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Candida Höfer

Candida Höfer has always had a penchant for shooting interiors. As early as 1979 she began taking colour photographs of interiors of public buildings, while she was studying in Düsseldorf. This signature style of hers has since become world famous, namely because, more than mere recordings of structures and design, Candida's photographs possess both a sense of grandeur and intimacy, making them collectible artworks in themselves. Her photographs are striking large-scale works rendered in soft, atmospheric, even painterly lighting that is surprisingly serene and mesmerising. According to the New York Times, 'For more than 30 years, Ms. Höfer has been compiling her deadpan inventory of public spaces, a social catalog of architectural history. Empty and vast, these places can sometimes seem like just occasions for photographic spectacle, the pictures are often so chillingly awesome. But Ms. Höfer is a straight photographer whose humanity and improvisatory spirit come across if we are patient enough to appreciate the serendipity of her light, the subtlety of her color and the quiet, melancholy pleasure she seems to take in finding, as if almost by chance, poetry in institutional form.Her real topic is ambience, a fleeting sensation. Her challenge is to avoid both the dry architectural document and clinical abstraction. When Ms. Höfer’s work succeeds, it implies a secret world. You might say she captures the ghosts moving through these spaces, leaving their traces.' The notes accompanying her 2005 exhibition in Seoul explain that, 'Her photographs are taken from a classic straight-on frontal angle or seek a diagonal in the composition. She tends to shoot each actionless room from an elevated vantage point near one wall so that the far wall is centred within the resulting image.' Candida's photographs hang in many major collections as well as private homes and public buildings around the world. Photographs via styleintel.com Text by Bambina Olivares Wise