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Candida Höfer: Architecture Of Absence Hardcover – June 15, 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Aperture; First edition (June 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931788480
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931788489
  • Product Dimensions: 11.7 x 9.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,466,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Seen as a collection, her rhythmically patterned images present a universe of interiors wholly constructed by human intention, unearthing patterns of order, by their now absent creators and inhabitants. Architecture of Absence examines Höfer's unique oeuvre and the relationship of her architecture work to that of the 'Becher Circle' - noted students of the Dusseldorf Academy's renowned professor Bernd Becher, including Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth, Andreas Gursky, and Axel Hutte." --HotShoe International

"The drive toward immaculate order in all this work is haunting." -- The Chicago Tribune

"In interviews, Höfer has said that she's attracted to the beauty and symmetry of her subjects: she likes libraries for the way the books stack up, the shapes they make, not for their social meaning... [but] no matter how hard you try to look at the pictures as pure patterning or color, they still speak of our odd rituals for collecting, preserving, and celebrating scraps of culture. The books in her photographs may be closed, but they are still books, which makes Höfer more of a cultural historian than she'll ever admit." -- Jori Finkel --Photo District News

"Höfer uses emptiness, along with light, composition, and depth of field, as a formal element in her photographs. Objective documentary photography? Why settle for that, when a quick read between the lines reveals so much more." --Departures

About the Author

Candida Höfer studied photography under Bernd Becher from 1976 until 1982. Since 1975 she has had solo exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout Europe and the United States, including the Hamburger Kunsthalle, Germany; the Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland; the Centre Photographique d'Ile de France; Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco; Johnen & Schottle, Cologne; and Sonnabend Gallery, New York.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous on March 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As with other Becher students, Hofer's images are captivating because of their expansiveness and detail - neither of which are reflected in the layout of this book. The images are tiny for no apparent reason. This effectively reduces Hofer's amazing work to a series of oversized postage stamps.

Unless the design is intended as a tongue-in-cheek acknowledgment of the title, this dilettante overview is a miserable failure.

I suggest purchasing Candida Hofer, A Monograph. It is large, bold and a substantial compendium of her work.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on December 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The collaborative work of Constance W. Glenn, Mary-Kay Lombino, and Virginia Heckert, Candida Hofer: Architecture Of Absence is a spectacular full-color monograph featuring the photos of Candida Hofer, who has taken snapshots of cultural centers such as libraries, museums, theaters, cafes, waiting rooms, universities, and churches for over thirty years. The images reveal structures created to gather, organize, and perpetuate human purpose. An introductory essay guides the reader through the photographer's intent and efforts in capturing such locations on film, but the majority of Candida Hofer: Architecture Of Absence is simply devoted to the sweeping images themselves - empty of people at the time the picture is taken, yet showing rows of seats or broad hallways just waiting to be filled. This is an exceptional and welcome addition to architectural as well as photography collections.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful By FrizzText on October 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A quiet humor wanders like a ghost through the laconic photos of Candida Höfer -- no people can be seen but via the devices of the rooms, libraries, hotels, halls, museums, canteens -- one can suspect still the existence of human beings indirectly. With a similar humor understanding the physicist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg once wrote: "If the posterity of the year 35.000 (or another planet's class of sensible nature) would find a lady suit completely undone and if they wanted to determine the figure of the ladies who would have been covered with that, -- what figure would come out?" The aesthetic experiments of the German Photographer Candida Höfer activate such associations. One of her book publications is entitled "Room Monuments" (of course without any human being). Before the beginning of her studies (learning from the renowned professors Bernd and Hilla Becher in Duesseldorf, Germany) Candida Höfer had taken photographs of Turkish fellow citizens in business, tea-rooms and parks. The people then disappeared from her photos. Was this the bad influence of her studies with the married couple Bernd and Hilla Becher, who had photographed only the industry architecture of the German Ruhr district maniacally (stubbornly ignoring all that connections between Nazi-politicians and steel-industry, around Hitler and Krupp, Goebbels and Thyssen) ? Or is there hiding a shock, Candida Höfer experienced, as the role of her father, Werner Höfer, a famous TV-talkmaster in the 1960's, was criticized by investigating journalists, checking his own role in the Nazi-era? Did this chase the daughter in a kind of social phobia?Read more ›
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