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A Surprise Karl Lagerfeld Exhibition Has Opened
Gmurzynska’s show aims to present the full range of his other creative output.
News 27 Feb 2019

Following the news of Chanel’s creative director, Karl Lagerfeld’s passing last week, Tuesday, Galerie Gmurzynska in Zurich announced a surprise exhibition, showcasing one of Lagerfeld’s lesser known talents, photography.
While working as creative director of Chanel for 36 years and at Fendi for an even longer 52 years, Karl also experimented with photography. Karl shot street photography and took portraits of celebrities, and sometimes hand-colored his photos. Gmurzynska’s show aims to present the full range of his other creative output.

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We are deeply saddened by the loss of Karl Lagerfeld, one of the most prolific and celebrated fashion designers of all time – an outstanding photographer and multi-talented artist, who has passed away aged 85 in Paris. Thank you for over two decades of fascinating collaboration and your genius – you will be missed! Here are just a few of our favorite images of our collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld: „Karl Lagerfeld: Visionen,“ Cologne 1996, „Karl Lagerfeld: Hommage an Lyonel Feininger,“ Cologne 1997, “Karl Lagerfeld. Stills,” Zug 1998; „Karl Lagerfeld: Body Parts,“ FIAC Paris 1999; “Karl Lagerfeld: Fire Etchings,” St Moritz 2013; Sketch by Karl Lagerfeld for Galerie Gmurzynska‘s booth design, FIAC Paris 2011 @karllagerfeld #KarlLagerfeld #Lagerfeld #RIP #legend #ripkarllagerfeld

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“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.” KARL LAGERFELD
Gmurzynska has exhibited photos by Lagerfeld since 1996, and on February 21, the gallery displayed a “retrospective” of two decades of his photographic work titled Homage to Karl Lagerfeld: 22 Years of Exhibition. The ‘retrospective’ showcases Karl’s deep knowledge of art history, composition and the photographic process.


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For today’s #BookOfTheWeek, we remember our inspiring collaborations with #KarlLagerfeld over the past 22 years which led to the publication of five very special books. Our first project with Lagerfeld was “Visionen” in 1996, an exhibition in the gallery then based in Cologne. It was accompanied by a large-sized book co-published by @SteidlVerlag and printed on coarse flax paper which wonderfully enhanced both the stark black-and-white contrasts as well as the lavish colors of Lagerfeld’s photography. 1997 saw the publication of “Body Parts”, a series of masterfully taken male nudes and portraits, and “Homage to Lyonel Feininger” – a rare glimpse into the way Lagerfeld was inspired by the history of modern art. In 2009, we published “Modern Mythology”, another series of male nudes, photographed outdoors, which with their flawlessness and empathy evoke reminiscences of ancient sculpture. The 2013 book, simply entitled “Karl Lagerfeld”, offered a comprehensive overview of all the collaborations between our gallery and the artist up to that year. — “Since our first exhibition of his, at our Cologne gallery in 1996, Lagerfeld has continuously and fearlessly explored the avant-garde of photographic processes; combining his compositional eye with his keen interest in the lost histories of the medium.” – Krystyna Gmurzynska and Mathias Rastorfer @karllagerfeld #Lagerfeld #Gmurzynska #Gmurzynskapublications

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“Since our first exhibition in 1996, to our last today, Karl has continuously and fearlessly explored the avant-garde of photography, creating his own unique processes that will continue their influence on photography and art in general,” Mathias Rastorfer, the gallery’s CEO and co-owner, told ARTnews .

Text by Peigi Mackillop
Images via Gmurzynska’s InstagramThe exhibition will run at the Talstrasse 37 premises in Zurich until February 21 – May 15, 2019

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