CANDIDA HÖFER I Belgisches Haus – Maison Belge – Belgisch Huis

The exhibition opens on Saturday, 13 March, from noon to 6 p.m.

Opening hours: Tue-Fri 1–6 p.m., Sat noon-5 p.m. 

Due to the current restrictions in the course of Covid-19, the gallery is now open by advance appointment only.

Please contact us by phone to +49 (0)221 93488 56 or e-mail to

Galerie Thomas Zander is delighted to present two exhibitions of new work by and Candida Höfer and Andrea Geyer. Höfer’s large-format photographs of the Belgian House explore a special part of Cologne’s history and its relationship to Belgian culture. In Geyer’s installation autobiographic and collective memories resonate with the life and work of Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman. 

Candida Höfer’s projects are informed by the notion of visual memory and her interest in the ways people shape and make use of their environments. Her photographs of interiors are often created after architectural or functional changes, bringing awareness to the transitions and continuities of places of cultural encounter. The Belgian House was the first international meeting place in postwar Cologne. It is regarded as an architectural document, built in 1950 in a blend of traditional modern elements and Gründerzeit style, decorated with Belgian marble, leaded windows and tropical timbers from the former colony Belgian Congo. As early as 1989, shortly before the building was designated as cultural heritage, Höfer had already produced small photographs of the library, the hall for cultural events and concerts, the club with its bar and restaurant. After the Belgian consulate closed for financial reasons, the Belgian House underwent extensive re­no­va­tions. Today it houses the interim exhibitions of the Romano-Germanic Museum Cologne. Höfer’s impressive photographs taken in 2019 represent a new encounter with the interior of the Belgian House, facing the rooms with maximum clarity. The images reveal the inner structures of the spaces and their architectural details, contrasting the new bright white of the rooms with the black marble and the wood panelled walls, with the inherent ambiguities and ramifications of their cultural history. 

The accompanying publication Belgisches Haus Köln – Maison belge à Cologne – Belgisch huis te Keulen, featuring photographs by Candida Höfer and a text by Marcus Trier, is published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König.

Born in Eberswalde, Germany in 1944, Candida Höfer studied with Bernd Becher at the Kunst­akade­mie Düsseldorf. She lives and works in Cologne. Höfer’s work has been shown in solo exhibitions at the Louvre, Paris; Kunsthalle Basel; Hermitage, St. Petersburg; Museum Kunstpalast and K21 Kunst­samm­lung Nord­rhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, among other venues. Höfer participated in documenta 11, Kassel, and represented Germany at the 2003 Venice Biennale.


Candida Höfer

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