Born in 1946
Lives & works in Zurich.

An underground classic for years, Walter Pfeiffer has developed a unique blend of eroticism and wit, classical serenity and ornamental playfulness, artifice and immediacy that has begun to garner major international attention in the past few years. He started photography in the 70’s without any technical ambition, but the will to provide a new visual vocabulary for beauty, and freedom of life. Pfeiffer began to carve out his trademark style that testifies to both his desire for timeless beauty and his precise observation of the permutations of fashion and style. His breakthrough as a photographer was a series of images of a young man in drag that was included in Jean-Christophe Amman’s seminal “Transformer” exhibition in 1974, the same year as Pfeiffer’s first solo photo exhibition, a series of assemblages of photographs and fabrics, which will be shown for the first time since 1974.

↑ Untitled, 1966-1967. Mixed media on fiberboard. 105 x 107 in.
↑ Selected Scrapbooks, 1971-1988.
↑ Untitled, 1973. Gelatin-sliver print on document paper. 8 ¼ x 11 ¾ in. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Gregor Staiger, Zürich.
↑ Untitled, 1994. Gouache on paper. 33 x 44 ¼ in.

Walter Pfeiffer, 2022, Swiss Institute, New York, US
© Daniel Pérez

Doppio, installation view, Museum zu Allerheiligen, 2020

Orlando, installation view, McEvoy Foundation for the Arts, 2020, Courtesy McEvoy Foundation for the Arts,
© Henrik Kam

Walter Pfeiffer, installation view, galerie sultana, jan 2019 © emmanuel lagarrigue

Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins, exhibition view / vue d’exposition, Barbican Art Gallery, London, United Kingdom, 2018 © Justin Piperger

«Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars», Exhibition view, galerie Gregor Staiger, Zurich.

Paris Internationale, installation view, 2017

« Send me no Flowers », installation view, Sultana, 2016

Frieze New York with Galerie Sultana, 2015.

Galerie Sultana, Paris, 2013

« In Love with Beauty », Rétrospective Fotomuseum Winterthur, Suisse, 2011

Galerie Sultana, Paris, 2008

« Tom Burr / Walter Pfeiffer », Swiss Institute, New York, 2007.

« Plus ou moins jeunes », Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris, 2004.


Frieze London 2021. London, United Kingdom
13 Oct 2021 — 13 Oct 2021

Independent Art Fair. New York, USA
5 May 2022 — 5 May 2022


Download Full CV.


Solo Show. Swiss Institute. New York, US.
4 May 2022 — 4 May 2022

Group Show. Fotomuseum Winterthur. Winterthur, Switzerland.
26 Feb 2022 — 26 Feb 2022

Group Show. Musée Allerheiligen. Schaffhausen, Switzerland.
23 Oct 2020 — 23 Oct 2020

Solo Show. Swiss Institute. New York, US.
17 Sep 2020 — 17 Sep 2020

Group Show. McEvoy Foundation for the Arts. San Francisco, US.
7 Feb 2020 — 7 Feb 2020


walter-pfeiffer-presse.pdf (43.75 MB)