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Installation Views

Installation Views Thumbnails
Installation view, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view of Grain Elevators (1977-91) in Bernd and Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view of Grain Elevators (1977-91) in Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view of Grain Elevators (1977-91) in Bernd and Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

Installation view of Grain Elevators (1977-91) in Bernd & Hilla Becher, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, February 24 – March 30, 2024. © Estate Bernd and Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher, courtesy Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur – Bernd and Hilla Becher Archive, Cologne. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert

During their almost fifty-year partnership beginning in 1959, Bernd and Hilla Becher pursued a project of systematically photographing industrial structures. Documenting previously commonplace edifices such as water towers, coal bunkers, blast furnaces and gravel plants—first in Germany and later across Europe and the United States—the Bechers challenged the perceived gap between fine-art and documentary photography. Following a major Becher retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 2022, this will be the gallery’s second exhibition focused on the Bechers. Encompassing thirty-one single prints and two sixteen-part typologies depicting a range of industrial forms, the exhibition underlines how the Becher’s objective style resonated with the serial approach of Minimal and Conceptual art.

The Bechers described the structures that made up the industrial landscape they sought to document as “anonymous sculptures,” and this anonymity informed their objective photographic style. Avidly researching the function and construction of each structure to effectively illustrate its form, the Bechers approached their subject and their project with scientific precision. Each photograph conforms to one of three views: landscape, individual structure, or detail, and each form is positioned squarely within the frame. The purpose of their rigorous method is evident in the typologies––sequences of images grouped to draw out the similarities between forms. In Grain Elevators, 1977–1991, for example, the artists have combined sixteen views of grain elevators in the United States, Germany and France, allowing the form of the structures to unwind and reveal its function through comparison of unique and ubiquitous features. As evidenced in the extended period over which the photographs for this typology were taken, the Bechers would spend years fine-tuning a typology, switching individual prints in and out and rearranging them until the grouping achieved klang – a total harmony, in a visual sense. 

The Becher’s photographs stand as monuments to a landscape that had once symbolized prosperity, but by the 1970s and 1980s was rapidly disappearing. Their exacting and tireless approach and their preference for photographing structures in active use caused their inadvertent documentation of not only the forms of “anonymous sculptures,” but the unravelling of an entire infrastructure. 

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails
Bernd & Hilla Becher
Gravel Plants, 1987-1992
16 gelatin silver prints
each: 11 7/8 x 15 3/4 in. (30 x 40 cm)
each frame: 18 x 22 in. (46 x 56 cm)
overall: 74 3/8 x 90 1/8 in. (189 x 229 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher
Gravel Plants, 1987-1992
16 gelatin silver prints
each: 11 7/8 x 15 3/4 in. (30 x 40 cm)
each frame: 18 x 22 in. (46 x 56 cm)
overall: 74 3/8 x 90 1/8 in. (189 x 229 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher Industrial Landscapes: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA, 1986 gelatin silver print print (sight): 17 5/8 x 22 3/8 in. (44.8 x 56.8 cm) frame: 29 5/8 x 36 in. (75.2 x 91.4 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher
Industrial Landscapes: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA, 1986
gelatin silver print
print (sight): 17 5/8 x 22 3/8 in. (44.8 x 56.8 cm)
frame: 29 5/8 x 36 in. (75.2 x 91.4 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher Coal bunker, Zeche RheinpreuBen 6/7 Homberg, D, 1973 gelatin silver print image: 19 5/8 x 23 3/4 in. (50 x 60 cm) frame: 29 1/2 x 36 in. (75 x 91.5 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher
Coal bunker, Zeche RheinpreuBen 6/7 Homberg, D, 1973
gelatin silver print
image: 19 5/8 x 23 3/4 in. (50 x 60 cm)
frame: 29 1/2 x 36 in. (75 x 91.5 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher Blast Furnace, Youngstown, Ohio, USA, 1980 gelatin silver print image: 19 3/4 x 23 5/8 in. (50 x 60 cm) frame: 29 1/2 x 36 in. (75 x 91.5 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher
Blast Furnace, Youngstown, Ohio, USA, 1980
gelatin silver print
image: 19 3/4 x 23 5/8 in. (50 x 60 cm)
frame: 29 1/2 x 36 in. (75 x 91.5 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher Preparation Plant, Moffat Breaker, Taylor, Pennsylvania, USA, 1974 gelatin silver print image: 23 5/8 x 19 3/4 in. (60 x 50 cm) frame: 36 x 29 1/2 in. (91.5 x 75 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher
Preparation Plant, Moffat Breaker, Taylor, Pennsylvania, USA, 1974
gelatin silver print
image: 23 5/8 x 19 3/4 in. (60 x 50 cm)
frame: 36 x 29 1/2 in. (91.5 x 75 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher Grain Elevator, Mourmelon-le-Grand, F, 2006 gelatin silver print image: 23 5/8 x 19 3/4 in. (60 x 50 cm) frame: 36 x 29 1/2 in. (91.5 x 75 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher
Grain Elevator, Mourmelon-le-Grand, F, 2006
gelatin silver print
image: 23 5/8 x 19 3/4 in. (60 x 50 cm)
frame: 36 x 29 1/2 in. (91.5 x 75 cm) 

