Bernd Becher
Hilla Becher
The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2002; originally published 1974, English
Nonfiction, Photography
ISBN: 9780262025072

From the Publisher. Bernd and Hilla Becher have profoundly influenced the international photography world over the past several decades. Their unique genre, which falls somewhere between topological documentation and conceptual art, is in line with the aesthetics of such early-20th-century masters of German photography as Karl Blossfeldt, Germaine Krull, Albert Renger-Patzsch, and August Sander.

Industrial Landscapes introduces a new aspect to the Bechers' photography, one that will surprise connoisseurs of their work. Whereas their previously published works concentrated on isolated industrial objects, they now show huge industrial sites amid their natural surroundings. They move away from the objective, severe image to present slightly more narrative, interpretive images of the industrial environment as a whole. Although the photographs in Industrial Landscapes were taken over the past forty years, they are published here for the first time.

The industrial structures shown include a wide range of coal mines, iron ore mines, steel mills, power stations with cooling towers, lime kilns, grain elevators, and so on. They represent industrial regions in Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and the United States (Alabama, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania).


On 1 book list
James Biber

You could pick practically any of the Bechers’ volumes, but this and Typologies (also on my Book List) cover the field for me. Photographed under the gray, soft light of clouded skies, these collected images of industrial artifacts approach the subject from the typological organization (essentially a genus and species of industry) and from the sweeping landscape of modern ruin. Their photographs are always beautiful, but the books allow a comparative study that most gallery shows can’t.

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