See Two Decades of Karl Lagerfeld’s Dreamy Photographic Art in a New Show Honoring the Late Fashion Eminence

The gallery exhibited Lagerfeld's photography over the course of more than 20 years.

Karl Lagerfeld in Paris. Photo:PAT/ARNAL/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images.

As the fashion world continues to mourn the loss of legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld, the contemporary art world is remembering him as both a cultural icon and in his lesser-known capacity as a fine art photographer. The Zürich-based Galerie Gmurzynska, which has shown Lagerfeld’s photography since 1996, began planning to mount an impromptu retrospective of the artist’s work as soon as they received news of his death on Tuesday in Paris at the age of 85.

Today, the gallery opens a sprawling show based on its 20-year relationship with Lagerfeld, featuring a range of images that capture both the mundane and the extraordinarily chic. A statement announcing the show quotes Lagerfeld himself, who once said, “What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce”—a sentiment that is echoed in the extravagant runway shows and editorial spreads he presided over as the creative director at Chanel for 35 years.

Many of the photographs in the show are black-and-white portraits of celebrities like Benicio del Toro and Ryan Gosling, but others—including hand-colored shots of costumes from Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadic Ballet and architecture around Paris—illustrate his broad cultural interests.

See more photographs on display at “Homage to Karl Lagerfeld: 30 Years of Photography” on view at Galerie Gmurzynska, Zurich, through May 15, 2019.

Installation view of “Hommage Karl Lagerfeld.” Courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska.

Karl Lagerfeld, Benicio del Toro (Hollywood Stars) (2002). Courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska.

Karl Lagerfeld, Facade (2010). Courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska.

Karl Lagerfeld, Jeff Koons Versailles-Chainlink (2008). Courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska.

Karl Lagerfeld, Die Drei und der rote Pfosten, Serie Hommage an Lyonel Feininger (1997). Courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska.

Karl Lagerfeld, Series Eiffel-Turm (2010). Courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska.

Karl Lagerfeld, Untitled (1996). Courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska.

Karl Lagerfeld, Gone With the Wind (1996). Courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska.

Installation view of “Hommage Karl Lagerfeld.” Courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska.

Karl Lagerfeld, Lüstern aber schüchtern, Serie Hommage an Lyonel Feininger (1997). Courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska.

Karl Lagerfeld, Costumes for the triadic ballet “Hommage à Oskar Schlemmer” (1997). Courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska.

Installation view of “Hommage Karl Lagerfeld.” Courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska.


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