Helmut Newton long-awaited retrospective coming to Rome, Ara Pacis Museum

From October 6, 2023 to March 3, 2024, the Ara Pacis Museum in Rome will host an extensive retrospective on the celebrated photographer Helmut Newton.

Coming to the Ara Pacis Museum in Rome is anextensive retrospective devoted to the celebrated photographer Helmut Newton (Berlin, 1920 - Los Angeles, 2004), conceived on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth and later postponed due to the pandemic. The exhibition HELMUT NEWTON. LEGACY will then be open to the public from October 6, 2023 to March 3, 2024, curated by Matthias Harder, director of the Helmut Newton Foundation, and Denis Curti, artistic director of Le Stanze della Fotografia in Venice. The exhibition is promoted by Roma Capitale, Assessorato alla Cultura, Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali and Marsilio Arte, organized by Zètema Progetto Cultura and Marsilio Arte, in collaboration with the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin.

Some 250 photographs, magazines and documents will be on display through which it aims to tell a new look at the uniqueness, style and provocative side of the photographer, who described himself as follows, “My work as a portrait photographer is to seduce, amuse and entertain.”

The exhibition aims to cover the entire career of one of the most beloved and discussed photographers of all time. Alongside the history-making shots that appeared on the most important fashion magazine covers, a body of unpublished shots aims to reveal lesser-known aspects of Newton’s work. A specific focus is devoted to fashion shoots considered revolutionary at the time, such as the series inspired by the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Francois Truffaut and Federico Fellini. Contact prints, special publications and archival materials give visitors the opportunity to enter the heart of Helmut Newton’s creative process.

Chronological chapters recount the different stages of the photographer’s life and career, from his beginnings to his final years of production, with images that have become iconic, such as the Big Nudes series. Until the very end, Newton continued to enchant and provoke audiences with complex work on femininity, challenging all attempts to categorize women for more than six decades. The protagonists of her shots are subjects who have full awareness of their bodies, subtle irony and a defiant attitude toward the other, without ever falling into vulgarity or banality.

The exhibition runs from the 1940s in Australia and then continues through the 1950s in Europe, the 1960s in France, the 1970s in the United States and the 1980s between Monte Carlo and Los Angeles, to the numerous shoots around the world in the 1990s and the last period of his career.

The exhibition at the Ara Pacis Museum will exclusively feature a dozen shooting images that Newton took right in Rome, not presented in previous exhibitions. These are fashion shots that the photographer made by combining the charm of the Capital with that of the subjects, chosen to embody his visions.

In continuity with the experiences made on the occasion of the last exhibitions and renewing the commitment of the Capitoline Superintendency for accessibility, the exhibition aims to be enjoyed by the widest possible audience thanks to the collaboration with Rai Pubblica Utilità and Rai Cultura, with the Department of Social Policies and Health - Person Services Directorate of Roma Capitale and Cooperativa Segni d’Integrazione - Lazio and with Radici Società Cooperativa Sociale.

Image: Helmut Newton, Vogue Italia. Como, 1996 © Helmut Newton Foundation
Helmut Newton, Vogue Italia. Como, 1996 © Helmut Newton Foundation

Helmut Newton long-awaited retrospective coming to Rome, Ara Pacis Museum
Helmut Newton long-awaited retrospective coming to Rome, Ara Pacis Museum

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