Revealing yet another side of Helmut Newton is the exhibition Sex and Landscapes, which was initiated by Simon de Pury and first shown at his gallery in Zurich in 2001.

The show presents various large-scale photographs in black and white and color, taken between 1974 and 2001. Here, landscapes are brought together with nude photographs – from timeless atmospheres tinged with melancholy to elegant and vain models confronted with their reflection. Seascapes shrouded in clouds, sky views captured from airplane windows, neo-baroque Madonna figurines in small Italian towns, steam locomotives in Omaha, Nebraska, and the Grunewald lake in Berlin at dusk, mingle with nudes in glamorous and provocative scenes of erotic obsession, played out by a female cast. Theatrical, flash-lit visual spaces exude drama and travesty. The unorthodox juxtaposition corresponds to the disparate coexistence and interaction of various genres and approaches in Newton’s work. In his inimitable style, ultimately all categories disappear. At the same time our associations and imaginations find ample space to discover and probe the subtle visual overture. Such unusual visual combinations could already be seen in Helmut Newton’s Illustrated, a large-format magazine that the photographer published four times between 1980-1990, and which was presented as an exhibition at the Helmut Newton Foundation in 2007. Then as now, we can witness the attentiveness that Newton showed nearly everything that came before his camera, often revealing the beauty hidden in the banal.

Selected Works