In June 2014 the Helmut Newton Foundation will celebrate its tenth year anniversary. The museum first opened its doors with the exhibitions “Us and Them” and “Sex and Landscapes”, which were selected by Helmut Newton shortly before his death. Now, ten years later, foundation president June Newton (a.k.a. Alice Springs) has chosen the same combination.
“Us and Them” is a joint exhibition and book project that was completed by Helmut and June Newton in 1998 and subsequently exhibited at various venues. A photographic journal of their life together, the project includes self-portraits, at times intimate, reciprocal portraits, as well as photographs of actors, artists, and other prominent figures of the times.
Taken during the 1980s and 1990s at separate sittings, the photographs of the international jet set by Helmut Newton and Alice Springs are presented side-by-side in pairs. Each portrait tells a complex story, as the people in the black-andwhite photographs meet us as private individuals, and then as public figures, displaying quite different emotional facets.
The exhibition “Sex and Landscapes” allows us to discover a different side of Helmut Newton. Taken between 1974 and 2001 in black-and-white and color, large-format landscapes as well as nude photographs are presented together. A timeless atmosphere of melancholy converges upon elegant and vain models confronted with their reflection. Overclouded seascapes and breaking waves outside Monte Carlo, neo-baroque Madonna figurines in small Italian towns, and the Grunewald lake in Berlin, mingle with nudes in glamorous and provocative scenes of sexual obsession, played out by a female cast.
Parallel to this double exhibition, large-format collages by Helmut Newton will be presented in “June’s Room,” some of which were shown in the year 2000 as part of the Helmut Newton retrospective at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. In these experimental works Newton incorporated his own earlier photographs, some as reproductions of reproductions with their mottled artifacts, reflecting an artistic self-appropriation that remains singular in Newton’s oeuvre.
The current exhibitions “Helmut Newton / Alice Springs: Us and Them // Helmut Newton: Sex and Landscapes” are on display until 16 November 2014.