Helmut Newton Polaroids
Museum für Fotografie
Polaroid technology revolutionized photography. Polaroids have been used in artistic and commercial photography, both in creating preliminary studies and as a medium in their own right. Their use took off very soon after the introduction of the instant photograph at the Optical Society of America in 1947 by its inventor, Edwin Land. This unique imaging process has found enthusiastic devotees all over the world and in nearly all genres of photography - from landscape and genre, portrait and self-portrait, fashion and nudes.
Helmut Newton made intense use of the technology from the 1970s onwards, especially during his fashion shoots. As he once described in an interview, Polaroids satisfied his impatient urge to know immediately how a certain situation would look as a photograph. Newton's additional notes, written on the edges of the Polaroids, provide fascinating and revealing insights into the models, clients and locations. These comments, the haziness of the images and the print's visible signs of use are naturally also to be found on the enlargements of the Polaroids included in the exhibition; they testify to a pragmatic approach to the original work materials, which have since taken on a value of their own.
The over 300 photographs now on show offer the first comprehensive overview of this aspect of Newton's oeuvre. The exhibition gives visitors a chance to peer into the sketchbook of one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century.
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