Influence or Coincidence: Candida Höfer

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The first article in the Influence or Coincidence series looks into the work of German photographer Candida Höfer and finds out who on Lomography comes closest to her breathtaking interior scenes.

Candida Höfer, Musee du Louvre, Paris, IX, 2005, c-print via Museo Magazine

Today, Candida Höfer photos are well known for being people-free, however, when she first began taking pictures in 1968, people were central to her work. This is mostly because she took portraits for newspapers.

Since 1979, while still studying at the Dusseldorf Academy under Bernd and Hilla Becher, Höfer began taking colour photographs of interiors of public buildings. Like fellow Becher students Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff and Thomas Struth, her work is well known for its technical perfection and strictly conceptual approach.

Candida Höfer, Teatro La Fenice di Venezia III 2011 From the series Venice, 2011 Inkjet 46.8 × 62.9 in / 120.0 × 161.2 cm Courtesy of Ben Brown Fine Arts via Real Venice

Amongst the world’s top contemporary photographers, Becher’s students are revered for their neutral and methodical treatment of subjects. Being one of them, Höfer is no different. As an architectural photographer, her work is one of systematic documentation.

Candida Höfer, Musee du Louvre Paris XII, 2005 C-print on diasec, 205 × 253 cm via Robilant Voena

To that I would also add words such as clinical and synthetic. Synthetic due to the fact that the photos are ‘staged’ in the way that they are. It is a made up ‘reality’ really. If you stop and think for a minute you’ll find it is very rare for your random person to catch a glimpse of the places Höfer has photographed in the same way she did: devoid of people.

Candida Höfer, Biblioteca América Da Universidade De Santiago De Compostela I 2010 via Art News

At first glance, her style might seem straightforward and purely documentary however, I think it is shallow to dismiss it as such.

Candida Höfer “Chatéu de Versailles II” C-Print, 2005 × 267,5 cm. Ed. 2/6 2007 via Art Facts

Here she is in her own words:


Höfer’s works have been shown at the Kunsthalle in Basel and Berne, the Louvre, and the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin. She has also represented Germany at the Venice Biennale in 2003 and participated in Documenta 11 (2002).

Candida Höfer Neues Museum Berlin XXV © Candida Höfer Courtesy Yvon Lambert via Le Mag Darqroom

But now to our fellow lomographers. Who come close/st to Höfer?
fivedayforecast and lichtblick are the runners up. Unfortunately, for fivedayforecast his library is full of people.

Credits: fivedayforecast & lichtblick

But I think tattso triumphs with this beautiful shot of the Palace of Versailles:

Credits: tattso

What’d you think? Got a shot I should have mentioned? Drop me a comment.

Information for this article were taken from Candida Höfer on Wikipedia, Museum of Contemporary Photography, and Real Venice.

Influence or Coincidence by Fabrizio Soler is all about how very often, one thing reminds of something else, and how some photos on Lomography recall those of well-established, world-class photographers.

written by webo29 on 2012-01-25 in #lifestyle

3 Comments

  1. webo29
    webo29 ·

    @fivedayforecast and @lichtblick and @tattso :)

  2. tattso
    tattso ·

    thanks for featuring my shot!

  3. lichtblick
    lichtblick ·

    never heard about candida höfer, but i love the photos.

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