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Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible Ocula Report Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible 17 Apr 2019 : Federica Bueti for Ocula

I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...

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Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui Ocula Conversation Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui

The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...

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The National 2019: New Australian Art Ocula Report The National 2019: New Australian Art 13 Apr 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...

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Bernd & Hilla Becher

b. 1959, Germany

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). 

Featured Artworks

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Water Tower, Neville Island, Near Pittsburgh by Bernd & Hilla Becher contemporary artwork Bernd & Hilla BecherWater Tower, Neville Island, Near Pittsburgh, 1980 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1989
36 x 29 cm
Bruce Silverstein
Aufbereitungsanlagen (Preparation Plants)
Image VI from series:  Typologies by Bernd & Hilla Becher contemporary artwork Bernd & Hilla BecherAufbereitungsanlagen (Preparation Plants) Image VI from series: Typologies, 2008 Digital pigment print (Ditone) on photo paper
35 1/2 x 43 1/4 inches
Krakow Witkin Gallery
Fachwerkhäuser - Giebelseite by Bernd & Hilla Becher contemporary artwork Bernd & Hilla BecherFachwerkhäuser - Giebelseite, 1970–1973 9 silver gelatin prints
172 x 142 cm (incl frame)
Sprüth Magers
Gasbehälter (Gas Tanks) by Bernd & Hilla Becher contemporary artwork Bernd & Hilla BecherGasbehälter (Gas Tanks), 2008 Digital pigment print (Ditone) on photo paper
Krakow Witkin Gallery
Water Towers by Bernd & Hilla Becher contemporary artwork Bernd & Hilla BecherWater Towers, c. 1966–1979 9 framed silver prints
Hauser & Wirth
Getreidesilo, Sandusky, Ohio, USA by Bernd & Hilla Becher contemporary artwork Bernd & Hilla BecherGetreidesilo, Sandusky, Ohio, USA, 1987 Silver gelatin print
60 x 50 cm
Sprüth Magers

Recent Exhibitions

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 janssen, Brussels
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 Magers, Los Angeles
Contemporary art exhibition, Bernd + Hilla Becher, Bernd + Hilla Becher at Sprüth Magers, London
Closed
3 September–4 October 2014 Bernd + Hilla Becher Bernd + Hilla Becher Sprüth Magers, London

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Bernd & Hilla Becher At Sprüth Magers London Ocula Report Bernd & Hilla Becher At Sprüth Magers London 25 Sep 2014 : Will Gresson for Ocula

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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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 Frieze : 28 February 2018

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 Wallpaper* : 30 April 2017

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 The Washington Post : 28 September 2016

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 Hyperallergic : 18 July 2016

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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In Related Video

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

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

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