Gathering more than 100 portraits of women by Walter Pfeiffer, most of them being published for the first time, this books shows a new facette to Walter Pfeiffer's rich oeuvre.
Pfeiffer celebrates his quest for beauty and glamour with sophistication, irony, and wit. He guides you through a world residing between reality and reverie, snapshot and mise-en-scène. With simple means he creates intelligent and classic images of beauty and bliss, imbued with a wistful awareness of their artifice. Stylish, suggestive, and erotic, his images create an encyclopedia of desire.
“Clever and elegant, Walter Pfeiffer's photographs elude classification and create a world of their own, thereby suspending the viewer between the being and seeming. The photographs spurn the indexical gesture of documentary photography, invested, as it is, with solemn intensity and mired in the delusion of a one-to-one rendition of reality. However, they are equally wary of wallowing indiscriminately in the phantasmagoria featured in the elaborately staged photography of recent years. Instead, Pfeiffer's recent pictures are utopian variations on reality that undercut the blunt documentary assertion of factuality with the narrative ‘once upon a time' of a fairy tale.” (Martin Jaeggi)
Walter Pfeiffer (born 1946 in Beggingen) is a Zurich-based photographer and graphic designer. He spent a great many years photographing for the underground gay zine scene. His breakthrough didn't come till the turn of the millennium, however, particularly after his book Welcome Aboard – Photographs 1980–2000 was published by Edition Patrick Frey in 2001. Heir to photographers such as Wilhelm von Gloeden or Herbert List and to the painter Paul Cadmus, contemporary of Larry Clark, Nan Goldin or Peter Hujar, he has built a founding work for contemporary photography which has deeply marked the generations of Juergen Teller, Wolfgang Tillmans and Ryan McGinley. Pfeiffer's works can now be found at the Kunsthaus Zürich, Fotomuseum Winterthur and Bundeskunstsammlung Bern as well as in the Windsor Collection and Sir Elton John Photography Collection, among others.