A new exhibition by the Research Department of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden in collaboration with the Semperoper Dresden is currently on display at the Kupferstich-Kabinett Dresden. The exhibition features the work of Candida Höfer, renowned for her large-scale images, focusing on Dresden’s historic opera house, the Semperoper.

Höfer’s project, titled Semper Oper Dresden, reflects her ongoing exploration of interior spaces, spatial patterns, and cultural architectures worldwide. Through her photographs capturing various aspects of the opera house such as rehearsal spaces, infrastructure, labor, performance areas, and audience settings, she provides a unique perspective on the Kupferstich-Kabinett’s historic collection.

Displayed alongside woodcuts, copperplate engravings, and etchings by notable artists like Albrecht Dürer and Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Höfer’s photographs encourage viewers to contemplate space as a vital component of cultural rituals. The juxtaposition of her modern visual language with historical printmaking techniques from the Renaissance and Enlightenment periods enhances the dialogue between past and present artistic practices.

Curated by Doreen Mende in collaboration with Herbert Burkert and the Kupferstich-Kabinett team, the exhibition also highlights the museum’s role as a hub for research, collection, and exhibition of cultural artifacts. With interventions by Kuehn Malvezzi architects, the exhibition space itself becomes an integral part of the viewing experience, creating a multi-layered context for interpretation.

Accompanying the exhibition is the publication of the book “Candida Höfer: Kontexte. Semper Opera Dresden” in German and English, supported by the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation. Additionally, an exclusive edition featuring three motifs from Höfer’s project is available for purchase through Museis Saxonicis Usui Freunde Der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden.

Candida Höfer, born in Eberswalde in 1944, emerged as part of the renowned photographic avant-garde in post-war modernist Germany. A recipient of the upcoming Käthe Kollwitz Prize from the Academy of Arts in Berlin in September 2024, Höfer continues to push boundaries in her exploration of space and cultural representation. The exhibition offers a unique opportunity to engage with her captivating works and delve into the historic legacy of Dresden’s cultural heritage.

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