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The idea for the exhibition Helmut Newton - Fotografie (White Women / Sleepless Nights / Big Nudes), curated by Matthias Harder and Denis Curti for the Palazzo Ducale, is the outcome of project initiated in 2011 by June Newton, widow of the photographer. It unites images from Helmut Newton’s first three books, which were published between the late seventies and early eighties – reflected in the exhibition’s title and its organization into three sections. These three groundbreaking volumes, which Helmut Newton personally edited and designed, are fundamental to understanding his work as both an artistic visionary and a master craftsman of the photographic medium.

Although his commissioned work was widely published to great acclaim, what was selected by magazine editors did not represent the full scope of this great artist’s vision. Helmut Newton’s lens had the ability to sound out a reality that transcended the elegance of the, allowing glimpses into another dimension. With its presentation of defining motifs from Helmut Newton’s artistic imagination, this comprehensive exhibition enables viewers to gain a deeper understanding of his oeuvre than ever before.


Life, humour and beauty in Helmut Newton’s works. The great fashion photographer Helmut Newton was born in Berlin on October 31, 1920 as Helmut Neustädter, in a Jewish family of the upper middle class. When, in the aftermath of the racial laws, he was forced to leave Germany and settled down in China, he was already a promising photographer, a young apprentice at the fashion photographer Yva's art studio. In 1938, in Singapore, Newton worked for the newspaper "Strait Times", but the relationship with a wealthy Belgian lady induced him to travel through the British colonies, and finally he settled down in Australia in 1940. After a brief period of imprisonment as German citizen during the Second world war, he acquired the Australian citizenship, and in 1948 he married the actress June Brunell, well-known in the world of photography under the alias Alice Springs. In 1961 he moved to Paris, where he started his long career as photographer for the most important fashion magazines, "Vogue" "Harper's Bazaar", "Elle", "GQ", "Vanity Fair", "Max" and "Marie Claire". In the seventies he reached the top of his fame. Thanks to his portraits and nudes he became the most well-known and paid photographer in the world. His style marked a generation and represented a landmark in fashion and beauty. Even today, the new generations of photographers look at him with admiration and devotion. Irony, aesthetic seduction and voyeurism are the essential elements in Newton’s photography: he led fashion outside the studios, to meet the real world.

Through advertising, his aesthetic research created the myth of a new, androgenic woman, beyond the stereotype of the most common social and cultural representations
Modernity can be found in the baffling eroticism of his high bourgeois elegance, that revealed an ironic and revolutionary stylistic hallmark.

With his female nudes, the work of Helmut Newton achieved top celebrity. Provocative and highly intuitive, he always portraied women of great personality and sensuality. The black and white of some of his pictures as Big Nudes III: Henrietta and Sie kommen (dressed and undressed) are by now part of the history of photography. But what set him apart from the ordinary fashion, already saturated and largely glossy, was the staging of his own point of view. In a 1981 photo, the mirror reflects a nude model, behind her the photographer who is portraying her, in front of them, next to the mirror, a dressed woman sitting in a director's chair. It is probably the most effective statement of style in Newton’s whole artistic production, where he appears as author and creator of the staging, and the protagonist female body comes out from the image thanks to an absolute matter and plasticity. In the background, Helmut and his wife June enter the picture, he with his distinguishing irony, she with her constant presence at his side. This photo, probably the most famous of his production, Self-portrait with Wife and models, Vogue Paris Studio, 1981 encloses the genius and madness of an artist perpetually attracted by beauty.

During his career he worked for top fashion designers such as Chanel, Gianni Versace, Yves Saint Laurent and photographed many celebrities in culture, politics and cinema such as Ava Gardner, Charlotte Rampling, Catherine Deneuve, Romy Schneider , Raquel Welch, Sigourney Weaver, Margaret Thatcher, Helmut Kohl, Jean-Marie Le Pen, Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Wim Wenders. Helmut Newton was honoured in 1996 with the title of Grand Commander of Arts and Letters, by the will of the French Culture Minister, Helmut Newton. Onn January 23, 2004 he died at 83, in the wake of a heart attack.


The Pan | Palazzo delle Arti Napoli , has been headquartered in the 17th century Palazzo Roccella in via dei Mille No. 60 since March 2005. It offers an area of more than 6000 m2 for exhibitions or consultation services equipped with the necessary instruments to carry out meetings and study the work of the leading figures who are producing the new languages and forms of expressions in contemporary art.

It is a dynamic Cultural Centre where crucial events for the development of a community and its institutions are organised, bringing life to this prestigious venue. The most topical themes are always under scrutiny through exhibitions, conferences, seminars, meetings, book presentations, film screenings, and other events. The PAN’s objective is to differentiate and multiply cultural inputs to be made available for citizens and tourists, and its precise aim is to become more and more of an artistic/cultural hub with a focus on multifaceted and Europe-oriented themes.

The projects and numerous activities, which are organised here and also receive the support of the local councillor for cultural activities, encourage the participation of many associations and artists. Everyone can express their talent in all the different forms of intellectual and artistic creativity with a subsequent positive influence on cultural and social promotion in our city.


(White Women / Sleepless Nights / Big Nudes)

February 25th to June 18th, 2017

Napoli, PAN Palazzo Arti Napoli

Monday to Sunday 9.30 am to 7.30 pm; ticket office closes at 6.30 pm
Closed on Tuesday
On the 25th April and 1st May 2017, the exhibition will be extraordinarily open from 9.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m.

Full price € 11,00 (audioguided included)
Reduced price € 10,00 for groups of at least 12 people and holders of special agreements (audioguided included)
Special reduced price € 5,00 for school groups and visitors aged under 26 (audioguided included)
Free Admission for visitors under the age of 6, careers of disabled people, two accompanying teachers per class

Reservation fees € 1,00 per person

Info and reservations
Tel. 199 15 11 21 (from abroad +39 02 89096942)


Daniela Leone
Mobile 347 9430130

Barbara Izzo - Arianna Diana
Tel. 06 692050220-258

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The informations on this site, have been prepared exclusively in order to satisfy the information needs of site visitors and the exhibition "HELMUT NEWTON. FOTOGRAFIE. White Women/ Sleepless Nights / Big Nudes", without any commercial purposes. The images on this site are protected by the Copyright Act. The use of images and text contained therein, is permitted only for promotion, communication and press office explicitly linked to the exhibition "HELMUT NEWTON. FOTOGRAFIE. White Women/ Sleepless Nights / Big Nudes", Napoli, PAN-Palazzo Arti Napoli, February 25th – June 18th, 2017 . The use of images and texts is subject to compliance with the prohibition of manipulation and / or alteration of, and the obligation to mention the author, title and subject to copyright.