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Berlin Scene: Play It Out

Places to eat, drink, shop and gallery-hop between shows.

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WWD Berlin Preview issue 06/19/2012

BODY WORK

Should all the clothes to be seen on the MBFWB runway and Berlin’s multiple trade fairs begin to blur one’s vision, two shows of monumental nudes by two masters of the genre — Helmut Newton and Ralph Gibson — can provide an antidote.

The Museum of Photography is focusing on Newton’s first three legendary publications: “White Women,” “Sleepless Nights” and “Big Nudes,” which include many of his most iconic works. In “White Women” (1976), Newton used nudity within the visual world of fashion. “Sleepless Nights” (1978) is again all about women, their bodies and their clothes, and for the first time in this exhibition, one can see three smaller series of images of half-naked models in orthopedic body braces. “Big Nudes” (1981) with its larger-than-life Amazons, brought Newton’s naked vision to a new dimension and has never been out of print.

In comparison, Camera Work’s Ralph Gibson solo show encompasses four decades and more than 60 photographs of the photographer, now 73. On view are mystic-surrealistic images from “The Somnambulist” series (1970) to the subtle eroticism of another Seventies series, “Days at Sea,” to some of his most recent nudes. “I love photographing women and could say that the form of the female body is absolute and perfect,” he once said.

Norma Quinto

Helmut Newton Foundation, Museum of Photography
2 Jebenstrasse, 10623 (Charlottenburg)
Tel.: +49-30-3186-4856
Web: helmutnewton.com
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday until 10 p.m.

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