Candida Höfer : Neues Museum Berlin
02 March – 14 April 2012
Johnen Galerie presents the series of photographs Neues Museum Berlin by Candida Höfer (b. 1944 in Eberswalde, Germany), executed in 2009 before the reopening of the museum that is famous for being the home of Nefertiti. This is the first time that these works can be seen in Germany. The work of Candida Höfer is internationally renowned and numerous exhibitions such as documenta 11, the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennial in 2003 and solo and group exhibitions in distinguished museums around the world confirm her relevance today. The gallery shows her photographs of the Neues Museum Berlin alongside paintings by Raimer Jochims (b. 1935 in Kiel). Both artists share a conceptual approach to their work, an unconventional handling of artistic media and the interest in space. Candida Höfer focuses on the documentation and the archive, while Raimer Jochims concentrates on the expressive effect of color fields in the exhibition space. The result is a juxtaposition of means, both applied with great precision: on one hand those of an old medium such as painting, on the other hand of the relatively new artistic medium photography. The subtly changing, meditative color space in Jochims’ paintings is in contrast to the archival clarity and plainness of Höfer’s works.
‘In spring 2009 Candida Höfer visited the Neues Museum in Berlin several times and photographed the results of the restoration work, carried out under the guidance of David Chipperfield, on the building so severely damaged in the war. These photographs in the present publication mainly show the rooms after their completion and before the exhibits of the collections are installed. Captured is a brief moment in the history of this neo-classical building, a moment where it has yet to resume its function of serving the presentation of art; instead, in these pictures we are able to observe it in its pure form. The photographer has supported this direct presence of the architecture by employing solely the daylight available. Any artificial lighting to be used in presenting the artworks was switched off. Dipped in mellow daylight, the results are photographs of interiors as aesthetic objects, which we will never be able to see again in this pure form, liberated momentarily from their purpose, once the museum reopens its doors to the public.’
Quoted from: Thomas Weski: Über die Darstellung hinaus. pp. 205-228. In: Nys, Rik; Reichert, Martin: Neues Museum Berlin, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König 2009, p. 211.
Candida Höfer’s photographs are represented in the world’s most important museum collections: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin; Tate Modern, London, to name just a few. Candida Höfer lives and works in Köln.