Regarding the exhibition
Evelyn Hofer (1922–2009)
18 June – 20 September 2015
An exhibition of the Museum Villa Stuck, Munich
Curator: Sabine Schmid
Preview for the press starting Wednesday, 10 June 2015 by appointment
Press conference Wednesday, 17 June 2015, 11 am
tour through the exhibition 11.30–12.00 am
(tour through the exhibition “Hans Christiansen” 12.00–12.30 am) Exhibition opening Wednesday, 17 June 2015, 7 pm
Museum Villa Stuck
Prinzregentenstraße 60, 81675 München
Tel.: 089. 45 55 51-0, fax: 089. 45 55 51-24
Email: email@example.com, Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 11 am – 6 pm
Late opening hours: FRIDAY LATE, first Friday of the month, 6–10 pm, admission free
Evelyn Hofer, Queensboro Bridge, New York 1964, dye transfer, Courtesy Galerie m Bochum © Estate of Evelyn Hofer
Evelyn Hofer (1922–2009) Retrospective
18 June – 20 September 2015
This summer the Museum Villa Stuck presents a comprehensive retrospective of the photographer Evelyn Hofer (1922–2009). Including a selection of about 200 works, the exhibition highlights both Hofer’s well-known photographs and her lesser-known works. For the first time in Germany, Hofer’s complete œuvre will be on view, as works from all stages of her career are presented with a special focus on the photo essays for magazines. Close cooperation with the estate of Evelyn Hofer made it possible for us to examine all photographs and archival material, allowing us to conduct extensive research at the Museum Villa Stuck over the past years.
The Museum Villa Stuck has repeatedly focused on the work of internationally renowned women photographers, as, for example, Grete Stern (1997), Helen Levitt (1998/99), Madame Yevonde (1999/2000), Herlinde Koelbl (2008), and, most recently, Regina Schmeken (2014). The comprehensive retrospective of Evelyn Hofer continues this tradition at the Museum Villa Stuck. Particularly noteworthy in this regard is Evelyn Hofer’s connection to Franz von Stuck’s mansion: photographs she took of the living quarters were published in House and Garden as well as in Vogue in 1986.
Dubbed “the most famous ‘unknown’ photographer of America” by American art critic Hilton Kramer , Evelyn Hofer’s work from the 1940s on spans the genres of architecture, landscape, interior, still life, and portrait, with her famous city portraits representing a major special category.
Born in Marburg, Germany, in 1922, Hofer immigrated with her family to Switzerland in 1933, where she started an apprenticeship at the Bettina photo atelier in Zürich in 1941. She also took lessons with Hilmar Lokay and Robert Spreng in Basel as well as with Hans Finsler. After spending several years in Mexico from 1942 on, Hofer eventually moved to New York in 1946 where she embarked on a free- lance career as a photographer for journals and magazines.
In 1959 Hofer worked on her first book project about Florence. Commissioned to illustrate a travel account about the Tuscan city, the photographs she took transcend mere direct illustrations. Hofer explored and observed her subjects for a long time to take in the light and atmosphere, before ultimately reaching for the camera to capture what she registered subjectively: an approach that is characteristic of her entire way of working. In subsequent publications about London (1962), Spain (1964), New York (1965), Washington (1966), and Dublin (1967) she captured the history of the place and the people she met on the street with her distinct photographic means. In her city portraits Hofer established characteristic subjects and themes that became leitmotifs of her work as a whole. The formal structure of her portraits, in particular, calls to mind the pictorial conception one is familiar with from August Sander—a tradition she independently developed further.
In the 1970s, Hofer travelled around the world for magazines, focusing her camera on society-related subjects as well as on the art world. She created portraits and series about painters and writers as well as first still lifes, countless interiors and photographs of famous houses. During this time Hofer also created her political and social photographic essays for magazines such as Life International, the London Sunday Times Magazine and The New York Times Magazine. Photographs about the Watergate scandal (1974), as well as photo series about British prisons (1975) and Wadowice (1979), the birthplace of John Paul II, provide insights into a major body of work that has hitherto been largely ignored. Countless publications bear witness to Hofer’s subtle and sensitive take on issues of the day.
Far removed from the snapshot aesthetics that was popular in the 1970s and 1980s, classical criteria are central to Evelyn Hofer’s work. She precisely defines form and design, focusing on what is essential and convincing with clarity of detail and balanced composition. Hofer aimed to provide an interpretation of the world that transcends the merely documentary moment and combines both the zeitgeist and a certain timelessness.
A comprehensive monograph is published in conjunction with the exhibition. Essays by Catharina Graf, Andreas Pauly, Sabine Schmid, Bernd Stiegler, and Thomas Weski as well as an extensive appendix subject Hofer’s œuvre to scholarly analysis. Published by Steidl Verlag.
Please mark this event in your calendar and send us a copy of your review. For additional press information please call us at 089/455551-12 or 089/455551-32. Press photos are available at here.