This year, to mark the 70th anniversary of Walter Pfeiffer, the Sultana Gallery presents an exhibition entitled “Send me no Flowers.” A title that echoes the eponymous film by Norman Jewison, released in 1964, with Rock Hudson and Doris Day. Walter Pfeiffer has always recognized the hypochondriac character played by Rock Hudson and decided to dedicate this exhibition to two themes he particularly likes: flowers and boys.
The exhibition presents for the first time for very large prints of flower color photographs, installed on the wall like wallpaper. These images are used to support black and white photographs of faces of boys or body parts. Some of the black and white photographs are from the eighties, others are recent. Walter Pfeiffer has always enjoyed playing here with the times and as often in his work, it is not easy to put a date on the images.
On one of the windows of a video is projected and accompanies the exhibition theme with humor. She works as a nod to the photographs presented here. The introduction of video in a Walter Pfeiffer exhibition is not accidental. It is a medium that has always used, especially early in the 70s, to film skits or plays he organized with his friends in Zurich. Always very short and rather humorous videos are an essential complement to understand the mind of Walter Pfeiffer.
The presentation of works in large format, stacked as in dialogue, multiple perspectives and gives to see the work of Walter Pfeiffer in a theatrical aspect, like a stage setting.
All the works in this exhibition is a summary the spirit and work of Walter, his obsessions, his style of his desires and his obsessive search for Beauty.
Considered an icon of photography, Walter Pfeiffer has been a pioneer in the underground gay iconography in Zurich but also in Europe at a time when homosexuality and the image it conveyed was not accepted. Even as Larry Clark and Nan Goldin began to work in the United States, Pfeiffer was creating an atmosphere similar to Zurich with his friends. Today respected by a generation of photographers and visual artists, Walter Pfeiffer still lives and works in Zurich. He teaches at the prestigious cantonal art school ECAL in Lausanne and regularly lectures in Switzerland on his work and career. In recent years, he worked with fashion magazines and fashion brands for which he signs the countryside. And he still continues his search for beauty through photographs, drawings and artists’ books it publishes regularly.