Candida Höfer

Candida Höfer (b. 1944) is a Cologne, Germany-based photographer and a former student of Bernd and Hilla Becher. Like other Becher students – Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth – Höfer's work is known for technical perfection and a strictly conceptual approach. From 1997 to 2000, she taught as professor at the Hochschule für Gestaltung, Karlsruhe.

Born in Eberswalde, Province of Brandenburg, Candida Höfer is a daughter of the German journalist Werner Höfer. In 1968, she began working for newspapers as a portrait photographer and, from 1970, as an assistant to Werner Bokelberg. She later attended the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf from 1973 to 1982, where she studied film under Ole John and, from 1976, photography under Bernd Becher. Along with Thomas Ruff, she was one of the first of Becher’s students to use color, showing her work as slide projections.

Höfer began taking color photographs of interiors of public buildings, such as offices, banks, and waiting rooms, in 1979 while studying in Düsseldorf. Her breakthrough to fame came with a series of photographs showing guest workers in Germany, after which she concentrated on the subjects "Interiors", "Rooms" and "Zoological Gardens". Höfer specialises in large-format photographs of empty interiors and social spaces that capture the "psychology of social architecture". Her photographs are taken from a classic straight-on frontal angle or seek a diagonal in the composition. She tends to shoot each actionless room from an elevated vantage point near one wall so that the far wall is centered within the resulting image. From her earliest creations, she has been interested in representing public spaces such as museums, libraries, national archives, or opera houses devoid of all human presence. Höfer’s imagery has consistently focused on these depopulated interiors since the 1980s. Höfer groups her photographs into series that have institutional themes as well as geographical ones, but the formal similarity among her images is their dominant organizing principle. (Source: Wikipedia)


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