Sizes 26 x 28 cm
Pages 272 | 209 images | English edition
Publisher Thames & Hudson | 2003
After training at the Kunstakademie in Dusseldorf, Candida Höfer studied photography with Bernd and Hilla Becher from 1976 to 1982.
The influence of the precise, scientifically minded Bechers (under whom Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth and Thomas Ruff also studied), is very apparent in Höfer's work. Her images are predominantly of public spaces – libraries, auditoriums, lobbies, museums, club houses.
Höfer's recent photographs present a systematic study of rooms in various libraries, some modern and institutional, others centuries old and grand. Her straightforward and detached style seems at first objective and purely documentary, but is ultimately overtaken by incongruous elements and the mimetic nature of her subject matter.
People are noticeably absent from her highly formal images. Instead, Höfer emphasizes repeated forms within the rooms such as chairs, tables, bookshelves and light fixtures to create patterns and produce a sense of orderliness. However, despite their conspicuous absence, it is people in whom Höfer is most interested; our culture and lifestyle are reflected in the architecture and interiors we create.
Text: Michael Krüger