Gerhard Steidl: "Print is not dead - The Beauty of Analogue Media in a Digital World"

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Photo caption: Robert Frank, Funeral - St. Helena, South Carolina, from the book The Americans (1959) © Robert Frank

Gerhard Steidl began working as a designer and printer in 1967. He started out printing posters for art exhibitions, and very soon Joseph Beuys and other artists were among his customers. In 1972, the first Steidl book, Befragung der documenta (Questioning documenta) was published. From political non-fiction he expanded into literature and selected art and photography books.

Since 1993, Steidl has held the worldwide rights to the work of Nobel Prize laureate Günter Grass. Celebrating some of the most distinctive voices in contemporary literature, Steidl publishes German literature as well as translations from French, English and Icelandic. In 1996, Steidl started his own photo book program. Today, some of the most renowned photographers and artists across the globe are part of the Steidl program, including Joel Sternfeld, Bruce Davidson, Robert Frank, Robert Adams, Karl Lagerfeld, Lewis Baltz, Ed Ruscha, Roni Horn, and Juergen Teller, to name but a few.

All Steidl books are designed and produced under the same roof. Every title gets its own special format and book design. Gerhard Steidl himself whose passion for paper is legendary chooses the paper and the linen and personally sees to every step of the production, from layout to printing. He virtually has his hand on every book that has written Steidl on the cover.

What began as a backyard enterprise has evolved into one of the world’s most sophisticated and distinguished printing and publishing companies. Whether fashion, art or literature, Steidl sees himself as the artist’s and author’s ally, helping him or her “to do magic”, to create an object of art and to get it out to the readers.

Gerhard Steidl is furthermore active as a curator, conceiving and producing photography exhibitions worldwide. Recent exhibitions include “Robert Frank: Books and Films, 1947–2017”; Karl Lagerfeld, “The Little Black Jacket” (for Chanel); Karl Lagerfeld, “The Glory of Water” (for Fendi); and Alessandra Borghese/Alessandra d’Urso, “For Friends” (for Louis Vuitton).

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