Product Details


Title:
Typologies
Author:
Bernd & Hilla Becher
Publisher:
MIT U Press
ISBN or Item #
9780262025652
Date Listed:
2004-09-12 14:19:35
Retail Price:
$85.00
Our Price:
$74.95
Description:

Typologies of Industrial Buildings

Bernd Becher and Hilla Becher

Cloth with dust jacket, oversize 11 2/5 x 11 2/5", 228 pages, 1538 duotone photos.

Also available : Cooling Towers, Industrial Landscapes , Water Towers , and Pennsylvania Coal Mine Tipples

Many of these images are no longer available in book form; many have never before been offered in book form.

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.

"Always taken in overcast skies, or in the hazy sunlight of industrial zones, these seemingly artless photographs belle the elaborate process and decisions involved in creating them elevating the camera on scaffolds or ladders, waiting for clouds to block the sun, enlisting the cooperation of plant foreman and security guards to remove all signs of human life from the scene.

"The Bechers refer to their photographs as "typology" or "typologies of topographies," situated between established categories such as art and photography. Their work is distancing, deliberately unglamorous, departing from the usual style of architectural photography. Almost everything they photograph is eventually demolished.

"Hilla and Bernd Becher began their collaborative enterprise in 1957, when they did a study of workers' houses in their native Germany. Through the years, their extensive documentation of industrial landscapes has taken them outside of Germany to France, England, Scotland, Wales, Holland, and the United States. The Bechers follow in a distinguished line of German photographers active in the Rhineland, including August Sander, Albert Renger-Patzsch, and Werner Manz, all of whom contributed in different ways to the definition of "objective" photography.

"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."