Quantcast
ART OPENING: Bernd & Hilla Becher @SpruethMagers Tuesday 2nd September 2015 - FAD Magazine

FAD Magazine

FAD Magazine covers contemporary art- News, Exhibitions, Interviews and cool art stuff reported on from London

ART OPENING: Bernd & Hilla Becher @SpruethMagers Tuesday 2nd September 2015

38de0a08bbd2bbfce931f6b0b8b86ae6_0
Bernd & Hilla Becher Lime Kiln, Kaltes Tal, GER, 1997 Black and White photography Courtesy the artists and Sprueth Magers Berlin London

3rd September – 4th October SPRÜTH MAGERS 147A Grafton Street London W1S 4EJ www.spruethmagers.com

Over the past five decades, as both teachers and artists, Bernd and Hilla Becher have become among the most influential figures in contemporary photography. Featuring five typologies of industrial structures, as well as a number of single, large-scale photographs, the exhibition at Sprüth Magers is their first solo show in London since the Camden Arts Centre in 1998 and the largest presentation of their work since ‘Cruel and Tender’, at Tate Modern, in 2003.

Bernd and Hilla Becher met in 1959 and first exhibited together in 1963. The typologies for which they are now well known grew out of their expansive, impartial approach when they first started taking photographs of commonplace industrial buildings in post-War Germany and across Western Europe. After collating thousands of pictures of individual structures, they noticed that the various edifices – of cooling towers, gas tanks and coalbunkers, for instance – shared many distinctive formal qualities. Systematically photographing each structure from both a frontal and a three-quarter perspective, they examined them the way a biologist might look at a specimen collected during fieldwork, comparing and contrasting to organise them into groups, or species. Presented in grids, the typologies reveal the many forms that the buildings share, while at the same time each picture within the grid describes the unique details of each particular structure. The rigour and clarity of the Bechers’ methodology has influenced a generation of photographers and conceptual artists.

Five works fill the main gallery, four organised in grids of nine framed black-and-white photographs and one in fifteen. The nine photographs of Industrial Facades, 1970-1998, depict the broad, almost featureless fronts of various storage facilities, and the landscape orientation of the grid reflects the squat orientation of the buildings. Cooling Towers, 1967-1984, on the other hand, has the rising movement of the towers, and the overall grid has an almost Gothic sense of uplift despite the austere, utilitarian structures. A selection of individual, larger-scale photographs of industrial structures occupies the smaller gallery. These photographs tend to depict structures with strong characters, a consequence of an unusual history or function. Tom Pudding Hoist, Goole, GB, 1997, for example, depicts a vernacular structure used for transferring coal along the River Ouse in Goole, Yorkshire. The Bechers’ typologies and photographs grant anonymous forms a sculptural presence, showing how mundane buildings express important cultural forces.

www.spruethmagers.com

About The Artits
Bernd (1931-2007) and Hilla Becher (b.1934) have exhibited widely since 1963. Solo exhibitions include Photographic Collection/SK Stiftung Kultur, Cologne (2013, 2010, 2006), Museum of Modern Art, New York (2008), Nationalgalerie Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2005), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2004), K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf (2003) and XLIV Venice Biennale (1990). Group exhibitions include Barbican Art Gallery, London (2014), Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2014, 2004), Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013), Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010), Nationalgalerie Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2008), The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (2005), UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2004), Tate Modern, London (2004, 2003) and Documenta XI, VII, VI, V, Kassel, (2002, 1982, 1977, 1972).

Categories

Tags

Related Posts

Anne Imhof joins Sprüth Magers

In collaboration with Galerie Buchholz, Sprüth Magers has announced the representation of Anne Imhof. Confronting viewers with attitude, endurance and a complex physical vocabulary, the German artist’s multidisciplinary works fuse brooding nihilism with fierce gesture. With her powerful and engaging works Imhof has emerged as one of the most pioneering contemporary artists of her generation.

Trending Articles

Submit Your Work

Submit your work to be featured on FAD