Typologies of Industrial Buildings

Overview

Bernd and Hilla Becher's photography can be considered conceptual art,
typological study, and topological documentation. Their work can be linked to the
Neue Sachlichkeit movement of the 1920s and to such masters of German photography as
Karl Blossfeldt, August Sander, and Albert Renger-Patzsch. Their photographs of industrial structures, taken over the course of forty years, are the most important body of ...

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Overview

Bernd and Hilla Becher's photography can be considered conceptual art,
typological study, and topological documentation. Their work can be linked to the
Neue Sachlichkeit movement of the 1920s and to such masters of German photography as
Karl Blossfeldt, August Sander, and Albert Renger-Patzsch. Their photographs of industrial structures, taken over the course of forty years, are the most important body of work in independent objective photography. A keynote of their contributions to "industrial archaeology" has been their creation of typologies of different types of buildings; this book, which accompanies a major retrospective exhibition,
collects all known Becher studies of industrial building types and presents them as a visual encyclopedia.Each chapter is devoted to a different structure--water towers, coal bunkers, winding towers, breakers (ore, coal, and stone), lime kilns,
grain elevators, blast furnaces, steel mills, and factory facades. These are organized according to typologies, most of which are presented as tableaux or suites of about twelve images each. The book contains close to 2000 individual images. The accompanying text by Armin Zweite is an essential art historical consideration of the Bechers' work. This ultimate Becher book stands as a capstone to the Bechers'
unique body of work.

The MIT Press

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
For 40 years, photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher have been shooting straightforward, no-nonsense photographs of industrial structures in northern Europe. This book, which accompanies a major exhibition in Dusseldorf, Munich, Paris, and Berlin, collects 2000 of their images according to building type (e.g., water towers, gravel plants, blast furnaces, and lime kilns). Success here is hard to judge: if the emphasis is on the conceptual, then the usual measures of photography-focus, framing, composition, light, and angle-are less important than the idea behind the photographs. On the surface and at its core, the book is gloomy. All shots are black and white, depicting old structures under cloudy skies and yielding a uniform industrial archaeology of sometimes oddly shaped junk left sitting on the ground. A supportive text by art historian Zweite lends analytical insight while probing for context. A unique and exquisitely esoteric work but hardly essential; the Bechers will be awarded the 2004 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography in November.-David Bryant, New Canaan Lib., CT Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262025652
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2004
  • Pages: 228
  • Sales rank: 810,689
  • Product dimensions: 11.40 (w) x 11.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Bernd and Hilla Becher have collaborated since 1959. Founders of the internationally acclaimed Becher class at the Dusseldorf Art Academy, they have received numerous awards, including the Golden Lion at the 1990 Venice Biennale and the 2002 Erasmus Award. Bernd Becher retired as Professor at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art in 1999.
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