In a comprehensive show entitled »people«, the kestnergesellschaft
presents around 150 works taken over the past 40 years by the photographer Alice Springs (b. 1923 in Melbourne, proper name June Newton, née June Brown). Using the pseudonym Alice Springs, Helmut Newtons wife began to develop her own photographic oeuvre in 1970. Although international stars take centre stage in the kestnergesellschaft show, Alice Springs friends and acquaintances also feature centrally. The exhibition is a joint venture in conjunction with the Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin.
The featured list of artists, actors and musicians photographed by Alice Springs reads like a veritable »Whos Who« of the international cultural scene on both sides of the Atlantic over the past four decades. The exhibition in the kestnergesellschaft brings together iconic photographs of Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld, Billy Wilder and Federico Fellini, Robert Mapplethorpe and Gerhard Richter, but also a number of portrait series, such as that of the Monte Carlo Ballet. Alice Springs not only document the appearance of celebrities and contemporary figures, but also manages to capture a sense of their charisma, indeed their very aura.
June Newton discovered photography almost by accident in 1970 having previously worked as a successful actress and radio presenter. Due to her husbands ill-health, she stood in at short notice on one of his photo shoots and henceforward adopted the pseudonym Alice Springs for her photographic work. The publication of her first advertising image for the French cigarette brand »Gitanes« gave her a green light for her new career. Further commissions in the fields of advertising and fashion were soon to follow. In 1974, her first motif made the cover of the French fashion magazine Elle. A selection of her early photographs is also on show at the kestnergesellshaft.
The Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin showed the first retrospective of Alice Springs photographs last year. Springs works have been shown there regularly in alternating exhibitions since 2005 and before that, they featured in different solo exhibitions held at a variety of venues worldwide, for example at the Victorian Art Centre Melbourne (1997), the Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn (1991), or the Museo Contemporáneo, Mexico City (1990).