Helmut Newton Fact & Fiction

Helmut Newton Fact & Fiction

Helmut Newton Fact & Fiction



A major exhibition celebrating the life and work of the legendary German-Australian photographer Helmut Newton (1920-2004) opened in the MOP center last autumn. Helmut Newton-Fact & Fiction ran from 18 November 2023-1 May 2024.

The exhibition was the third presented by the Marta Ortega Pérez (MOP) foundation and followed successful exhibitions devoted to Peter Lindbergh and Steven Meisel. Helmut Newton – Fact & Fiction was created in close collaboration with the Helmut Newton Foundation and was curated by Philippe Garner, Mathias Harder, and Tim Jefferies.

During the course of a career spanning six decades, Helmut Newton came to be regarded as one of the world’s leading photographers. A prolific image maker and genuine visionary, he continues to prove a major influence on modern photography and visual art today.

The exhibition told the story of the man behind the work through videos showing Newton at work and in conversation; personal images providing insights into his childhood, career, and partnership with his wife June; and further documents, posters, cameras and equipment, props, intriguing artefacts, and memorabilia.

The curation of fashion and style images epitomizes Newton’s bold and unapologetic visual language, including his iconic ‘big nudes and memorable portraits of a range of exceptional personalities championing Warhol, David Bowie, Margaret Thatcher, Charlotte Rampling, Elsa Perretti, Daryl Hannah, Jerry Hall, Naomi Campbell, Yves Saint Laurent, and Karl Lagerfeld.

As a counterpoint to his famous fashion and style imagery, Newton’s examples of less well known ‘Landscapes’ were showcased in the exhibition- the highly atmospheric images of places that resonated for him, from Paris to Los Angeles, Monte Carlo to Berlin, Vienna to Las Vegas, which also reflected the very special atmosphere of the exhibition’s location in Coruña.

Marta Ortega said “Helmut Newton is one of that celestial band of photographers whose images are instantly recognizable as their own. Newton revolutionized the portrayal of women in glossy magazines. Here were women who enjoyed style and fashion, who enjoyed the power and splendour of their bodies, women who were elegantly seductive and untouchable. His photographs were far ahead of their time. He spectacularly set the scene for those photographers who followed him. To be able to work with photographers whose picture making I have long admired is a great privilege. I do so not simply with the ambition to enrich the cultural life of a Coruña, but also in the hope that future generations of image makers will find their own inspiration in the work of these remarkable photographers.”


About the Artist

Helmut Newton

Helmut Newton

A celebrated and respected photographer, Newton was awarded The French "Grand Prix National de la Photographie"; the "Officier des Arts, Lettres et Sciences" in Monaco; the "Das Grosse Verdienstkreuz" from the Federal Republic of Germany; and a commendation to "Commandeur de L'Ordre des Arts et Lettres" from the French Ministry of Culture.

Like Norman Parkinson, Richard Avedon, and Irving Penn, Newton became one of the most influential and talented photographers shooting for Vogue. Perhaps his biggest supporter and promoter was his wife June, who established her own career as a photographer under the pseudonym April Springs.

Newton's work has been exhibited and published worldwide. The preservation and presentation of his work is managed by the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin, established by Newton himself in 2003.