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b. 1959, Germany

Bernd & Hilla Becher Biography

The husband and wife team of Bernd and Hilla Becher began photographing together in 1959. Bernd (1931–2007) and Hilla (b. 1934) Becher documented architectural forms referred to as 'anonymous sculpture' for over thirty years. Their extensive series of water towers, blast furnaces, coal mine tipples, industrial facades, and other vernacular industrial architecture comprise an in-depth study of the intricate relationship between form and function.

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Solo exhibitions include Photographic Collection/SK Stiftung Kultur, Cologne (2013, 2010, 2006), Museum of Modern Art, New York (2008), Nationalgalerie Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2005), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2004), K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf (2003) and XLIV Venice Biennale (1990). Group exhibitions include Barbican Art Gallery, London (2014), Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2014, 2004), Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013), Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010), Nationalgalerie Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2008), The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (2005), UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2004), Tate Modern, London (2004, 2003) and Documenta XI, VII, VI, V, Kassel, (2002, 1982, 1977, 1972). 

The husband and wife team of Bernd and Hilla Becher began photographing together in 1959. Bernd (1931–2007) and Hilla (b. 1934) Becher documented architectural forms referred to as 'anonymous sculpture' for over thirty years. Their extensive series of water towers, blast furnaces, coal mine tipples, industrial facades, and other vernacular industrial architecture comprise an in-depth study of the intricate relationship between form and function.

Solo exhibitions include Photographic Collection/SK Stiftung Kultur, Cologne (2013, 2010, 2006), Museum of Modern Art, New York (2008), Nationalgalerie Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2005), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2004), K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf (2003) and XLIV Venice Biennale (1990). Group exhibitions include Barbican Art Gallery, London (2014), Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2014, 2004), Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013), Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010), Nationalgalerie Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2008), The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (2005), UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2004), Tate Modern, London (2004, 2003) and Documenta XI, VII, VI, V, Kassel, (2002, 1982, 1977, 1972). 

Bernd & Hilla Becher Featured Artworks

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Framework Houses by Bernd & Hilla Becher contemporary artwork
Bernd & Hilla BecherFramework Houses, 1993Set of twelve duotone lithographs
24 3/4 x 9 5/8 inches
Krakow Witkin Gallery Contact Gallery
Triptych (Winding Towers and Furnace) by Bernd & Hilla Becher contemporary artwork
Bernd & Hilla BecherTriptych (Winding Towers and Furnace), 1967Three silver gelatin prints, printed c. 1967
Huxley-Parlour Contact Gallery
Water Tower, Neville Island, Near Pittsburgh by Bernd & Hilla Becher contemporary artwork
Bernd & Hilla BecherWater Tower, Neville Island, Near Pittsburgh, 1980Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1989
36 x 29 cm
Bruce Silverstein Contact Gallery
Reed & Herb Coal Co., Joliett, Schuylkill County, USA by Bernd & Hilla Becher contemporary artwork
Bernd & Hilla BecherReed & Herb Coal Co., Joliett, Schuylkill County, USA, 1975Silver gelatin print
60 x 50 cm
Sprüth Magers Enquire
Fachwerkhaeuser - Giebelseite by Bernd & Hilla Becher contemporary artwork
Bernd & Hilla BecherFachwerkhaeuser - Giebelseite, 1970–19739 silver gelatin prints
172 x 142 cm (incl frame)
Sprüth Magers Enquire
Water Towers by Bernd & Hilla Becher contemporary artwork
Bernd & Hilla BecherWater Towers, c. 1966–19799 framed silver prints
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
Getreidesilo, Sandusky, Ohio, USA by Bernd & Hilla Becher contemporary artwork
Bernd & Hilla BecherGetreidesilo, Sandusky, Ohio, USA, 1987Silver gelatin print
60 x 50 cm
Sprüth Magers Enquire

Bernd & Hilla Becher Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Masters of Photography 2019 at Huxley-Parlour, London
Closed
20 November–20 December 2019 Group Exhibition Masters of Photography 2019 Huxley-ParlourLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Une collection de photographies at rodolphe janssen, Brussels
Closed
17 May–13 July 2018 Group Exhibition Une collection de photographies rodolphe janssenBrussels
Contemporary art exhibition, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Solo Exhibition at Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles
Closed
7 September–21 October 2017 Bernd & Hilla Becher Solo Exhibition Sprüth MagersLos Angeles

Bernd & Hilla Becher Represented By

Sprüth Magers contemporary art gallery in Berlin, Germany Sprüth Magers Berlin, London, Los Angeles

Bernd & Hilla Becher In Ocula Magazine

Bernd & Hilla Becher At Sprüth Magers London Ocula Report Bernd & Hilla Becher At Sprüth Magers London By Will Gresson, London

The new exhibition of photography from Bernd & Hill Becher now showing at Sprüth Magers London is another meticulously documented look at post-World War II West German industry by the husband and wife duo. 

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Bernd & Hilla Becher In Related Press

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Fifty Years of Photography: Stephen Shore’s Retrospective Related Press Fifty Years of Photography: Stephen Shore’s Retrospective 28 February 2018, Frieze

The wall text that introduces Stephen Shore's retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, which features of 50 years of chronologically-arranged photography, states, puzzlingly, that Shore's images 'seem to achieve perfect neutrality, in both subject matter and approach.' Isn't neutrality, like 'originality', just another modernist myth? And isn't...

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A class apart: a new show explores the radical approach of the Bechers and their students Related Press A class apart: a new show explores the radical approach of the Bechers and their students 30 April 2017, Wallpaper*

In 1959, photography was still struggling to be an art form. Bernd and Hilla Becher were a young couple living in Düsseldorf, making conceptual art together. Bernd had studied painting and typography, while Hilla had completed an apprenticeship as a photographer. They began to collaborate, systematically taking pictures on an 8 x 10 of things that...

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National Gallery’s East Building reopens with rich addition to its photo collection Related Press National Gallery’s East Building reopens with rich addition to its photo collection 28 September 2016, The Washington Post

After the National Gallery of Art founded its photography department in 1990, curators focused on building its historic collection of images, dating to the origins of the medium in the 1830s. But at the same time, as it was assembling an overview of the history of photography as an art form, the art form was marching on, and so was the art market....

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Contemplating perfection and imperfection at Dia:Beacon Related Press Contemplating perfection and imperfection at Dia:Beacon 18 July 2016, Hyperallergic

A visit last weekend to Dia:Beacon, the vast repository of Minimalist art on the east bank of the Hudson River, brought home once more the complexities and contradictions of a movement whose goal was to be as plain as the nose on your face. It also underscored the ways in which reductivism — whose puritanical bent has been frequently...

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Bernd & Hilla Becher In Video & Audio

Bernd and Hilla Becher, Hauser & Wirth Zürich Related Video & Audio Bernd and Hilla Becher, Hauser & Wirth Zürich 29 November 2017, Hauser & Wirth

Olivier Renaud-Clément talks about the exhibition Bernd and Hilla Becher at Hauser & Wirth Zürich, 14 October–22 December 2017

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