January 25 – April 17, 2005
For over thirty years, Candida Höfer has been photographing rooms in public places that are centers of cultural life, such as libraries, museums, theatres, cafés, universities, and historic houses and palaces. Among the unique aspects of Höfer’s work is the fact that typically the people who would inhabit these spaces are absent, thus enabling her to discover in the spaces what she describes as an “almost magical presence of things.” The University Art Museum is pleased to present Candida Höfer: Architecture of Absence, the artist’s first major museum survey in the United States, in conjunction with the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida.
In looking at Höfer’s work, the viewer can revel in the exquisite detail of her meticulously composed images, which are infused with the richness and vibrancy of implied human activity. Whether they display symmetrical bookshelves at a national library or the lobby of a trendy hotel, Höfer’s images ask us to conduct a distanced examination through the window she has created. Seen as a group, her rhythmically patterned images present a universe of interiors wholly constructed by human intention, unearthing the patterns of order, logic, and disruption imposed on these spaces by their now absent creators and inhabitants.