Bernd and Hilla Becher  (German) 

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Bernd Becher (German, 1931–2007) and Hilla Becher (German, b.1934) are best known for their photographs of industrial archetypes, such as water towers, pitheads, and coal bunkers. In the mid-1970s, they taught photography at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, in Germany, and their students, who adapted the style of the Bechers, became known as the Düsseldorf School of Photography. Bernd Becher was born in the Siegen and studied at the Academy of Art in Stuttgart and Düsseldorf. Hilla Becher, born in Potsdam in 1934, also studied at the Academy of Art in Düsseldorf and met Bernd while they were both studying painting.

The Bechers began working together in 1959 by photographing constructions related to industry and mining, some of which were on the verge of disappearance. Their photographs present these structures as landmarks that could be preserved as architectural heritage. The gelatin silver prints are usually grouped according to the type of structure and are arranged in grids on the gallery wall. Noted photographers such as Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth, and Candida Höfer have all been students of the Bechers. In 2004, the Bechers received the Hasselblad Award. Their work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Kunstverein Munich, and the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, among other institutions. Hilla Becher currently lives and works in Düsseldorf.

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Bernd and Hilla Becher, Wassertürme

 

Bernd and Hilla Becher
Wassertürme
1988

Galerie Ludorff
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Untitled

 

Bernd and Hilla Becher
Untitled
Hamburg Kennedy Photographs
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Winding Tower: FoseeGrenay No.1, Billy – Les – Mines, Nord-et-Pas de Calais, F, 1967

 

Bernd and Hilla Becher
Winding Tower: FoseeGrenay No.1, Billy – Les – Mines, Nord-et-Pas de Calais, F, 1967
2005

Thomas Segal Gallery
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Framework Houses Slate

 

Bernd and Hilla Becher
Framework Houses Slate
2011

Thomas Segal Gallery
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Framework Houses

 

Bernd and Hilla Becher
Framework Houses
2011

Thomas Segal Gallery
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Cokery Thyssen, Duisburg, Germany

 

Bernd and Hilla Becher
Cokery Thyssen, Duisburg, Germany
1978

Fraenkel Gallery
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Cooling Tower, Zeche Ewald Fortsetzung, Ruhr, Germany

 

Bernd and Hilla Becher
Cooling Tower, Zeche Ewald Fortsetzung, Ruhr, Germany
1985-1989

Douglas Udell Gallery
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Cokery, Thyssen, Duisburg, Germany

 

Bernd and Hilla Becher
Cokery, Thyssen, Duisburg, Germany
1978-1990

Douglas Udell Gallery
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Chateaux d'Eau

 

Bernd and Hilla Becher
Chateaux d'Eau
1978

Art-on-paper
Past auction results (888)  View All
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Untitled

 

Bernd and Hilla Becher
Untitled, 2007
Offset lithograph

 

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Bernd and Hilla Becher, Transformator u. Silo

 

Bernd and Hilla Becher
Transformator u. Silo, 1971
heliogravure

 

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Bernd and Hilla Becher, Wassertürme (6 works)

 

Bernd and Hilla Becher
Wassertürme (6 works), 1976
offset prints

 

