Saul Leiter, David Lynch, Helmut Newton: NUDES marks the first time in the history of the Helmut Newton Foundation that an exhibition will be dedicated exclusively to the genre of nude photography.

Saul Leiter, parallel to his fashion photography for Harper’s Bazaar and the colorful abstractions he captured on the streets of New York from the 1950s onwards, also photographed nudes in the studio. His female models were friends or lovers, whom the artist portrayed in his New York apartment; not all of them are entirely undressed. The images are subtle, sensitive, almost shy approaches to the female body and spirit.

We encounter a similar visual atmosphere in the nudes of David Lynch, taken almost half a century later mostly in Lodz and Los Angeles. Many of them are in black and white; a few are in color. In his abstract images, details often fill the frame; only upon closer examination can we associate them with the human body and compare them to our own in our mind’s eye. His photographic nudes, sometimes more observational, sometimes more posed, are as enigmatic as his films.

Helmut Newton began photographing nudes in the 1970s, both independently and incorporated into his fashion photography, and worked in this genre until the end of his life in 2004. His series Naked and Dressed, which marks the transition from fashion to nudes in his work, and his Big Nudes made him world-famous in the 1980s and inspired countless photographers and other visual artists to imitate or re-interpret them. Newton created an incomparable body of work, full of subtle seduction and timeless elegance, especially in the nude genre.