Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
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 atmos- pheric 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 chair. 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