For over thirty years, German artist Candida Höfer has been photographing rooms in public places that are centers of cultural life, such as libraries, museums, theatres, cafés, universities, and historic houses and palaces. Among the unique aspects of Höfer’s work is the fact that typically the people who would inhabit these spaces are absent, thus enabling her to discover in the spaces what she describes as an “almost magical presence of things.”
In looking at Höfer’s work, the viewer can revel in the exquisite detail of her meticulously composed images, which are infused with the richness and vibrancy of implied human activity. Whether they display symmetrical bookshelves at a national library or the lobby of a trendy hotel, Höfer’s images ask us to conduct a distanced examination through the window she has created. Moved by the uncommonly beautiful aspects of her depiction of interior architecture, one becomes intensely aware of a precisely conceived environment imbued with light and order. Seen as a group, her rhythmically patterned images present a universe of interiors wholly constructed by human intention, unearthing the patterns of order, logic, and disruption imposed on these spaces by their now absent creators and inhabitants.
“Ms. Höfer is a straight photographer whose humanity and improvisatory spirit come across if we are patient enough to appreciate the serendipity of her light, the subtlety of her color and the quiet, melancholy pleasure she seems to take in finding, as if almost by chance, poetry in institutional form.”
Michael Kimmelman, art critic, The New York Times
Candida Höfer is an internationally renowned artist who has exhibited extensively throughout Europe and the US