Focusing on a lesser known aspect of Walter Pfeiffer's practice, this monograph explores the Swiss photographer's graphic works throughout the decades: large-scale hyper-realistic pencil drawings, drawings in China ink, colored pencils and watercolors, characterized by a joyful sensuality that emanates from his portraits of friends and his floral still lifes.
Walter Pfeiffer is now a world-renowned photographer. Although he began his artistic career as a draftsman, Pfeiffer's drawings are known to precious few. So this book is an overdue overview of his graphic work, continually engaged in a fertile dialogue with his photographic work. In the early 1970s Pfeiffer produced large-scale hyper-realistic pencil drawings that served as points of departure and even working models for his photographs. This style gave rise to personal works as well as Pfeiffer's legendary posters for the Zürich Filmpodium, magazine illustrations and commissioned portraits. Beginning in the 1980s and especially in the ‘90s, Pfeiffer gave up photography for a time to focus on drawings in China ink, colored pencils and watercolors, in which the elegant free play of lines and colors moves into the foreground: intimate portraits of beautiful boys and the artist's close women friends, still lifes and flowers. These pictures are characterized by a cheerful, wakeful sensuality, sure lines and alternation between graphic reduction and a taste for rich ornamentation. This publication is not a conventional retrospective, but a stand-alone artist's book in which to discover the vivacity of his drawings and a new Walter Pfeiffer.
Born 1946, Walter Pfeiffer lives and works in Zurich.