Bernd and Hilla Becher - Photographs New York Thursday, April 4, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Sonnabend Gallery, New York, 1997

  • Literature

    The MIT Press, Bernd and Hilla Becher: Water Towers, pls. 13, 16, 19, 23
    teNeues, Bernd and Hilla Becher: Basic Forms, pl. 62

  • Catalogue Essay

    Titles include:
    Toledo, Ohio, USA, 1984; Youngstown, Ohio, USA, 1980; Akron, Ohio, USA, 1980; Leeds, GB, 1968; Mannheim-Neu-Ostheim, D, 1978; Carmaux, France, 1984

    "The emotional ingredient in the Bechers’ work is in the intelligence and truthfulness with which they understand and chronicle the emotions of seriousness. Seriousness is inherent in industrial structures because they usually deal with the primordial forces of earth, air, fire, and water…"
    Weston J. Naef, The Art of Bernd and Hilla Becher essay in Water Towers

  • Artist Biography

    Bernd and Hilla Becher

    German • Bernd 1931-2007 - Hilla 1934-2015

    Husband and wife Bernd and Hilla Becher began photographing buildings and relics of the Industrial Revolution, such as coal mines and cooling towers, in 1959. Like objective scientists removing a specimen from the field, the Bechers framed their subject in a manner that isolated it from its environment. Often, these stark, beautifully detailed prints were then displayed in grid-like structures, forming stunning 'Typologies'.

    By the time Bernd Becher became a professor at the Düsseldorf Art Academy in 1976 (policy would not allow Hilla to be a simultaneous appointment), the Bechers' photographs, with their seemingly neutral point of view and serial display, were already being applauded by the international art world as important works of Minimal and Conceptual Art.

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Water Towers

Six gelatin silver prints, mounted to board, printed and assembled no later than 1997.
Each 15 3/4 x 12 1/8 in. (40 x 30.8 cm)
Overall 47 1/4 x 61 3/4 in. (120 x 156.8 cm)

Signed by both artists in pencil on a sequence map accompanying the work.

$80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for $162,500

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New York Auction 4 April 2019