Internationally renowned photographer Candida Höfer brings her signature large-format architectural photography to New York in a new exhibition. With In Mexico, Höfer tells the story of Mexican architecture through her meticulous interior photographs. As she focuses on the grandeur of spaces devoid of human activity, she invites the public the explore the rich detail and symmetry of each interior.
Throughout the course of her four-decade career, the German photographer, who studied under Bernd and Hilla Becher, has focused her energy on exploring the psychological impact of architecture. Similar to Thomas Ruff and Andreas Gursky, who also come from the Becher school, Höfer's expertise elevates her work to a level that mixes artistry and technical excellence. During her time in Mexico, Höfer honed in on the public institutions that dominate the culture. Convents, hospitals, churches, and theaters are framed on high, with a pulled back perspective that allows for both immersion in, and inspection of, the glorious details.
The photographs were shot over the course of 2015, when Höfer participated in a cultural exchange between Mexico and Germany. “Capturing over 600 years of architectural history from her precise perspective, Höfer’s photographs document not only the physical details of these interiors but also capture the spirit and essence of each space,” writes Sean Kelly, the New York gallery hosting the exhibition.
As is typical of her work, Höfer displays the architecture in a naked state, without any human presence. This purposeful creative choice allows Höfer to engage in further dialogue about the psychology of architecture. “I realized that what people do in those places—and what the spaces do to them—is more obvious when nobody is present, just as an absent guest can often become the topic of conversation,” she shared.
In Mexico by Candida Höfer is on show at Sean Kelly in New York from February 2, 2019 to March 16, 2019.