Helmut Newton - Photographs London Friday, September 25, 2020 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Camera Work Gallery, Berlin, 2001
    Christie's, New York, Icons of Glamour and Style: The Constantiner Collection, 16 - 17 December 2008, lot 217

  • Exhibited

    Pulp Art: Vamps, Villains and Victors from the Robert Lesser Collection, Brooklyn Museum of Art, 16 May - 31 August 2003, this lot

  • Literature

    Vogue Paris, November 1976, p. 131
    H. Newton, White Women, New York: Stonehill, 1976, p. 15
    Helmut Newton: Mode et Portraits, Paris: Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 1984, pl. 22
    H. Newton, Portraits, New York: Pantheon Books, 1987, pl. 25
    Helmut Newton: Portraits, London: National Portrait Gallery, 1988, pl. 17
    Helmut Newton: Aus dem Photographischen Werk, Munich: Schirmer/Mosel, 1993, pl. 40
    Helmut Newton for Press Freedom, Reporters Without Borders, Paris: Reporters sans Frontieres, 2003, cover and p. 41

  • Catalogue Essay

    Helmut Newton’s 1975 photograph of Elsa Peretti – dressed in a Playboy-associated ‘Bunny’ costume by Halston and posed in strong daylight against a backdrop of New York’s towering skyscrapers has been widely published, first in 1976 in Vogue Paris and his first book White Women. Peretti recalls the impromptu shoot:

    One morning, he said, ‘I want to do a picture of you.’ I didn’t know what to wear. I went to my closet and came out wearing this costume I’d worn to a party with Halston. Helmut was flabbergasted. He took me on the terrace and took the photo. It was 11 A.M.

    Newton’s eye for commanding sensuality, provocative scenarios and incongruous juxtapositions, as exemplified here, revolutionised the conventions of fashion and glamour photography.

  • Artist Biography

    Helmut Newton

    German • 1920 - 2004

    Helmut Newton's distinct style of eroticism and highly produced images was deemed rebellious and revolutionary in its time, as he turned the expected notion of beauty, depicted by passive and submissive women, on its head. Depicting his models as strong and powerful women, Newton reversed gender stereotypes and examined society's understanding of female desire.

    Newton created a working space for his models that was part decadent and part unorthodox — a safe microcosm in which fantasies became reality. And perhaps most famously of all, Newton engendered an environment in which his female models claimed the space around them with unapologetic poise and commanding sensuality. His almost cinematic compositions provided a hyper-real backdrop for the provocative images of sculptural, larger-than-life women, and enhanced the themes of voyeurism and fetishism that run throughout his work.

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Elsa Peretti as a Bunny, New York

Gelatin silver print.
58.9 x 39.5 cm (23 1/4 x 15 1/2 in.)
Signed, titled, dated and numbered 4/10 in pencil on the verso.

£40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for £81,250

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Rachel Peart
Head of Sale, Specialist

Yuka Yamaji
Head of Photographs, Europe

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London Auction 25 September 2020