16 November 2023

The Käthe Kollwitz Prize 2024 of the Akademie der Künste goes to Candida Höfer

The Cologne-based photographer Candida Höfer will be awarded the Käthe Kollwitz Prize 2024. With this prize, the Akademie der Künste honours one of the most internationally recognized German photographers. Candida Höfer’s oeuvre, which has grown steadily over five decades, is considered part of the contemporary photographic avant-garde. Her large-format photographs depict the public and semi-public spaces of landmark historical libraries, museums and opera houses. The focus of her motifs is on places of human interaction, communication, memory and knowledge, but also of leisure and recreation. The artist herself describes her works not as architectural photography, but rather as portraits of spaces.

The jury, consisting of Akademie members Karin Sander, Hito Steyerl and Siegfried Zielinski, were convinced by Candida Höfer’s longstanding dedication to photography and her ability, through her images, to draw our gaze to the cultural spaces that surround us, thus fostering our appreciation of those spaces. “With her precision of image focus and detail, Candida Höfer gives the spaces a significant, almost spiritual quality, which is reinforced by the presence of the people who are absent,” explains Karin Sander, jury member and director of the Visual Arts Section of the Akademie der Künste.

The prize will be awarded on 13 September 2024 as part of Berlin Art Week in the Akademie der Künste at Pariser Platz. To mark the awarding of the prize, the Akademie der Künste is showing an exhibition of works by Candida Höfer.

Candida Höfer
, born in 1944 in Eberswalde, lives in Cologne. After completing a traineeship, studying with Arno Jansen at the Kölner Werkschulen and gaining initial experience in photography in Hamburg, she was accepted into Ole John’s film class at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1973, before subsequently studying under Bernd Becher. She belongs to the group of Becher students consisting of Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff, Axel Hütte and others, who are among the most internationally recognized German photographers.

In 2002 she exhibited her work at the “documenta11” in Kassel; in 2003 she represented Germany at the 50th Venice Biennale, alongside Martin Kippenberger (posthumously). In 2015 she received the Cologne Fine Art Prize, in 2018 the “Outstanding Contribution to Photography” from the Sony World Photography Awards, and in 2020 the “Hommage” award of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Her works can be found in numerous public and private collections in Germany and abroad, including the Museum für Fotografie, Berlin, the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation and the Städel Museum (both in Frankfurt a. M.), as well as the Sammlung Essl and the Albertina in Vienna.

The Käthe Kollwitz Prize, endowed with €12,000, has been awarded to visual artists each year since its inception in 1960. Prize winners of recent years include Sandra Vásquez de la Horra (2023), Nan Goldin (2022), Maria Eichhorn (2021), Timm Ulrichs (2020), Hito Steyerl (2019), Adrian Piper (2018) and Katharina Sieverding (2017).

The prize, the exhibition and the accompanying publication have been co-financed for 30 years by the Kreissparkasse Köln, which funds the Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln.

Further information is available here: www.adk.de/kaethe-kollwitz-preis