Friday 13 November 2009


- Bernd & Hilda Becher
- Began taking portraits of modern industrial buildings in old factory sites in 1959
- he two artists first collaborated in 1959 and they married in 1961
- They began working as freelance photographers, concentrating on industrial photography.
- In 1991, the artists won the leone d’oro award for sculpture at the venice biennale. this was possible because in 1969, the artists had called the architectural subject matter of their photographs, ‘anonymous sculpture’
- Photographed blast furnaces, cooling towers, gasometers, water towers, lime kilns, compressors, factory halls, head-frames of mine shafts
- industrial structures have been a fountain of passion for the german spouses Becher who have photographed them for over 40 years.
- "Black-and-white images are all taken in the same way: a front and profile angle provide a clear and objective documentation of each structure, the building is placed in the centre of the frame and isolated from its environment. the mass of photos are made coherent through categorisation into typologies, revealing the vast diversity of objects all with the same purpose. non-identical, yet uniform"
- The idiosyncratic differences and similarities become fascinating

"By the mid-1960s the Bechers had also settled on a preferred presentational mode: the grid. Groupings of prints, each print measuring sixteen by twelve inches or smaller, either framed discretely or encased within a single large frame, facilitate direct, immediate comparison between motifs, which are arrayed without hierarchy, according to type, function, and/or material."

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