75 Karl Lagerfeld Byzantine Fragments Comprising Karl Lagerfelds photographs of the Byzantine mosaics in the Basilica di San Vitale in Ravenna and conceived in connection with his acclaimed Paris-Byzance collection for Chanel in December 2010, Byzantine Fragments is an eloquent book object that imitates the delicate mosaics it depicts.
Lagerfelds pictures are impressions, not documentations of the mosaics: each is printed at a different angle and with blurred edges like sepia images on vintage postcards. Byzantine Fragments is all restrained luxury: the photos are printed on ivory parchment, the title page is of indigo tracing paper with gold lettering, while the cover is of gold Arches paper printed with copper ink. Each book is hand-stitched with umber thread and housed in an embossed gold slipcase: this is a precious stone in book form. Karl Lagerfeld, fashion designer, book dealer and publisher, began working as a photographer in 1987. He has received the Lucky Strike Design Award from the Raymond Lewy Foundation, the cultural prize from the German Photographic Society, and the ICP Trustees Award at the International Center of Photographys Infinity Awards in 2007. His recent photographic exhibitions include Konkret Abstrakt Gesehen at the Langen Foundation, Neuss; and Metamorphoses of an American A Cycle of Youth, 20038 at Pace/MacGill, New York. Steidl has published most of Lagerfelds photography books, including Casa Malaparte, Aktstrakt, A Portrait of Dorian Gray, Room Service, Palazzo, Metamorphoses of an American, and The Beauty of Violence.
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