In 1981, French Vogue famously published a spread that juxtaposed two of Helmut Newton’s images: four stylishly dressed women marching toward the camera in the left photo appeared on the right stark naked. Considered scandalous when it first ran, the image later led to the fashion photographer’s legendary “Naked and Dressed” series, and is now one of his most popular photos.
During the four decades that he was a mainstay in the world of fashion photography, Newton often caused a stir with his strong, elegant, sensual, and sometimes lurid depictions of women. From the ’50s though the ’80s, he pushed boundaries and developed his visionary style inside the pages of Vogue, Elle, Queen and the German magazine Stern. Nearly 500 of his now iconic editorial photos are on display in the exhibition Helmut Newton: Pages from the Glossies, now on view at the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin.
As Newton’s massive editorial portfolio shows, his daring and erotically charged images were ahead of the zeitgeist, but his work was also influenced by the changing cultural attitudes of the times. “In the exhibition’s chronologically arranged facsimiles of Newton’s fashion photographs, visitors will recognize not only the evolution of the photographer’s visual language, but also the shifting role of women in western society since the 1950s,” the foundation writes in a press release. In the 1980s, the waif-like models of the ’60s were replaced by taller, stronger and bolder supermodels like Cindy Crawford (a favorite subject of Newton’s). These women inspired some of Newton’s most visually arresting images. Click through the gallery above for more.
Helmut Newton: Pages from the Glossies, will be on view alongside Greg Gorman: Color Works at the Helmut Newton Foundation through May 22, 2016.