Candida Höfer is a photographer known for her large-format images of architectural interiors, which address the psychological environment of social and cultural institutions by acknowledging how public spaces are designed to accommodate and inform the public.
Candida was born in 1944 in Cologne and after completing studies at the Cologne Werkschule, she enrolled in the Düsseldorf School of Art, where she was taught by Bernd and Hilla Becher, heavily influenced by the formal qualities of the austere documentary photography they endorsed. In 1968, she began working for newspapers as a portrait photographer, producing a series on Liverpudlian poets.
After completing her training at the Schmölz-Huth Studio, Candida Höfer began studying under the influential photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher in 1976, the teachers of other noted Dusseldorf School photographers including Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, Axel Hütte and Thomas Ruff. Höfer''s work became internationally recognized in the 1980’s, and her subject matter expanded to include a myriad of places rooted in cultural formation and preservation, including museums, libraries, universities, theaters, civic centers, and historic sites.
Höfer specializes in large-format photographs of empty interiors and social spaces that capture the "psychology of social architecture". 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 centered within the resulting image.
She has held numerous solo exhibitions throughout Europe and the United States, and her work has been included in several group shows at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Documenta XI in Kassel, and the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. In 2003, Höfer represented Germany in the Venice Biennale with fellow compatriot, Martin Kippenberger.
She lives and works in Cologne, Germany.