Following in the footsteps of her teachers, photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher, who also taught such iconic photographers as Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, and Thomas Struth, Höfer takes pictures that immortalize these architectural spaces. Her majestic large-scale photographs capture with absolute symmetry the elegance and the design of these spaces, many of which encapsulate the psychology attributed to empty public and institutional spaces. Meticulously composed, her images are symmetrically positioned either in the center of these rooms or alternatively along a diagonal to best reveal the internal architectural structure of the chosen space. Preferring spaces that contain an element of architectural or institutional history such as libraries or in our example palaces, Höfer explores through her photographs the built environment and how it affects the human experience—what spaces do for us and to us. Despite the symmetry and accuracy of these shots, there is an overriding sense of emptiness or loss, often as the use or significance of these spaces has changed over time.
“I wanted to capture how people behave in public bulidings…it became apparent to me that what people do in these spaces—and what these spaces do to them—is clearer when no one is present, just as an absent guest is often the subject of a conversation.”
The German photographer Candida Höfer is renowned in the contemporary art scene for her large-scale photographs of opulent interiors. Her examples are almost exclusively devoid of any kind of life. Casa Rosada Buenos Aires I documents the design and grandeur of the mansion that serves as the executive office of the President of Argentina. Höfer is familiar with the city and has photographed many of its significant landmarks, including the Teatro Colón. She was the guest of honor at the thirteenth edition of Buenos Aires Photo in 2017.
Kukje Gallery, Seoul
Private Collection, acquired from the above