Candida Höfer is a German artist working with photography. From 1973 to 1982 she had studied at the Art Academy Düsseldorf first studying Film with Ole John, before joining Bernd Becher's first Photography class. Also, in Düsseldorf, she had her first solo gallery exhibition at Konrad Fischer Gallery in 1975.
Her early work Candida Höfer addresses the visual changes in German society brought about by migrant workers from Turkey. This subject raised her interest in the impact of the built environment on people. She turned to public and semi-public spaces ranging from waiting rooms at railway stations, and such diverse spaces as spas, libraries, museums, zoological gardens, banks, opera houses, and theatres, some of them well-known spectacular cultural icons, others everyday architecture that we may pass without noticing. She also realized that paradoxically the impacts of architecture are most intensely present when people are not in the image. Her photographs investigate the forms and structures of spaces, as well as their details. She examines the contradictions between intention and actual use, as well as the layers of historical change. This approach leads her to very personal portraits of spaces. The images invite us to take time to discover and reflect upon what spaces do to us and what we do to spaces. In her later more abstract work Candida Höfer is focusing on the importance of detail and its role in the aesthetic construction and perception of space. For the presentation of her work Candida Höfer not only uses traditional photography in various sizes adjusted to the demands of composition, but she also shows her work in projections recalling her early involvement in film and her appreciation of image sequences, an approach she also takes in her book publications which she sees as exhibition spaces ordered sequentially.
Candida Höfer's work is shown in museums like the Kunsthalle Basel, Kunsthalle Bern, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Power Plant, Toronto, the Kunsthaus Bregenz, the Museum Ludwig, Cologne and Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf as well as the Landesgalerie Linz, Austria, and the Kunstmuseum Luzerne, Switzerland, among many others. In 2002 Candida Höfer participated in documenta 11 and in 2003 she represented Germany at the Venice Biennale (together with the late Martin Kippenberger).