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For almost 30 years Candida Höfer has photographed interiors, mostly representational spaces accessible to the public, such as staircases, lobbies, reading halls or exhibition spaces. Rather than staging them, she takes their picture in the state she finds them, with great discreetness and a touch of humour.
Libraries are a book producer’s dream. Since nobody photographs libraries as beautifully as Höfer, it seemed only natural for Schirmer/Mosel to dedicate her next publication to the splendid and intimate cathedrals of knowledge across Europe and the US: the Escorial in Spain, the Whitney Museum in New York, Villa Medici in Rome, the Hamburg University library, the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris, the Museo Archeologico in Madrid, and Pierpont Morgan Library in New York, to name just a few. Almost completely devoid of people, as is Candida Höfer’s trademark, these pictures radiate a comforting serenity that is exceptional in contemporary photography.