Candida Höfer, Memory, Ben Brown Fine Arts, London

Ben Brown Fine Arts presents the critically acclaimed exhibition, Memory, from Candida Höfer’s (b.1944) latest series. Previously at the Russian State Hermitage Museum and available to view until 27 November, the sophisticated photographic show exposes over 10 meticulously selected works displayed for the first time in the UK. Höfer’s artistic exertion primarily focuses on mankind’s heroism through astonishing buildings and architecture, capturing the atmospheric ostentation of St Petersburg.

Monumental buildings such as the Hermitage Museum, Pushkin Palace, Catherine Palace Pushkin, Mariinsky Theatre, as well as the palaces of Pavlovsk and Yusupov theatre provide the remarkable setting for Memory. Gaining widespread recognition, Höfer also delicately captures and documents breathtaking empty interiors of opera houses and libraries associated with cultural memory and people. However, the persistent devoid of human presence is exquisitely notable. She notes: “an absent guest is often the subject of a conversation” allowing public, yet intimate architecture to speak for itself. Producing large format photographs through long exposure and existing light source, she constructs striking visuals without the aid of digital enhancement or alteration, allowing the sense of space and civilised order to still be present.

Höfer is respectively recognised by German photographic duo, The Bechers, embodying the black and white clinical, documentary style they hold, while at the same time applying a more sympathetic approach towards the buildings cultural history with colour prints. Ben Brown Fine Arts has honourably presented Höfer’s work for over a decade, with the gallery’s first show entitled Libraries. Other solo exhibitions previously featured are Palaces, Theatres, Churches and a Casino (2007), In Italy Part I: Florence (2009), and In Italy Part II: Naples (2009) as well as A Return to Italy (2013) and Villa Borghese (2014).

Candida Höfer, Memory, Ben Brown Fine Arts, until 27 November, London.

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1. Candida Höfer, Hermitage St. Petersburg VIII 2014, C-print, 180 x 226 cm; (70 7/8 x 89 in). Edition of 6. Courtesy of Ben Brown Fine Arts.