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Pierre Huyghe: The Artist as Director Ocula Conversation Pierre Huyghe: The Artist as Director

Pierre Huyghe is a producer of spectacular and memorable enigmas, with works that function more like mirages than as objects. Abyssal Plain (2015–ongoing), his contribution to the 2015 Istanbul Biennial, curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, was installed on the seabed of the Marmara Sea, some 20 metres below the surface of the water and close to...

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MoMA Expansion: Once the Modern, Always the Modern Ocula Report MoMA Expansion: Once the Modern, Always the Modern 29 Nov 2019 : Mohammad Salemy for Ocula

In the early decades of its existence, New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), founded in 1929, transformed from a philanthropic project modestly housed in a few rooms of the Heckscher Building on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, to an alleged operating node in the United States' cultural struggle during the cold war, and one of the...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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Candida Höfer

b. 1944, Germany

Candida Höfer is a contemporary German photographer known for her large colour photographs of interior spaces. The photographs focus on symmetry, the architecture's sense of scale, and proportion.

Höfer studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf from 1973 to 1982, first in film with the Danish filmmaker Ole John, then photography with Bernd and Hilla Becher. The Bechers' influential ethos—characterised by an emphasis on formal qualities and emotional detachment—was absorbed by Höfer and her fellow students, among them Thomas Struth, Axel Hütte, and Thomas Ruff.

Like her teachers, who were masters of black-and-white photography, Höfer initially shunned colour. An early work, Flipper (1973) is a large photo-collage of 47 gelatin silver prints depicting pinball machines, captured with players or isolated in arcades and pubs. However, while working on her 'Türken in Deutschland' (Turks in Germany) series (1973–1979) documenting the life of Turkish migrant families in their new German homes, Höfer began to use colour, finding it more suitable than monochrome.

During Höfer's experiences working with migrants she became interested in the way people construct and engage with their environment, and how it affects their lives. The artist's subject matter shifted from people to public spaces, such as the vast interiors of cultural and institutional buildings like libraries, museums, hotels, banks, opera houses, zoological gardens, and palaces. Many of Höfer's large-scale colour photographs have been taken in European and North American cities like Düsseldorf, Naples, Venice, Florence, St. Petersburg, and Philadelphia.

Höfer's images are typically empty of people, paying special attention to accentuating each space's architectural qualities. A rare exception is Stiftsbibliothek St. Gallen I (2001), which shows a vertical, interior view of the Abbey Library of St. Gallen, Switzerland, from a raised vantage point. Anonymous visitors are seen roaming throughout the ground floor. Here, however, the artist used long exposure times to make the moving individuals appear blurry, abstract, and ephemeral compared to the library's hard walls and bookshelves.

In 2015, Höfer travelled to Mexico as part of the Dual Year exchange programme between Mexico and Germany to document historic and contemporary architecture there. The resulting works—later shown in the solo exhibition In Mexico at Sean Kelly, New York (2019)—include the Hospicio Cabañas in Guadalajara, which is a UNESCO World Heritage building that was erected in the 19th century. The artist photographed various passages, rooms, open doors, and nooks that she encountered, capturing a sense of classical beauty.

Höfer's works are in the permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Kunsthalle Basel; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Tate Modern, London, among others. In 2003, she represented Germany alongside Martin Kippenberger at the 50th Venice Biennale; in 2018, she was awarded the Sony World Photography Awards' award for Outstanding Contribution to Photography.

Höfer lives and works in Cologne.

Biography by Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2019
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Featured Artworks

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Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Candida Höfer, Candida Höfer: Showing and Seeing at Ben Brown Fine Arts, London
Open Now
28 November 2019–25 January 2020 Candida Höfer Candida Höfer: Showing and Seeing Ben Brown Fine Arts, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, For Mario at Tina Kim Gallery, New York
Closed
28 June–23 August 2019 Group Exhibition For Mario Tina Kim Gallery, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Candida Höfer, Candida Höfer - In Mexico at Sean Kelly, New York
Closed
2 February–16 March 2019 Candida Höfer Candida Höfer - In Mexico Sean Kelly, New York

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In Ocula Magazine

Top 5 booths at Art Busan 2016 Ocula Report Top 5 booths at Art Busan 2016 31 May 2016 : Angela Suh for Ocula

Located a stones throw from the famed Haeundae Beach, popularised in Korean cinema and countless K-dramas, Art Busan 2016 conveyed a leisurely air brought on by the first warm days of spring. Now in its fifth edition, the fair has grown into a sizeable event showcasing some of the best works in the region. With over 190 participating galleries...

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Phong Bui Ocula Conversation Phong Bui Curator, 'Bloodflames Revisited'

In March 2014, a show opened at Paul Kasmin Gallery titled Alexander the Great: The Iolas Gallery 1955–1987, which celebrated the legendary gallerist Alexander Iolas, who was among the first to introduce American audiences to Surrealism and who gave Andy Warhol his first gallery exhibition (and, coincidentally, also his last in 1987). The...

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Photography Or Not: A Report From The Düsseldorf Photo Weekend Ocula Report Photography Or Not: A Report From The Düsseldorf Photo Weekend 19 Feb 2014 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

People are always surprised when I say Düsseldorf is a cool city. But come on: the legacy of the Düsseldorf Art Academy (aka. the Kunstakademie) is enough, even without factoring in the 19th century Düsseldorf School of Painting, or the 20th century Düsseldorf School of Photography spearheaded by the Bechers and developed by their students...

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In Related Press

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Candida Höfer Takes Her Expansive Lens to Mexico Related Press Candida Höfer Takes Her Expansive Lens to Mexico Hyperallergic : 31 October 2019

Candida Höfer's photographs are so geometric and so precise that they can appear slightly uncanny, leaving viewers vaguely unsettled. Her work has been described as a 'deadpan inventory of public spaces,' 'chillinglingly awesome,' containing a 'hostility ... that is bracing,' and possessing a 'classical concept of beauty.' These characterizations...

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Candida Höfer's In Mexico photographs capture 600 years of architecture Related Press Candida Höfer's In Mexico photographs capture 600 years of architecture Dezeen : 21 January 2019

From decorative Baroque churches to shadowy nooks, Mexico's architectural history is presented in this image set by German photographer Candida Höfer, which will be exhibited in Sean Kelly's New York gallery.

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A German artist with an interior sensibility: Photographer Candida Höfer has a solo show at the Kukje Gallery Related Press A German artist with an interior sensibility: Photographer Candida Höfer has a solo show at the Kukje Gallery Korea JoongAng Daily : 13 August 2018

Candida Höfer, 74, one of the biggest names in contemporary photography, is best known for photographs of interiors of public buildings such as libraries, museums and theaters without human presence in them.

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'You always find something different': Sir Elton John on his love of photography Related Press 'You always find something different': Sir Elton John on his love of photography Christie's : 14 March 2017

‘A photograph brings me so much joy, they’re beautiful objects,’ says Sir Elton John, discussing a remarkable collection of 25 works by some of the world’s greatest photographers, to be offered at Christie’s in New York on 6 April 2017. Proceeds from the sale of these works will benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), an international...

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In Video & Audio

For Mario Related Video & Audio For Mario Tina Kim Gallery : 18 July 2019

Curator Adam Charlap Hyman (of Charlap Hyman & Herrero) discusses the overarching theme of For Mario.

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