May 3–Jul 30, 2006

Candida Höfer: Architecture of Absence

Candida Höfer: Architecture of Absence,2006, installation view, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania.

This exhibition surveys over 30 years of work. It consists of 38 chromogenic prints all of which have been borrowed directly from the artist’s studio and her gallery in Cologne. It includes iconic works that have never been shown in the United States as well as the artist’s recent and ongoing projects.

Candida Höfer photographs rooms in public places that are centers of cultural life, such as libraries, museums, theaters, cafés, universities, as well as historic houses and palaces. Each meticulously composed space is marked with the richness of human activity, yet largely devoid of human presence. Whether it be a photograph of a national library or a hotel lobby, Höfer’s images ask us to conduct a distanced, disengaged examination through the window she has created. Not purely architectural photographs, her rhythmically patterned images present a universe of interiors constructed by human intention, unearthing patterns of order, logic, and disruption imposed on these spaces by absent creators and inhabitants. Her photos of ornate, baroque interiors achieve images with extreme clarity and legibility while the camera maintains an observant distance, never getting too close to its subject.

This exhibition travelled to Museum of Art, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah and Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, Tennessee.
Hofer 1Hofer 2Hofer 3

"*Candida Höfer: Architecture of Absence* is coorganized by the University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach, and the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida. In addition to these two venues, the exhibition tour, which extends through 2007, includes the Frye Art Museum, Seattle; the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; the Museum of Art, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; and the Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, Tennessee. The exhibition is funded, in part, by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen e.V. in Stuttgart, Germany.rnrnICA is grateful for the generous support of The Honickman Foundation. Additional support has been provided by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The Dietrich Foundation Inc., the Overseers Board for the Institute of Contemporary Art, friends and members of ICA, and the University of Pennsylvania. ICA is also grateful for inkind support from Loews Philadelphia Hotel."