Helmut Newton – Fact & Fiction, the extensive exhibition that tracks the Berlin-born photographer’s six-decade career, is now open at the Marta Ortega Pérez (MOP) Foundation in A Coruña, Spain. The display – curated by Philippe Garner, Matthias Harder and Tim Jefferies – explores Newton’s distinct creative language which saw him inject healthy dosages of theatricality and edge into his photography, creating vast swathes of iconic fashion imagery. Featuring portraits of some of the most notable fashion and celebrity figures of the past few generations – Andy Warhol, David Bowie and Naomi Campbell to name a few – the showcase is a blatant display of Newton’s far-reaching influence on the fabric of contemporary arts and culture. Truly prolific with his image-making, Newton’s recognisable Big Nudes series is also featured – a centrepiece for the creative’s bold and uncensored modus operandi. Lesser-known landscapes of some of Newton’s favourite cities are also scattered throughout.
Newton’s legacy is undeniable, with his portrayal of women challenging tradition and shifting creative conversations towards female empowerment. The display charts this contribution whilst also delving into the photographer’s personal life, using various videos, images and memorabilia to tell the story.
From left: Helmut Newton, Charlotte Rampling as Venus in Furs, Paris, 1977, © Helmut Newton Foundation. Helmut Newton, Self-Portrait, Monte Carlo, 1993, © Helmut Newton Foundation.
Speaking on the exhibition, Marta Ortega Pérez – Inditex chair and founder of her eponymous MOP Foundation – highlighted “Helmut Newton is one of that celestial band of photographers whose images are instantly recognisable as their own. Newton’s own great revolutionary act was to utterly change the ways in which women were portrayed in the pages of glossy magazines. Here were women who enjoyed style and fashion, who enjoyed the power and splendour of their bodies, women who were elegantly seductive and untouchable. His photographs were not only of his time but far ahead of his time – he spectacularly set the scene for those photographers who followed him.”
The retrospective is the third hosted by the MOP Foundation, following ones mapping the careers of Peter Lindbergh and Steven Meisel. Immerse yourself in the wonderful world of Helmut Newton and visit Fact & Fiction between 18 November 2023 and 1 May 2024. Discover the exhibition here.
Photography by Helmut Newton.