June 13, 2015 - Museum Villa Stuck - Evelyn Hofer Retrospective
June 13, 2015

Evelyn Hofer Retrospective

Evelyn Hofer, Queensboro Bridge, New York, 1964. Dye transfer. Courtesy Galerie m Bochum. © Estate of Evelyn Hofer.

Evelyn Hofer

18 June–20 September 2015

Museum Villa Stuck
Prinzregentenstraße 60
81675 Munich
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–6pm,
first Friday of the month 11am–10pm



From 18 June to 20 September 2015 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. 

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 freelance 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 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

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.

An exhibition organized by the Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, in collaboration with the Estate of Evelyn Hofer.

Curator: Sabine Schmid


Evelyn Hofer Retrospective at Museum Villa Stuck
Museum Villa Stuck
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