SCA
Sotheby's: Contemporary Art Day Auction

Conceived in 1972.

Each: 16 by 11 3/4 in. (40.6 by 29.8 cm.)
Overall: 55 1/2 by 39 3/4 in. (140.3 by 101 cm.)

Reprinted from the original negatives in 2016 at the Studio Bernd & Hilla Becher, Düsseldorf, Germany, each print is numbered respectively on the reverse. Print number 1 is signed by Max Becher, titled, …

Signature
Signed, titled and dated 72 on the matte

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 architectural and landscape tradition and broadening the conceptual range and potential of documentary photography.

Blue chip
Represented by internationally recognized galleries.
Collected by a major museum
Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields
Selected exhibitions
2017
Bernd and Hilla BecherHauser & Wirth
2016
open spaces | secret places: Works from the Sammlung Verbund, ViennaCentre for Fine Arts (BOZAR)
Photography Reinvented: The Collection of Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda BeckerNational Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
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Fördertürme Stahl (Winding Towers), 1972

9 gelatin prints mounted to board
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SCA
Sotheby's: Contemporary Art Day Auction

Conceived in 1972.

Each: 16 by 11 3/4 in. (40.6 by 29.8 cm.)
Overall: 55 1/2 by 39 3/4 in. (140.3 by …

Signature
Signed, titled and dated 72 on the matte

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 architectural and landscape tradition and broadening the conceptual range and potential of documentary photography.

Blue chip
Represented by internationally recognized galleries.
Collected by a major museum
Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields
Selected exhibitions (3)
More from this series
View series
Other works by Bernd and Hilla Becher
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