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Title

Upstairs at Maxim’s, Paris


Artist

Helmut Newton

Germany, Australia, France

1920 - 2004


About

‘Upstairs at Maxim’s’ indulges in another of Newton’s obsessions – the mannequin, which he first used in 1968. They allowed him to stage daring tableaux for French ‘Vogue’, in which, as he said: ‘Using live models would have been too risky.’1 While ‘Upstairs at Maxim’s’ appears at first glance to be a simple shot showing off women’s clothes, the opulent interior with the vacant mirror and the equally vacant mannequin take on a pathos and eroticism due to the simple action of the man kissing the inanimate hand – which has been detached.

Klaus Honnef has commented that ‘the totally artificial atmosphere of traditional fashion photography is missing in Newton’s work, and we can begin to sense a latent imaginative realm of fantasies, dreams and nightmares’.2 Hence Newton’s ability to shock his audience as he made quite explicit the relationship between body, clothes, environment and voyeurism.

1. Newton H 2003, ‘Autobiography’, Gerald Duckworth & Co, London p 145
2. Honnef K 1988, ‘Contemporary photographers’, 2nd ed, ed C Naylor, St James Press, Chicago/London p 758

© Art Gallery of New South Wales Photography Collection Handbook, 2007


Details


Date

1978


Media category

Photograph


Materials used

gelatin silver photograph


Edition

Print 3, Suite II, Edition No. 22/75


Dimensions

36.3 x 24.0 cm image; 40.5 x 30.3 cm sheet


Signature & date

Signed l.l. verso, pencil "Helmut Newton". Not dated.


Credit

Gift of Edron Pty Ltd - 1995 through the auspices of Alistair McAlpine


Location

Not on display


Accession number

335.1996


Artist information

Helmut Newton

Works in the collection

23


Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 3 publications

Bibliography


Judy Annear, Discipline and Beauty - women, fashion, photography, Sydney, 1997.

Judy Annear, Look, 'Discipline & Beauty Women, Fashion and Photography', pg. 14-16, Heidelberg, Jul 1997, 16 (illus.).

Nicola Teffer, Photography: Art Gallery of New South Wales Collection, 'Fashion and celebrity', pg.169-187, Sydney, 2007, 185 (illus.).