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The Best Of The Modern Sybarite – The Past through the Eyes of Candida Höfer

candida hoefer photography

If you’ve been reading me for some time, you know I have a tremendous love and appreciation for the arts and design of the past, particularly if one can strike a good balance with the arts of our lifetime to make our comfortable modern lifestyle meaningful.  So it’s no secret that prodigious Cologne-based photographer Candida Höfer is one of my all time favorite artists.

Candida studied under Bern Becher and shares that common bond with Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff and Andreas Gursky, all of whom are maestros of large format interior photography.  What distinguishes Candida from the rest of her peers is her technical perfection, saturated colors and extraordinary detail of the EMPTY social spaces she is photographing – be it a museum, library or opera house – capturing, if you will, the forgotten essence of a room. It’s as if she is branding the buildings anew, giving them a 21st century status that many have lost over the years because of our contemporary indifference to our historical past and our present enthusiastic fascination with the modern works of superstar architects and designers from Santiago Calatrava to Philippe Starck.

 candida hoefer photography

While her straight front angle approach is stunningly modern, it remains hauntingly chilly and detached.  Perhaps it’s her way of revealing the beauty of the details in the structure at their purest, forcing the viewer to appreciate these without being subconsciously distracted by other elements such as the angle of the shot, lighting in the room and people in the space.  I totally say, thumbs up!

image credits: © Candida Höfer.  The artists is represented by the Sonnabend Gallery, New York; the Yvon Lambert Gallery, Paris; the Johnen Galerie, Berlin; and the Kukje Gallery, Seoul. (top) Salone di Castel Capuano, Naples; (bottom) Trinity College Library, Dublin

The Modern Sybarite

Interior Designer, art advisor and blogger, Richard Rabel brings fresh perspectives on art + design for today’s interior in his blog TheModernSybarite.

Based in New York City, Richard is consistently asked by his clients for advice on art, design and decoration and ultimately provides clients with livable, warm and unique interiors that reflect a 21st century lifestyle based on his rich experience in fine and decorative art of all periods.

A multi-linguist with a ten-year career as a senior director and specialist with Christie’s, the London-based global auction house, Richard has lived in seven countries and has had access to some of the most exquisite and exclusive spaces.  From San Francisco to Mexico City, Sao Paulo to Geneva, Istanbul to Delhi and Sydney to Shanghai, the breadth of his travels has cultivated his eye and contributed to defining his exacting taste and modern aesthetic.
The Modern Sybarite

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/N7W2323YSF4KJQCOIGMOPCE4JQ Todd

    Love Hoffer’s work.  So magestic and grand.  Great way to make a statement in a room! 


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