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1931   Bernd Becher born in Siegen District, Germany
1934   Hilla Becher born in Berlin, Germany
1953 - 1956   Bernd Becher studied lithography and painting at the Staatliche Akademie der Blidenden Künste, Stuttgart, Germany
1959   The two artists collaborated for the first time
1957 - 1961   Bernd Becher studied typography at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany
1961   The two artists got married
1963   Had their first gallery show in Siegen at the Galerie Ruth Nohl
1991   Recipient, the Leone d’Oro award for sculpture at the Venic e Biennale
2002   Recipient, the Erasmus Prize
2007   Bernd Becher died in Rostock, Germany on June 26th
2013   Schenkung Herbert Lange. Fotografien 1925 - 2009 - Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Chemnitz
NeuenGalerie - neu gesehen: Sammlung + documenta-Erwerbungen - Neue Galerie, Kasse
2012   Bernd & Hilla Becher: Coal Mines. Steel Mills. - Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague
2011   Bergwerke und Hütten – Industrielandschaften - Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur
2010   Der Westen leuchtet, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany
2009   1968. Die große Unschuld, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany (group)
2009   Art of Two Germanys / Cold War Cultures 1945-1989, Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin/Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nuremberg, Germany (group)
2008 - 2009   Made in Munich, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany
2008   Die Hande der Kunst, MARTa Herford, Herford
2008   Second Thoughts, The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hundson, NY
2007   20 ans du Musee d'Art Moderne - L'art apres 1960 dans les collections, Musee d'Art moderne de Saint-Etienne, Saint-Etienne
2006   Dusseldorf School of Photography and Contemporary Western Masters, Hannart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong, SAR
2004   'Early works', Andre Simoens Gallery, Knokke, Belgium
2002   The Russian Avant-Garde Book 1910-1934, Museum of Modern Art, New York
2002   Augenblick – Foto/Kunst in der Sammlung Essl, Sammlung Ess, Klosterneuburg
2002   Positionen der Fotografie, Galerie Fahnemann, Berlin
2002   documenta 11, Kassel
2001   Bernd & Hilla Becher, Gallery Zwirner & Wirth, New York (solo)
1999   Photographische Sammlung – SK Stiftung Kultur, Köln (solo)
1994   Westfälisches Landesmuseum, Münster (solo)
1993   Fraenkel Gallery San Francisco (solo)
1991   Galerie Ascan Crone, Hamburg (solo)
1990   Sonnabend Gallery, New York (solo)
1990   Galerie Max Hetzler, Cologne (solo)
1990   Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (solo)
1990   DIA Art Foundation NY (solo)
1990   Typologies, XLIV Venice Biennale, Kolnischer Kunstverein, etc. Italy; Germany; Cambridge, MA; Cleveland, OH (solo)
  Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), Chicago, IL, USA
  Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH, USA
  Indianapolis Museum of Art - IMA, Indianapolis, IN, USA
  Los Angeles County Museum of Art - LACMA, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, NY, USA
  MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY, USA
  National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo (MOMAT), Tokyo, Japan
  MUDAM - Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg
  Berardo Museum - Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art, Lisbon, Portugal
  Museu d´Art Contemporani de Barcelona - MACBA, Barcelona, Spain
  Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland
  Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds, England
  Tate Britain, London, England
  Tate Modern, London, England
  Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig - MUMOK , Vienna, Austria
  SMAK Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent, Belgium
  Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  Musée d'Art moderne de Saint-Etienne, Saint-Etienne, France
  IAC - Institut d'art contemporain Villeurbanne/Rhône-Alpes, Villeurbanne, France
  CAPC - Musée d'art contemporain, Bordeaux, France
  Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Germany
  Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany
  Museo D'Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina - MADRE, Naples, Italy
   Wassertürme, Schirmer/Mosel, München 1988
   Klaus Bussmann: Bernd & Hilla Becher – Typologien - Typologies, Schirmer/Mosel, München 1990
   Pennsylvania Coal Mine Tipples, Schirmer/Mosel, München 1991
   Häuser und Hallen, Hrsg. Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt 1992
   Grundformen, Schirmer/Mosel, München 1993
   Fabrikhallen, Schirmer/Mosel, München 1994
   Zeche Hannibal, Schirmer/Mosel, München 1995
   August Sander, Karl Blossfeldt, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Bernd und Hilla Becher – Vergleichende Konzeptionen, Hrsg. Photographische Sammlung, Köln 1997
   Thierry de Duve: Basic Forms, Schirmer/Mosel, München 1999
   Fachwerkhäuser, Hrsg. Martina Doppe, Museum für Kunst der Gegenwart, Siegen 2001
   Industrielandschaften, Schirmer/Mosel, München 2002
   Gasbehälter, Schirmer/Mosel, München 1993/2002
   Hochöfen, Schirmer/Mosel, München 1990/2002