Typological, repetitive, at times oddly humorous, Bernd and Hilla Becher's photographs of industrial structures are, in their cumulative effect, profoundly moving. The Becher's serenely cool, disarmingly objective, and notoriously obsessive images of watertowers, gas tanks, grain elevators, blast furnaces, and mine heads have been taken over a period of almost thirty years, under overcast skies, with a view camera that captures each detail and tonality of wood, concrete, brick, and steel.
Blast Furnaces represents a continuation of, but also a counterpoint to the Bechers' earlier book Watertowers. There basic functional elements were hidden or clothed in disguises, whereas the 256 duotone prints included here record a purely functional and exposed architecture, built to contain heat, pressure, and accumulations of gases and unhindered by any outside constraints.
The blast furnace is the symbol of the steel industry. Like other building types which attract the Bechers, it is also an endangered industrial species. Essentially giant, cone-shaped circular stoves, blast furnaces dominate the cityscapes of Pittsburgh, Youngstown, and Birmingham much as religious structures dominated medieval cities. These photographs, taken between 1961 and 1989, convey the unique characteristics, physical complexity, and eerie presence in the landscape of blast furnaces in Great Britain, Belgium, France, Austria, Germany, and the United States.
Bernd and Hilla Becher teach at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. They began their collaborative photographic enterprise in 1957, when they did a study of workers' houses in their native Germany. The Bechers follow in a distinguished line of German photographers that includes August Sander, Albert Renger-Patzsch, and Werner Manz, all of whom contributed in different ways to the definition of "objective" photography. A selection of their photographs is on view throughout 1990 at the Dia Art Foundation galleries in New York, and they will represent Germany in the 1990 Venice Biennale.
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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.Language Notes:
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German
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Descrizione libro The MIT Press, 1990. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Never used!. Codice libro della libreria P110262023113
Descrizione libro Oct 01, 1990. Condizione libro: Neu. Codice libro della libreria Q9E-JSB-USH