Quite the renaissance man, there seems no end to Karl Lagerfeld’s creative talents. Recent weeks have seen the fashion powerhouse commended for his collaboration with Puma, as well as a wave of praise for his recent Chanel S/S 2019 collection which premiered on a catwalk beach during Paris Fashion Week.
Look back further and the list of achievements of this Wallpaper* guest editor diverges further from fashion; it is as heterogeneous as it is surprising. Illustrator, photographer, reality TV show star and film director, Lagerfeld has also put his name to a teddy bear in his likeness and the design of a series of residences.
Most recently, he has taken to sculpture. The solo show ‘Architectures’ at the Carpenters Workshop Gallery in the Marais presents a series of marble sculptures by Lagerfeld, created in collaboration with the architect Aline Asmar d’Amman. The pair most recently worked on the renovation of Paris’ Hôtel Crillon, where Lagerfeld installed a two-tonne bath cut from a single block of Carrara marble; this show is the continuation of the work that began there.
In keeping with the gallery’s remit, these are not so much sculptures as design pieces. One might call them functional sculpture, but for this categorisation I refer you to Franz West’s current exhibition at the Centre Pompidou instead. Despite the coolness of the milky marble, and the decidedly impractical dimensions, there is a decadent domesticity to the works which take the form of pier tables, lamps, fountains, and mirrors.
Heavily influenced by Antiquity — an epoch which, according to Lagerfeld, knew no such thing as bad taste — each piece is created in both black Nero Marquina marble and Arabescato Fantastico in editions of eight, the latter of which has not been quarried for over 30 years. Hovering between the ancient and the contemporary, it is intriguing to see the sculptural design work of a man whose influence over all aesthetic spheres has been so ubiquitous for so many years.
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