The latest Town and Country magazine has a spread on the gorgeous house of Cosima von Bulow. Her living room is especially beautiful, with its cranberries and blues. But it’s the photograph over the sofa that really got my attention. Taken by Candida Hofer – she is the hottest thing in upscale decorating according to the design magazines out this month. I counted three of her photos used by different designers just this month alone. When was the last time that happened?
Here’s #2 - in October’s Elle Décor – Frederic Fekkai’s dining room featured a photograph by Candida Hofer, interior design by Robert Couturier. Notice how large the photographs are. In recent years, Hofer’s photographs have gotten bigger and bigger.
And #3, in the latest Veranda, this apartment by Timothy Whealon featured a Candida Hofer photograph on the landing. Notice the gorgeous walnut door! Whealon told All The Best Blog that his most prized possession was a Hofer photograph HERE. Three magazines, one month, three houses – all Candida Hofer.
The Trinity Library – Whealon’s most prized possession is this photograph.
And, a little different angle from Whealon’s web site – showing the photograph more clearly.
The Museum of Archeology in Venice – this is the photograph in Whealon’s Veranda spread.
Looking through a few older magazines showed evidence of more Candida Hofer: Jill Stuart’s NYC apartment by Annabelle Selldorf – seen in Elle Décor, October 2009. The Hofer photograph is seen behind the sofa on the left.
Seen in Metropolitan Home – a Hofer photograph over the mantel. It’s almost impossible to figure out which photograph this is.
And another Hofer of an Opera Theatre, seen in a dining room.
Elizabeth Mayhew also talked to Ronda of All The Best Blog – HERE. Her most prized possession is her art work, including this Candida Hofer library photograph.
So, who is Candida Hofer who has attracted the attention of so many of the finest interior designers and art collectors? Born in Germany, Hofer trained under avant garde German photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher. She first gained notice with her series on “Interiors,” “Rooms,” and “Zoological Gardens.” While her early work showed exteriors and people, her later work became increasing devoid of people and featured interiors exclusively. She says she does not do landscapes. Her later, most famous work concentrates on libraries, theatres, museums, and a series of works in Italy, all published in gorgeous coffee table books.
The artist stands in front of two of photographs.
I am not an art critic, but I know what I like – and her images of public buildings are beautiful. Always taken from a dead on perspective, the interiors seem so alive, though not a soul is captured. I can see how this contemporary art work works so well in interiors that are neither strictly contemporary nor traditional. But, the art does seem much more at home in a New York highrise than a Texas ranch in Round Top. There is much written about Hofer on the internet, if you are interested in perusing it. I had a field day reading all about her in detail. Most of the reviews are positive, there is very little negative written about her work. Below are some of my favorite images – most are rather recent works, as opposed to her earlier, more stark and depressing subjects.
Le Louvre – Candida Hofer did a series of photographs at the famous Paris museum.
Another photograph from the Louvre Museum
Salone di Castel Capuano, detto anche “Salone dei Busti”
And, Palais Garnier set for a dinner.
Her photographs of libraries are spectacular. Here, Naples. This would make such a stunning image in a living room or library.
The gorgeous Abbey of the Library at Saint Gallin. A rare photograph that includes people in it.
The State Library in Naples. Incredible building.
Naples State Library – another view. What a gorgeous library, the tiled floor, the carved wood shelves. Beautiful.
This library has beautiful marble floors and carved wood columns.
Amazing. The books are so incredible. I couldn’t resist showing this image so large, you can see so much more detail this way! Look at the handrails! Remember, put your monitor on maximum view.
Hofer has taken many photographs of beautiful theatres, here - The Theatre of Naples. Gorgeous! Another photograph that I can see in a living room or a dining room, especially in a room with dark blue velvet.
Masonic Temple in Philadelphia.
Masonic Temple in Philadelphia.
Theatre royal de la MonnaieKoninklijke Muntschouwburg
What does one cost? I don’t know, but in 2006 – this signed photograph of which there are six, sold for $90,000.00. Yikes!
By contrast, this lithograph, of which there are 100, sells for around $4,000 – much more affordable!
1976, a series of Turkish workers, included people, of course – something her work never shows today.
In my opinion, not all of Hofer’s photographs would be as desirable to hang in an elegant dining room as others. Some of her work is depressing or unattractive – not nearly as beautiful as a photograph of a Venice museum.
What if you can’t afford an original Hofer? Photographer Don Menges took this shot of the Monroe County office, emulating the style of Candida Hofer. I’m sure his work goes for a fraction of what an Hofer does. Look at more of his work HERE.
Other photographers that designers like to use: Here Miles Redd used a Andrew Moore photograph on the right in this apartment.
Two Thomas Struth photographs flank an Andreas Gursky photograph in this Metropolitan Home feature story. Struth and Gursky are both peers of Hofer and they all studied together under Bernd and Hilla Becher.
This photographer is shown a lot - David Armstrong. The blurry images are confusing to me.
Candida Hofer Books:
Here are a few of her more popular books – order from Amazon by clicking on the title:
The book on the Bologna, Italy series:
Candida Hofer: Bologna Series (9788877572127): Ludovico Pratesi, Filippo Maggia, Candida Hofer: Books
The gorgeous book of libraries:
Libraries (9783829601863): Candida Höfer, Umberto Eco: Books
The book on the Naples, Italy photographs:
Candida Hofer: Napoli (German Edition) (9783829604246): Angela Tecce: Books
And finally – Candida Hofer’s most acclaimed work – Architecture of Absence:
Candida Hofer: Architecture of Absence (9781931788489): Constance Glenn, Virginia Heckert, Mary-Kay Lombino, Candida Hofer: Books
AND – WHOA!!!! The new Elle Décor features Suzanne Rheinstein’s pied a terre in NYC. It’s beyond gorgeous. The gray murals are unbelievable. Just look at them!!! And those gilt French chairs. The velvet stools. SWOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This apartment also stars in her new book. I got my book today and it’s a killer if you love Suzanne. First – this apartment is shown, along with her own L.A. house showing rooms never seen before. Her most famous job – the Virginia house - is also shown – the master bedroom has been UPDATED!!!!!! Many of the houses have been seen before, but each shows newly refurbished updates and never seen before rooms. The book is fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Her choices of antiques floors me – the chairs, the tables, the accessories, the mirrors, it’s all mostly French, a little Swedish, a little Italian and a little English. GAWD. Kill me now!!!! I want this apartment. Seriously. I want this!!!!! AND Suzanne is scheduled for the Skirted Roundtable, along with David Easton, Haskell Harris, Kathryn Ireland, and Chris Madden. What a line up!!!! To order the Rheinstein book, go here:
Click on the title below:
At Home: A Style for Today with Things from the Past (9780847834099): Suzanne Rheinstein, Pieter Estersohn, Margaret Russell: Books
NOTE: I will be having a fabulous giveaway in the next few days – be sure to watch for it!!!!!