Campus: CSU Long Beach -- February 18, 2004
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Awards $75,000
Grant to University Art Museum at California State University, Long
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded a $75,000 grant
to the University Art Museum (UAM) at California State University, Long
Beach to help support an exhibition of photographs by celebrated German
photographer Candida Höfer. It is the largest grant the art museum
has ever received from the NEA.
Titled “Candida Höfer: Architecture of Absence,” the
exhibition is being presented in partnership with the Norton Museum
of Art in West Palm Beach, Fla., and it is expected to run at Cal State
Long Beach from January through April 2005. The exhibit will travel
to two to four additional venues beyond the UAM and Norton Museum of
Art, and it will be accompanied by a major catalogue to be published
by Aperture, a well-known photography publishing house.
Project co-curators for the exhibit include Constance Glenn, director
and chief curator of the UAM, Mary-Kay Lombino, UAM curator of exhibitions,
and Virginia Heckert, curator of photography for the Norton Museum of
Art. All three will also author essays for the catalogue.
“‘Candida Höfer: Architecture of Absence’ has
been in the planning stages since my visit to her Cologne studio in
1997. We are especially pleased that, at this stage of the project,
the NEA has elected to become the primary sponsor,” Glenn said.
“Höfer’s stunning photographs are represented in the
University Art Museum collection as well as the collection of the Norton
Museum of Art, and viewers who have seen even one image will be thrilled
at the opportunity to see a broad spectrum of her work.”
Höfer, 59, is a member of the “Becher Circle,” a group
of noted students of Düsseldorf’s renowned Bernd and Hilla
Becher. Other students include Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth, Andreas Gursky
and Axel Hütte, but Höfer is the only member of that group
whose work has had little or no exposure in North American museums.
The “Becher Circle” of photographers emphasize straight-forward
architecturally anonymous photographs that take on additional serial
meaning. The work of this group has been noted for its extreme clarity,
which, in that very clearness, creates interpretive ambiguity.
Employing available light, Höfer photographs rooms deeply invested
with the richness of human activity but with few or no people present.
Using often monumentally-scaled interiors, she approaches her images
with a minimalist, detached style.
The 50 exhibition images will come primarily from Höfer through
her Cologne gallery, and each of the large-scale works will be illustrated
in the accompanying full-color catalogue.
The NEA awards grants to nonprofit national, regional, state and local
organizations to finance projects in the categories of creativity, services
to arts organizations and artists, literature fellowships and leadership
“From enlivening and diversifying our literary culture through
university and independent presses to placing artists in residencies
at high-technology corporations to producing new operas, plays and ballets,”
said Dana Gioia, chairman of the endowment, “these projects enhance
the artistic quality and availability of the arts across the country.”
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