German wallpaper manufacturers have been commissioning renowned artists to design wallpapers for many years, and this practice became especially prominent in the post-war period. In the early 1970s, the Marburg Wallpaper Company approached a diverse group of international artists to create wallpaper designs that would reflect the taste of the time. The company wanted to produce wallpaper that would be ornamental in itself and not act as a background for other objects. The artists were each commissioned to design a wallpaper that reflected the style of work they had become known for.

Wunderlich was a German painter, sculptor, and graphic artist and is known for his Surrealist paintings and erotic sculptures. He studied printmaking at the Landeskunstschule in Hamburg and became known at a master lithographer. During the early 1960s, he began working with figural studies, and created many surreal lithographs of distorted or dismembered bodies set within austere interior settings, which became his characteristic style.

Shadow-folds presents an interesting perspective on drapery papers which historically have shown realistic renderings of elegantly appointed curtains. Wallpapers depicting draperies first became fashionable between 1810-1830 and simulated all manner of pleated and swagged fabrics. They were frequently flocked to better suggest a silk velvet fabric, and were often accompanied with trompe l’oeil strung pearls, plumes, and architectural moldings. The three-dimensional affect could be quite convincing. Depending on the period when they were produced, the designs could also be highly stylized and flattened. While this genre of wallpaper typically dazzles the viewer’s eye with the drapery folds, these folds are not usually created by the impression of a woman’s chest, as seen here.

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