Museum Kurhaus / Kleef

Ewald Mataré Verzameling


Evelyn Hofer
Encounters with the Camera

Helaas uitverkocht!

288 pages in 28 x 22 cm (11 x 8.7 in.)
Clothbound hardcover with a tipped-in photo
70 black-and-white and 120 color photographs
Year of publication 2019
ISBN 978-3-9811884-3-1
ISBN 978-3-95829-563-6
Publication in English and German
(publisher price at Steidl, Göttingen 48,- €)

Edited by Susanne Breidenbach and co-published with Galerie m, Bochum / Germany on occassion of the exhibition „Evelyn Hofer: Encounters with the Camera“ in the Museum Kurhaus Kleve, Cleves / Germany (24. February – 23. June 2019), in the Museum Modernder Kunst Wörlen, Passau / Germany (20. July – 27. October 2019)and in the Fotostiftung Schweiz, Winterthur (29. February – 17. May 2020)

With texts by Marion Bornscheuer (Passau), Harald Kunde (Cleves) and Julia Sonnenfeld (Essen) 

Born in Marburg in 1922, Evelyn Hofer grew up in Switzerland and Spain. She completed photographic apprenticeships in Basel and Zurich before studying under Hans Finsler, and in 1946 settled in New York. Hofer’s career took a decisive turn with her photos for Mary McCarthy’s „The Stones of Florence“ (1959); books on London, Spain, New York, Washington and Dublin followed, as well as „Emerson in Italy“ (1989). In the 1970s Hofer focused on society-related subjects and published photo-essays in „Life“ and the „New York Times Magazine“. She also photographed public figures, interiors for magazines, and in later life primarily personal subjects. Hofer died in Mexico City in 2009. 

The work of German-American photographer Evelyn Hofer (1922–2009) is characterized by her single-minded creative drive and dedication to recording the essentials of her subjects.

Hofer portraits her vis-à-vis — not only people, but also landscapes and interiors—well beyond the idea of the snapshot, and with great clarity and atmospheric intensity. Hofer spent months in the cities she photographed for her books of the 1950s and ’60s, published with renowned authors such as Mary McCarthy and V. S. Pritchett. In titles such as „New York Proclaimed“ (1965) and „Dublin, A Portrait“ (1967) Hofer combines portraits, city and country views, still lifes and larger interior shots to manifest complex images of these metropolises.

From this starting point „Begegnungen / Encounters“ explores the multifaceted idea of the „portrait“ throughout Hofer’s oeuvre — be it in series on New York, Dublin and Washington, images of artists and their ateliers, selected photo-essays for magazines, her extensive projects „People of Soglio“ and „Basque People“, as well as till now unseen New York photos of Marlene Dietrich’s hangar and Andy Warhol’s Factory.

What fascinates me concerning the works of Evelyn is that she portrays everything; it might be a tree, a human being, or even a hair. She always paints a portrait. She never considers things just as an object; the object becomes always a dramatic expression. She has a poetic and romantic approach, expressing a certain innocence; she is indeed a poet.“ (Richard Lindner)


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