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Upstairs at Maxim’s, Paris



Helmut Newton

Germany, United States of America, France

1920 – 2004

No image
  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    gelatin silver photograph
    Print 3, Suite II, Edition No. 22/75
    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.

    Gift of Edron Pty Ltd - 1995 through the auspices of Alistair McAlpine
    Not on display
    Accession number
    Unable to display image due to copyright restrictions © Estate of Helmut Newton
    Artist information
    Helmut Newton

    Works in the collection


  • 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

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 3 publications

Other works by Helmut Newton

See all 23 works