fbpx
Upcoming Exhibition

Bernd & Hilla Becher

December 17, 2022–April 2, 2023

Floor 3

Tickets
Entry to this exhibition is included with general admission.

The renowned German artists Bernd and Hilla Becher (1931–2007; 1934–2015) changed the course of late twentieth-century photography. Working as a rare artist couple, they focused on a single subject: the disappearing industrial architecture of Western Europe and North America that fueled the modern era. Their seemingly objective style recalled nineteenth- and early twentieth-century precedents but also resonated with the serial approach of contemporary Minimalism and Conceptual art. Equally significant, it challenged the perceived gap between documentary and fine art photography.

Using a large-format view camera, the Bechers methodically recorded blast furnaces, winding towers, grain silos, cooling towers, and gas tanks with precision, elegance, and passion. Their rigorous, standardized practice allowed for comparative analyses of structures that they exhibited in grids of between four and thirty photographs. They described these formal arrangements as “typologies” and the buildings themselves as “anonymous sculpture.”

Featuring some 200 works of art, this posthumous retrospective celebrates the Bechers’ remarkable achievement and is the first ever organized with full access to the artists’ personal collection of working materials and their comprehensive archive. The exhibition was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in association with Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur.

 

Header: Bernd and Hilla Becher, Hochöfen, Vereinigte Staaten, Deutschland, Frankreich, Luxemburg, Belgien (Blast Furnaces, United States, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Belgium), 1968–93; The Doris and Donald Fisher Collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; © Estate of Bernd and Hilla Becher; photo: Don Ross


Exhibition Preview

Bernd and Hilla Becher, Framework House, Auf der Hütte 45, Gosenbach, Siegen, Germany, 1961; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, purchase, Vital Projects Fund Inc. gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, Denise and Andrew Saul Fund, Louis V. Bell, Harris Brisbane Dick, Fletcher, and Rogers Funds and Joseph Pulitzer bequest, and Jade Lau gift, 2018 (2018.463); © Estate Bernd & Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Fördertürme, Belgien, Frankreich (Winding Towers, Belgium, France), 1967-1988; The Doris and Donald Fisher Collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; © Estate of Bernd and Hilla Becher; photo: Don Ross
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Water Towers (Germany, France, Belgium, United States, and Great Britain), 1963–80; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Warner Communications Inc. Purchase Fund, 1980 (1980.1074a–p); © Estate Bernd & Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher

Bernd and Hilla Becher, Zeche Hannover, Bochum-Hordel, Ruhr Region, Germany, 1973; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, purchase, Vital Projects Fund Inc. gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2011 (2011.67); © Estate Bernd & Hilla Becher, represented by Max Becher

 


Watch

Meaningful support for Bernd & Hilla Becher is provided by David and Roxanne Soward.