Helmut Newton Exhibition at Grand Palais, Paris.

Helmut Newton Exhibition at Grand Palais, Paris.

I know this exhibition is nearly over when I post this as it ran from the 24th March 2012 to the 17th June 2012 at The Grand Palais in Paris. However, I want to write about the exhibition as I went a week ago and I found it interesting but not for the reasons that I thought I would. As you will see in my images of the exhibition is was popular.

Owing to the number of people it was hard to see the work as you can see form the above images. I deliberately made these images to show how crowded the show was. I have to say it is great to see work on display at such a major venue and for it to be so popular. I did also have to sneak these images as the security guards where everywhere stopping people making photographs of the show. I love that photographs can’t be photographed sort of irony there, yet people where sneaking images on their mobile phones however I did see a few of them also being stopped.

The work was not shown on white walls which surprised me as this was the second exhibition that I went to in the same day the first being Chris Killips at Le Bal  and both had coloured walls to be showing images on. At first I was not sure about this as I like white walls to show work against but then I am a colour photographer these days. Colour affects our perceptions and yet here was colour images being show on coloured walls.

I was also overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work on the walls, some images were expected and some more unfamilar so there was a good mix of work but it felt more like volume of the objective in curating the exhibition. I also felt that some of the images lost something, when they where enlarged so much for the exhibition. Attempting to turn magazine images into statement images doesn’t always work when one enlarges them quite so much. I know we all like to see images in a large size, however I felt that the images would have benefited form being effectively a size smaller. They would have become more intimate and re-enforced the felling that one gets of intimacy between a magazine page and the content and made the exhibition far more powerful as a consequence.


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