Bernd & Hilla Becher Gas Tank, Wesseling, D, 1983 gelatin silver print image: 23 5/8 x 19 3/4 in. (60 x 50 cm) frame: 36 x 29 1/2 in. (91.5 x 75 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher
Gas Tank, Wesseling, D
, 1983
gelatin silver print
image: 23 5/8 x 19 3/4 in. (60 x 50 cm)
frame: 36 x 29 1/2 in. (91.5 x 75 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher Water Tower, Pont-à-Celles, B, 2010 gelatin silver print image: 23 5/8 x 19 3/4 in. (60 x 50 cm) frame: 36 x 29 1/2 in. (91.5 x 75 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher
Water Tower, Pont-à-Celles, B, 2010
gelatin silver print
image: 23 5/8 x 19 3/4 in. (60 x 50 cm)
frame: 36 x 29 1/2 in. (91.5 x 75 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher Winding Tower, Siège de Folschviller, F, 1987 gelatin silver print image: 23 5/8 x 19 3/4 in. (60 x 50 cm) frame: 36 x 29 1/2 in. (91.5 x 75 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher
Winding Tower, Siège de Folschviller, F, 1987
gelatin silver print
image: 23 5/8 x 19 3/4 in. (60 x 50 cm)
frame: 36 x 29 1/2 in. (91.5 x 75 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher
Gravel Plants, 1987-1992
16 gelatin silver prints
each: 11 7/8 x 15 3/4 in. (30 x 40 cm)
each frame: 18 x 22 in. (46 x 56 cm)
overall: 74 3/8 x 90 1/8 in. (189 x 229 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher
Gravel Plants, 1987-1992
16 gelatin silver prints
each: 11 7/8 x 15 3/4 in. (30 x 40 cm)
each frame: 18 x 22 in. (46 x 56 cm)
overall: 74 3/8 x 90 1/8 in. (189 x 229 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher Industrial Landscapes: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA, 1986 gelatin silver print print (sight): 17 5/8 x 22 3/8 in. (44.8 x 56.8 cm) frame: 29 5/8 x 36 in. (75.2 x 91.4 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher
Industrial Landscapes: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA, 1986
gelatin silver print
print (sight): 17 5/8 x 22 3/8 in. (44.8 x 56.8 cm)
frame: 29 5/8 x 36 in. (75.2 x 91.4 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher Coal bunker, Zeche RheinpreuBen 6/7 Homberg, D, 1973 gelatin silver print image: 19 5/8 x 23 3/4 in. (50 x 60 cm) frame: 29 1/2 x 36 in. (75 x 91.5 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher
Coal bunker, Zeche RheinpreuBen 6/7 Homberg, D, 1973
gelatin silver print
image: 19 5/8 x 23 3/4 in. (50 x 60 cm)
frame: 29 1/2 x 36 in. (75 x 91.5 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher Blast Furnace, Youngstown, Ohio, USA, 1980 gelatin silver print image: 19 3/4 x 23 5/8 in. (50 x 60 cm) frame: 29 1/2 x 36 in. (75 x 91.5 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher
Blast Furnace, Youngstown, Ohio, USA, 1980
gelatin silver print
image: 19 3/4 x 23 5/8 in. (50 x 60 cm)
frame: 29 1/2 x 36 in. (75 x 91.5 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher Preparation Plant, Moffat Breaker, Taylor, Pennsylvania, USA, 1974 gelatin silver print image: 23 5/8 x 19 3/4 in. (60 x 50 cm) frame: 36 x 29 1/2 in. (91.5 x 75 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher
Preparation Plant, Moffat Breaker, Taylor, Pennsylvania, USA, 1974
gelatin silver print
image: 23 5/8 x 19 3/4 in. (60 x 50 cm)
frame: 36 x 29 1/2 in. (91.5 x 75 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher Grain Elevator, Mourmelon-le-Grand, F, 2006 gelatin silver print image: 23 5/8 x 19 3/4 in. (60 x 50 cm) frame: 36 x 29 1/2 in. (91.5 x 75 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher
Grain Elevator, Mourmelon-le-Grand, F, 2006
gelatin silver print
image: 23 5/8 x 19 3/4 in. (60 x 50 cm)
frame: 36 x 29 1/2 in. (91.5 x 75 cm) 

Bernd & Hilla Becher Gas Tank, Wesseling, D, 1983 gelatin silver print image: 23 5/8 x 19 3/4 in. (60 x 50 cm) frame: 36 x 29 1/2 in. (91.5 x 75 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher
Gas Tank, Wesseling, D
, 1983
gelatin silver print
image: 23 5/8 x 19 3/4 in. (60 x 50 cm)
frame: 36 x 29 1/2 in. (91.5 x 75 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher Water Tower, Pont-à-Celles, B, 2010 gelatin silver print image: 23 5/8 x 19 3/4 in. (60 x 50 cm) frame: 36 x 29 1/2 in. (91.5 x 75 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher
Water Tower, Pont-à-Celles, B, 2010
gelatin silver print
image: 23 5/8 x 19 3/4 in. (60 x 50 cm)
frame: 36 x 29 1/2 in. (91.5 x 75 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher Winding Tower, Siège de Folschviller, F, 1987 gelatin silver print image: 23 5/8 x 19 3/4 in. (60 x 50 cm) frame: 36 x 29 1/2 in. (91.5 x 75 cm)

Bernd & Hilla Becher
Winding Tower, Siège de Folschviller, F, 1987
gelatin silver print
image: 23 5/8 x 19 3/4 in. (60 x 50 cm)
frame: 36 x 29 1/2 in. (91.5 x 75 cm)