Bernd & Hilla Becher - In Prints 1964-2010

From October 09, 2010 to January 23, 2011

"Bernhard und Hilla Becher. Anonyme Skulpturen. Eine Typologie technischer Bauten". Verlag Art-Press, Düsseldorf, Allemagne, 1970

Since the late 1950s, the photographic work of Bernd and Hilla Becher has been dedicated to industrial landscapes and buildings, including factories, water towers, blast furnaces, head frames, coal silos, etc., usually abandoned. Their approach can be described as scientific in the sense that their images are filed and archived according to their geographical locations or their functionality. This industrial architecture photographed in the same neutral light and according to the same parameters appears as sculpture removed from its context.

The Exhibition at the Musée de l’Elysée


Following the exhibition devoted to the publisher Steidl, the Musée de l’Elysée continues to explore the relationship between photography and print. The Bernd & Hilla Becher – In Prints 1964-2010 project offers a different perspective on the work of two major artists of the 20th century. The meticulous work of Antoine de Beaupré, curator of the exhibition, brought together all the printed matter – books, catalogues, limited editions, brochures, invitations, posters, etc. – dedicated to the Bechers. Their publications have indeed played a significant role in the development of their work and the structuring of the aesthetic to which their name has become associated. All these publications allow us to measure the progress since the early years of their common photographic work from the late 1950s to winning the Grand Prix of Sculpture at the Venice Biennale in 1990.

The exhibition Bernd & Hilla Becher – In Prints 1964-2010 offers a new approach by not presenting any photographs (with the exception of the limited edition of the Industriebaute catalogue, 1968, which contains 10 prints) to focus on how the artists undertook the layout / staging – in the representation of their work.

Biographies


Bernd Becher (Siegen 1931 - Rostock 2007). After an apprenticeship as a painter decorator, he studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart. He used photography for the first time in 1957.

Born in 1934 in Potsdam, Hilla Becher, trained as a photographer, left East Berlin to pursue her career in West Germany. She became responsible for the photographic laboratory at the Academy of Düsseldorf. Bernd and Hilla Becher met in 1959, the year their collaboration began with a series of photographs of mines and workers' houses in the industrial area of Siegen. Impossible to categorize, the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher found its place both in the history of documentary photography and conceptual art of the 70s.


"Bernhard und Hilla Becher. Anonyme Skulpturen". Kunst Zeitung n°2. Verlag Michelpresse, Düsseldorf, Allemagne. Janvier 1969

"Bernhard und Hilla Becher. Anonyme Skulpturen. Eine Typologie technischer Bauten". Verlag Art-Press, Düsseldorf, Allemagne, 1970

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