Candida Höfer was born in 1944 in Eberswalde, Germany. From 1963 to 1964, she worked as a volunteer in the Fotoatelier Schmülz-Huth in Cologne, and from 1964 to 1968 she studied at the Kölner Werkschulen. She began working for newspapers as a portrait photographer in 1968, producing a series on Liverpudlian poets. From 1970 to 1972, she studied daguerreotypes while working at the Werner Bokelberg studio in Hamburg. She enrolled at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf to study film in 1973, but made the transition to photography in 1976, becoming Bernd Becher’s student until 1982. Along with Thomas Ruff, she was one of the first of Becher’s students to use colour, showing her work as slide projections.
Since 1980, in her ongoing Räume (Spaces) series, Höfer has concentrated on public spaces inside libraries, hotels, museums, concert halls, palaces, and other buildings. The series Zoologische Garten (1990–92), despite the absence of people in its images, is about the ways in which people are directed and contained by architecture.
Höfer’s first solo exhibition was in 1975 at the Konrad Fischer Galerie in Düsseldorf. Since then, she has had numerous solo shows at such venues as the Museum Folkwang in Essen (1982), Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn (1984), Galerie de l’École des Beaux-Arts in Valenciennes, France (1994), Centro de Fotografía at the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain (1998), Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago (2000), Kunsthalle Nürnberg (2000), Kunsthalle Bremen (2003), Musée du Louvre in Paris (2006), and Kunsthaus Hamburg (2007). She has appeared in group shows such as Nachbarschaft at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (1976); German Photography: Documentation and Introspection at Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Connecticut (1990); Giovani Artisti Tedeschi at Centro d’Arte Contemporanea in Turin (1995); Ex Libris at Bibliothéque Nationale de France in Paris (1998); Minimalismos: Un Signo de los Tiempos at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid (2001); Documenta 11 (2002); Moving Pictures at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (2003); and Venice Biennale (2003). She lives and works in Cologne.
|2000 Deutsches Hygiene-Museum Dresden III|
|2000 Spiegelkantine Hamburg III|
|2004 Fundación Marcelino Botin Santander V|
|2005 Collegium Helveticum ETH Zurich|
|2005 Fundacao Bienal de Sao Paulo XI|
|2005 Musée du Louvre Paris XII|
|2005 Palacio do Planalto Brasilia IV|
|2005 Palacio Nacional da Ajuda, Lisboa VII|
|2006 Neues Museum Weimar I|
|2006 Omroepgebouw Flagey V|
|2006 Paleis voor Schone Kunsten I|
|2007 Beth Shalom Synagogue Philadelhia I|
|2007 Masonic Temple Philadelphia I|
|2008 Palazzo Medici-Ricarrdi Firenze I|
|2008 Uffizi Firenze V|
|2009 Cuvilliés-Theater München IV|
|2009 Del Palacio St. Emmeran Regensburg XXVIII|
|Palacio Queluz, Potugal|
|Teatro Colon Buenos Aires I|