NEWTON, HELMUT (1920-2004) Sie Kommen, Paris, Dressed
and Naked, 1981, printed later, likely 1990s. Two gelatin silver prints, each 19 1/4 x 19 1/4 inches (489 x 489 mm) on sheets 24 x 19 3/4 inches (610 x 502 mm), versos signed, titled, dated and stamped, each with a presentation "For Rainier" again signed by Newton. Fine. No defects noted in raking light.
An iconic image in 20th century fashion photography, Newton's "Sie Kommen" [They are Coming] first appeared as a two-page spread in French Vogue in 1981. Newton was already celebrated for incorporating erotic themes in his fashion work; this pair of images, with four dynamic women posed both clothed in haute couture and naked, in identical studio settings, cemented his celebrity. Much of his earlier photography had been on the streets (of Paris and elsewhere), but this remarkable image is pure studio work, as one sees in the foreground here. The curator of the first American retrospective of Newton, Anne Tucker wrote "Big Nudes, for me, is where he steps away from the fashion magazines and came into his own on what a Helmet Newton woman was. . . Look at the way these women are boldly striding in these pictures. . . They are Amazons." There are several variants of this image, both with and without the studio trappings visible. French Vogue, November 1981, pp. 164-165, variant presentation, there titled Une Taille Fine et un Buste Parfait; Newton, Helmut Newton: Big Nudes, n.p. Newton, World Without Men, p. 72; Felix, The Best of Helmut Newton, pls. 31-32; Harrison, Appearances: Fashion Photography Since 1945, pp. 40-41; Heiting, Helmut Newton: Work, pp. 188-189; Lagerfeld, Helmut Newton 47 Nudes, p. 47 (Naked); Taschen, Helmut Newton: Work, pp. 188-189; Kicken and Förster, Points of View: Masterpieces of Photography and Their Stories, pp. 248-249; Koetzle, Photo Icons: Vol. 2, pp. 142-151 etc.
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