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HELMUT NEWTON (1920-2004)


Helmut Newton was born in 1920 in Berlin, Germany and began taking photographs at the age of twelve when he purchased his first camera.  He began assisting photographer Else Neulander Simon in 1936 until the increasingly oppressive Nuremberg laws forced his family to leave Germany, after which Newton would travel to Australia.  He partnered with Henry Talbot to form a fashion photography studio on Flinders Lane in Sydney.  His growing reputation eventually led to a contract with British VOGUE, and Newton moved to London in 1957.

In 1961 Newton moved to Paris and his work began to be featured regularly in French VOGUE.  He established a distinct erotically-charged style with fetishistic and sado-masochistic subtexts, and his notoriety and fame culminated in his landmark 1980 “Big Nudes” Series.  His fashion and portrait work would be continue to be featured in the world’s leading publications including Vanity Fair and VOGUE until his death in a car accident in 2004 at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles where he resided.

Helmut Newton’s books include White Women (1976), Sleepless Nights (1978), World Without Men (1984), Sumo (1999), and A Gun For Hire (2005), among others.  His work has been exhibited a the Fotografie Forum in Frankfurt, The National Portrait Gallery in London, The Daimura Museum in Tokyo, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, The Museum of Modern Art in Sao Paulo, and at the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin, which was founded after his death by his wife and collaborator June Newton.

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