ARKENís autumn exhibition affords a rare opportunity to see the world-famous photographer Helmut Newton through his own eyes. The exhibition comprises around ninety pictures selected by Newton himself. The photographs have not previously been shown in Denmark. Despite longstanding recognition and status in the art world Helmut Newton rejects the term artist. The man who revolutionised fashion photography in the 1960s and Ď70s and subsequently inspired an entire generation of younger photographers with his groundbreaking work quite simply considers himself a photographer.
Nonetheless the ARKEN autumn exhibition bears witness to an art historically curious Newton, combining classical Newton pictures with photographs revealing wholly new sides to the famous photographer. Both commissioned work and photographs which find him pursuing his own interests and impulses illustrate how Newton is inspired by diverse sources, from pornography to classical landscape painting, and how iconoclasm remains a passion for the now 83-year-old photographer.
One exhibition Ė two series
ARKENís Newton exhibition presents two Newton series, Sex and Landscapes and Yellow Press. The two series focus on Newtonís úuvre, from nudes and landscapes in Sex and Landscapes to media conscious and paparazzi inspired press photographs in Yellow Press. The result is a highly and deliberately contrived idiom typical of Newton. Contrasts and artistic effects are conspicuous: the meditative landscapes are balanced by the brash nudes, black/white silver gelatine prints are set off by the vibrant colours of the C-print photographs, and the technical finesse is juxtaposed with the sensationalist photographs of the trial of a famous Monaco family.
Newton through his own eyes
The exhibition is also an obvious opportunity to see the world-famous photographer through his own eyes, for Newton himself and his wife June handpicked the photographs at ARKEN. They have not previously been on show in Denmark and were not made as commercial fashion photography; from their conception they were envisaged in an art context.
The tradition for photography at ARKEN
Helmut Newton is the latest exhibition in a growing ARKEN tradition of presenting photography to its guests. Photography is one of the museumís fields of operation, and the Collection features the work of several recent, established photographers, including Wolfgang Tillmans, Sarah Lucas, Mads Gamdrup and Per Bak Jensen. Photography has also received special focus in exhibitions such as Veronicaís Revenge and The Desiring Eye.