Purple Diary

[November 10 2010]

Steidl: When Photography Becomes a Book at Monnaie de Paris

Monnaie de Paris honors the significant publishing house Steidl in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of Mois de la Photo. Steidl: When Photography Becomes a Book, From Robert Frank to Karl Lagerfeld seeks to accomplish a rare look inside the world’s most influential and sophisticated publishers in the world. Founder Gerhard Steidl plainly states “I always dreamt of having a small book factory. At the top, you throw in an idea and after a few days a finished book tumbles out below,” but as the exhibition proves Steidl is far from a simplistic publishing house. Showcased in the exhibition are a variety of Steidl works including Robert Frank, Lewis Baltz, and Jim Dine. With each room commited in evoking the depth of their relationship with Steidl, the public is invited to discover the behind the scenes development, where the quality of the layout, typography and the choice of paper are seen as true works of art. Presented is the exquisite edition of Jack Kerouac On the Road by Ed Ruchsa, entirely designed by Ruscha with real photo-plates blind embossed by Steidl. Notably unveiled are a new series of nudes by Karl Lagerfeld titled Body Freedom starring Baptiste Giabiconi. Concluding the exhibition is a fascinating 80-minute documentary How to Make a Book with Steidl, in which Gerhard Steidl flies back and forth (and back again) instigating paper type, fonts, and other details of editions which are amicably and coolly discussed, proving why Steidl gets the attention of acclaimed photographers, artists and designers the world over. Steidl: When Photography Becomes a Book, From Robert Frank to Karl Lagerfeld runs until 19th December at Monnaie de Paris 11 Quai de Conti, Paris. Text and Photo Annabel Fernandes


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