Bernd & Hilla Becher: Industrial Landscapes

Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to present Industrial Landscapes from July 3rd through August 23rd, 2003.

Since 1959, Bernd and Hilla Becher have been photographing industrial structures in Europe and the United States.  The exhibition Industrial Landscapes introduces a new aspect to their photographyPrior bodies of work have concentrated on isolated industrial objects: water towers, gas tanks, and blast furnaces, often organized into typologies that contrast objects of the same function.  The selection of images in Industrial Landscapes, made over the past forty years, presents huge industrial sites amidst their natural surroundings.  Photographed in industrial regions of Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, and the United States, these images allow for a reading of social and historical aspects and enable the viewer to observe the industrial environment as part of a whole.

Following the sensibilities of early 20th century photographers Karl Blossfeldt and August Sander, the Bechers originated and mastered a genre of photography which falls somewhere between topological documentation and conceptual art.  In recent decades, the Bechers have profoundly influenced a new generation of artists including their students Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, and Thomas Struth.

The Bechers’ photographs can be found in the collections of numerous museums around the world.  A book, Industrial Landscapes, was recently published by MIT press.  Industrial Landscapes can be seen concurrently with the exhibition Several Exceptionally Good Recently Acquired Pictures XVI.