Scrapbooks 1969-1985 – Walter Pfieffer

Scrapbooks offers a unique insight into the early workings of an oddball artist. A brick of a book at 460 pages, this lavish publication romps through 16 years worth of kitsch, crazy and profane visual diaries compiled by Pfieffer long before he began any formal career in photography. Graphic and playful, each page serves up a kooky collection of curiosities and idiosyncratic ephemera compiled by the Swiss hobbyist during the 70s and 80s. Energetic early Polaroids sit alongside pasted post cards, pornographic clippings, biscuit packaging, toy tank advertisements and crayon scrawled annotations. Each page pops out at the viewer with an infectious joie de vivre and makes it easy to understand the influence Pfieffer would go on to have on so many photographers in the art world. Quirky, colour coordinated and kleptomaniacal, above all Scrapbooks conveys a record of its time experienced in a mode of childlike wonder. 

Patrick Frey 

£93 / 460pp / November 2012

ISBN 978-3905929256

Reviewed by Holly Lucas
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