650.00

British Vogue 1967

Taken for a spread in 1967, ‘British Vogue, 1967’ was shot on an airfield outside of London. At the time, Newton’s...

£1,800.00

Cyberwoman 6

Taken at the turn of the century, Helmut Newton’s ‘Cyberwoman’ 2000 series was set in everyday locations around Los...

£1,800.00
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White feathers cruising in Venice

‘White feathers cruising’ is taken in a rare location for Newton: Venice. While its romanticism was a source of great...

£2,700.00

Truck stop

‘Truck Stop’ reflects Helmut Newton’s early years as a truck driver in the Australian army. It is one of few rare...

£1,800.00

Surprise

Taken on a beach in St Tropez, ‘Surprise’ encapsulates the conception of femininity that Helmut Newton sought to...

£2,700.00

Model checking brake lining

In ‘Model checking brake lining’, Helmut Newton harnesses the seductive power of the American car. Newton inverts the...

£2,700.00

Babes in rowboat

Helmut Newton’s ‘Babes in a Rowboat’ upends the Impressionist tradition of civilised boating to create a playful,...

£1,950.00

Winnie on Deck

Newton loved the romanticism of the water and spent much of his career in Monte Carlo. ‘Winnie on Deck', also known as...

£2,400.00

Mannequin being tossed off roof

Taking cue from the Surrealists, Helmut Newton often used mannequins to create work that played with our notions of...

£1,950.00

Elsa Peretti in bunny costume

Perhaps Newton’s most iconic work that followed on from the work he did for Playboy, ‘Elsa Peretti in Bunny Costume’ is...

£2,400.00

Beach exercise

‘Beach Exercise’ (1975) is one of the iconic images from Helmut Newton’s career. Taken on a Miami beach in the mid-day...

£2,700.00

Charlotte Rampling

One of Helmut Newton’s favourite sitters, the English actress Charlotte Rampling was an icon of the Swinging Sixties. A...

£2,340.00

Jerry Hall, Spitting, French Vogue

In this playful photograph, shot for French Vogue in 1978, Helmut Newton captures supermodel Jerry Hall teasing spiting...

£1,800.00

16th Arrondissement

In ‘16th Arrondissement’ (1975), Newton subtly plays on the relationship between lady and maid. A forcefully placed...

£1,950.00

Hollywood 1976 (Cadillac in garage)

In ‘Hollywood 1976 Cadillac in Garage’, Newton plays on the idea of parking multiple cars in your garage. Channelling...

£1,950.00

Blond on blond

Shot for Vogue, ‘Blonde on Blonde’ features clothing by Yves Saint Laurent, whose career Helmut Newton is largely...

£1,950.00