On 1 June 2016 the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin will open its new exhibition, Alice Springs: The MEP Show | Helmut Newton: Yellow Press | Mart Engelen: Portraits.
Under the pseudonym Alice Springs, June Newton, the widow of the legendary photographer of fashion and nudes, also worked as a photographer, with a particular focus on portraiture. Helmut Newton and Alice Springs often exhibited their work together, most notably in their joint project “Us and Them.” The first Alice Springs retrospective was presented at the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin in 2010.
Now her second retrospective, organized in 2015 by the Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP) in Paris, will also be shown in Berlin, showcasing more than 100 portraits she has made of fellow photographers like Richard Avedon, Braissaï, Ralph Gibson, and naturally Helmut Newton, as well as other prominent figures like Nicole Kidman and Luciano Pavarotti. The intense portraits, both in black & white and in color, are complemented by an expansive series of street photographs Alice Springs shot along Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, where she documented the Californian punk and hip-hop scene in the 1980s.
Helmut Newton did not only work exclusively for fashion magazines and designers. He also nurtured an interest in offbeat subjects, paparazzi pictures, police photography, and crime stories, in short: “yellow journalism.” The exhibition “Yellow Press”, which was compiled and first presented by the photographer himself in 2002 at his former gallery in Zürich, is an eclectic mix culled from works realized between 1973 and 2002. It includes several photo series that were never published in Newton’s books during his lifetime, for example his series “Self-Appropriation”, a nude series about “Lolita” for Playboy Magazine, and a documentation of court proceedings in Monaco that he shot for Paris Match. Many of the motifs we encounter here would not customarily be associated with Helmut Newton, allowing them all the more to enrich the general image we have of Newton and his work.
Once again, Helmut Newton’s wish to invite a photographer to exhibit in “June’s Room” will be posthumously fulfilled. Amsterdam-based photographer Mart Engelen, who also publishes an exclusive photography magazine, will show more than 20 black & white portraits from the contemporary cultural scene, inspired by French film noir and including the likes of writer Michel Houellebecq, visual artists Gilbert & George, and musician Pete Doherty.