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Erika Kiffl

D. Marzona

196 pages
Distanz Verlag Gmbh Llc
The German photographer Erika Kiffl (b. Carlsbad, 1939; lives and works in Düsseldorf) first gained renown with her portraits of artists. Beginning in the early 1960s, she went to visit artists in their studios, where her self-effacing style allowed her to create striking pictures of her hosts and their works. Before the emergence of the well-known “Becher school” (Bernd and Hilla Becher, Candida Höfer, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff), she examined the differences between documentary and artistic photography. The monograph offers the first-ever comprehensive survey of Kiffl’s oeuvre. Many know her primarily as a chronicler of the Düsseldorf arts scene, but as her pictures from Poland, Austria, and China illustrate, her interests have long ranged far beyond the Rhineland. The book presents eight series, from the early photographs taken at the train station at Rolandseck (1964) to the pictures she made during an extended tour of China in 1995. A brief essay by a different author introduces each series. The volume also contains an interview with the artist by the art historian Renate Buschmann and a biographical sketch by Ulrike Merten.