Renowned German artists Bernd and Hilla Becher (1931-2007; 1934-2015) changed the course of late twentieth-century photography. Using a large-format view camera, the Bechers focused on a single subject: disappearing industrial architecture of Western Europe and North America. They recorded blast furnaces, winding towers, grain silos, cooling towers, and gas tanks. Their standardized photographic practice allowed for comparative analyses of structures which they exhibited in grids of [between] four and thirty photographs. They would describe these formal arrangements as “typologies” and the buildings themselves as “anonymous sculpture[s].”


The Becher’s objective style recalls nineteenth-and early twentieth-century precedents but also resonated with a serial approach of contemporary Minimalism and Conceptual art. Their works also challenge the gap between documentary and fine-art photography.

Selected Works
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