Bernd and Hilla Becher

Berndt Becher (1931-2007) and Hilla Becher (1934-2015) were German-born photographers, teachers and artists. They met whilst both working for an advertising agency in Dusseldorf in the late 1950s. Their partnership, both as husband and wife and in artistic collaboration spanned almost 50 years. They are best known for their series of photos of mines, mills and water towers. These photos were taken across Europe and the US and were printed in black and white using the gelatin silver process. They were presented in striking groups of six, nine or fifteen. The grid system was used both in books and in exhibitions. In 1970 they published Anonymous Sculptures: a Typology of Industrial Buildings.

The Becher’s images were more than a celebration of industrial architecture they mapped a post-war landscape which went through incredible change, the images serve as a reminder of the demise of many traditional industries.

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