Evelyn Hofer: Eyes on the City

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A walk through American and European post-war transformation through the four-by-five camera of “the most famous unknown photographer in America,” celebrated through the power of photobooks.

Eyes on the City is Evelyn Hofer’s first major museum installation in the United States in over half a century. It features more than 100 photos in black and white and color, structured around her magnificent photobooks.

The shots, which include landscapes, architectural vistas, and portraits, aim to represent major metropolitan centers’ distinctive identity and essence at a time of profound physical, cultural, and economical upheavals following World War II.

Note: Before we jump into the article you can pre-order Eyes On The City on Amazon via this link.

Hofer is a native of Marburg, Germany. The family fled Nazism in 1933 by moving to Geneva and eventually to Madrid. After failing to get admission to the Paris Conservatory, Evelyn changed her focus to photography, learning the trade in Zürich and Basel before enrolling in private photography lessons in Zürich.

Hofer made crisp and precise portraits and landscapes using a 4×5″ view camera. Her signature style consisted mostly of concise, clear, but not simplistic compositions. Her presented individuals often seem puzzled, depressed, or at the very least, ambiguous.

We have spent a decade floundering aimlessly in a sea of visual information. Perhaps it is Evelyn Hofer’s work — “the most famous unknown photographer in America” — that we need to remind us of what the visual arts can encapsulate. It is essential for every photographer who wants to stick out to familiarize themselves with the oeuvre of Evelyn Hofer.

For more information about the exhibition click here.