Candida Höfer: Memory and Renewal

Candida Höfer, Observations, comes to Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne. A selection of new dye transfer prints, as developed in collaboration with the gallery, are juxtaposed with recent large-scale colour images of interiors. The artist is recognised as one of the most significant contemporary practitioners in Germany today, following her participation in both documenta 11 and the Venice Biennale. Höfer explores the aesthetics of photographed spaces, a notion informed by visual memory and an interest in how people shape their environments. This concept is manifested in her work through her respectful distance and meticulous compositions, her work since the 1980s encompassing libraries, museums, and opera houses. As oppose to focusing on the cultural and public nature of the spaces, the artist explores rather the inner structures, the absence of people in her images work to preserve, represent and mediate on the forms of the buildings.

The exhibition showcases work from 2003 to 2016, featuring pieces that are surprisingly minimalist, taken of the interiors of Neuer Stahlhof and the Schmela Haus in Düsseldorf- each of the photos are taken following an architectural alteration, marking the transitions and continuities of cultural memory.  The images go beyond their initial opulent colourfulness, to central perspectives of halls and castles, with characteristic sections of the space portrayed in shades of off-white and grey. The arrangements and palette work to capture the objective building style, documenting the change from the functional to the material.

Observations is at Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne, until 4 February. For more information:

Follow us @Aestheticamag for contemporary art and culture.

1. Candida Höfer: Observations. Courtesy of Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne.