berlin: us and them + sex and landscapes

© alice springs - helmut newton. monte carlo [1987]

born into a jewish family in berlin, helmut newton [1920-2004] fled germany at an early age when the nazi regime gained power. newton initially settled in melbourne where he first dipped his toe in fashion and theatre photography, but soon after left for london and paris to work for a number of european magazines. a contract at vogue australia lured the photographer back down under, but not for long. in 1961 he settled once again in the french capital, and it was here that newton started to develop a particular photography style, marked by full-on erotic, fetishistic and even sado-maasochistic elements, that would gain both global fame and notoriety.

newton's work, and that of his wife june newton, is looked after by the helmut newton foundation, an organisation that the photographer himself established only a year before he passed away. celebrating the foundation's 10th anniversary is a double exhibition that's currently on at berlin's museum für fotografie. the us and them showcase is very much a photographic journal of newton and his wife's life together. the works on display include self-portraits, at times intimate, reciprocal portraits, as well as photographs of actors, artists, and other prominent figures of the times, all taken in the 1980s and 1990s. 

the exhibition sex and landscapes brings together a series of large-format landscapes and nude photographs taken in black + white and colour between 1974 and 2001. it presents dramatic images of overclouded mediterranean seascapes and breaking waves, neo-baroque madonna figurines in small Italian towns mingling with nudes in glamorous and provocative scenes of erotic obsession, played out by a body-perfect female cast [on through nov 16]. location: jebensstrasse 2 [charlottenburg].

© helmut newton estate / helmut newton - in our kitchen. rue aubriot, paris [1972]