A man who played a leading role on the Milanese scene, Klaus Zaugg (Solothurn, 1937-94) was an interesting figure in the realm of fashion and commercial photography at a time when the creative input of the photographer was growing increasingly predominant. The collection comprises materials covering the entire period from his years at the Art School in Zürich (late fifties: black-and-white prints of graphic subjects in which he employed techniques like stills, line reproductions, double exposures and chemigrams) up until his death.
At the end of the sixties he began to work as a commercial photographer, doing advertising campaigns for major clothing and furniture manufacturers as well as the best-known automakers and other prominent Italian industries. In parallel he conducted his own research centered on the study of the female body, often photographed full-length and nude, both in the studio and outdoors, and on portraits of celebrities in the world of movies and culture (Erica Jong, Federico Fellini, Susanna Agnelli). In 1976 he realized a reportage on the set of Federico Fellini’s film Casanova. Again in the seventies and beyond he collaborated with prominent architects and designers, including Gaetano Pesce.
The whole of his work is permeated by a marked feeling for the abstract and the surreal, culminating in his maturity in two works produced under very different circumstances: on the one hand Klaustrofobia (1990), an extraordinary exploration of himself and his fantasies by means of the self-portrait; and on the other the advertising campaign for Swatch, in which the watch was transformed and deformed in an analysis of the relationship between the human being and time. The pictures used in the campaign were shown at the exhibition L’ora of Zaugg (1992).