Among an array of exceptional and disparate images for sale at the upcoming Philip de Pury & Company Photographic Auction, a considerable number emanate from the milieu of fashion photography.
Highlights include Sie Kommen, one half of a diptych taken by the late and provocative Helmut Newton which depicts four naked models in high heels as an erotic metaphor for the changing status of women in the Eighties.
In addition, the print A family One Evening in a Nudist Camp by Diane Arbus utilises her intuitive sense of otherness not only to expose peculiarity in the mundane, but also to reveal the beauty and integrity of her subjects.
The sale will also showcase a myriad of eclectic and larger scale work from contemporary Twentieth Century photographers such as Vera Lutter, Thomas Ruff and Dan Holdsworth, which are collated with epoch-making images created by classic artists including Robert Mapplethorpe, Richard Avendon, Horst P. Horst and Irvin Penn.
Phillips de Pury & Company May Photographic auction begins on 17 May at 4pm. phillipsdepury.com
Pierre Thoretton’s film L’Amour Fou is a love letter to memory, art and life reflected through the 50 year relationship between Yves Saint-Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé. Filmed a year after Yves Saint-Laurent’s death in 2008, Thoretton followed Bergé during the breaking up of their art collection. Works by Matisse, Goya, Mondrian, all sold at Christies. The dismantling of their collection is the point of departure for an exploration of their relationship and their shared aesthetic world. While Saint-Laurent’s absence dominates the film, Thoretton’s unrivalled access to his archive means his image is renewed through unseen personal photographs by friends such as William Klein and Helmut Newton. L’Amour Fou is also a farewell letter from Bergé to the love of his life and a melancholic ode to a Twentieth Century icon.
L’Amour Fou is at the ICA until 17 November and out on DVD on 21 November.
The Helmut Newton Foundation is one of those gems in the West of Berlin that’s well worth the journey from the more hip Bezirke of Kreuzberg or Friedrichshain. This month, alongside the permanent exhibition offering a glimpse into Helmut Newton the man, a new exhibition opens celebrating his Polaroids. Using them as an initial point of reference for his fashion shoots, he was able to test lighting and composition.
But more than that, the idea of Polaroids excited Newton: he published Pola Woman, a book exclusively made up of his Polaroids, in 1992. Shooting down accusations that the images in the book didn’t stand up to his usual standard he said: “but that was exactly what was exciting – the spontaneity, the speed”. Indeed in some ways this attitude prefigures the speed of photography – particularly street style photography – today.
The romance of a Polaroid picture is most definitely back in vogue again.