Bernd & Hilla Becher
German, 1931–2007, 1934–2015
Blue chip
Represented by internationally recognized galleries.
Collected by a major museum
Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields
Selected exhibitions
Bernd and Hilla Becher,
Hauser & Wirth
open spaces | secret places: Works from the Sammlung Verbund, Vienna,
Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR)
Photography Reinvented: The Collection of Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker,
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Bernd and Hilla Becher worked collaboratively for nearly half a century documenting industrial German structures. In their “typologies”—series of objective black-and-white photos—the Bechers sought to illuminate and catalogue the similarities and variations in design among particular building types, such as framework houses, water towers, and blast furnaces. Exhibited in groups, the prints encourage comparison of form and function, and hint at the history and context of each structure. The Becher style would inform a generation of prominent photographers including Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer, Thomas Ruff, and Thomas Struth. For the Bechers, to read their photographs was to know and understand deeply these beautiful, yet often forgotten, “sculptures.” The signature neutrality of each image demanded exacting camera angles and light conditions, their methods drawing from both …

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