Candida Höfer

Year of birth, place
1944, Eberswalde, Germany
Role at the ZKM
in the collection
Candida Höfer was born in Eberswalde in 1944. From 1964 to 1968 she studied Photography at the Werkschulen in Cologne. She later studied at the Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf, initially Film (1973-76) under Ole John, then Photography (1976-82) under Bernd Becher. Since 1997 she has been Professor of Photography at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung, Karlsruhe. She lives in Cologne.
Candida Höfer is one of the »Düsseldorf School« that evolved around the photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher, and she shares their objective, austere visual language and their preference for projects determined by the idea of the series. Her preferred motifs have always been public buildings such as schools, museums and libraries. Since the early 1990s she has also been drawn to zoos. In this last category of her work, she shows the animals in their isolation as objects of contemplation. Each image she has produced documents a particular type of space. The human figure occurs only rarely, but the recorded interiors may be recognized as potential meeting places. Höfer always prints her photographic work in a small format and eschews elaborate technical procedures. She only uses relatively simple cameras and is prepared to accept a lesser degree of sharpness and technical brilliance in favour of greater freedom of movement and greater spontaneity.

Individual exhibitions (selection)
1975 Galerie Konrad Fischer, Düsseldorf
1979 Galerie Arno Kohnen, Düsseldorf
1982 »Öffentliche Innenräume 1979-82«, Museum Folkwang, Essen
1984 »Innenraum, Fotografien 1979-1984«, Regionalmuseum Xanten, subsequently at Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn
1988 Galerie Johnen & Schöttle, Cologne
1989 »Fotografien«, Kunstverein Bremerhaven
1992 »Räume/Spaces«, Portikus, Frankfurt/M
1993 »Photographie II - Zoologische Gärten«, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg; Kunsthalle Bern
1994 Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen
1995 Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich
1996 Sonnabend Gallery, New York; Galerie Fotomania, Rotterdam
1997 »Bilder«, Galerie Karlheinz Meyer, Karlsruhe; Galerie Johnen & Schöttle, Cologne
Group exhibitions (selection)
1976 »Nachbarschaft«, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf
1979 »In Deutschland - Aspekte gegenwärtiger Dokumentarfotografie«, Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn
1982 »Work by Young Photographers from Germany«, Art Galaxy, New York
1986 »Gursky, Höfer, Hütte«, Ausstellungsraum Brückenstraße, Düsseldorf
1988 »Klasse Bernhard Becher«, Galerie Johnen & Schöttle, Cologne
1989 »Shifting Focus«, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, anschließend Serpentine Gallery, London
1990 »Günther Förg, Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer, Thomas Ruff«, Kunstverein Ulm
1991 »Aus der Distanz«, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf
1993 »Photographie in der deutschen Gegenwartskunst«, Museum Ludwig, Cologne
1994 »Deutsche Kunst mit Photographie. Die 90er Jahre«, Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn
1995 »Surroundings«, Museum Fridericianum, Kassel
1996 »Im Kunstlicht«, Kunsthaus Zürich; »Höhepunkte zeitgenössischer Kunst aus der Sammlung Garnatz«, Städtische Galerie im Prinz-Max-Palais, Karlsruhe
1997 »German Photographs«, John Gibson Gallery, New York

[David Richardt, 1997]