Bernd and Hilla Becher - Photographs New York Thursday, October 7, 2021 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Sonnabend Gallery, New York, 1981

  • Literature

    The MIT Press, Bernd and Hilla Becher: Water Towers, pls. 180-183, 186-187

  • Catalogue Essay

    Titles include: Recklinghausen, D, 1966; Bochum, D, 1965; Temploux/Namur, B, 1974; Dippach, L, 1980; Göttelborn, Saarland, D, 1976; and Köln, Färbergasse, D, 1963

  • 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.

    View More Works

Property from a Distinguished Curator’s Collection


Water Towers

Six gelatin silver prints, printed and assembled no later than 1980.
Each approximately 12 x 15 3/4 in. (30.5 x 40 cm)
Signed by both artists with a sequence map in pencil on the reverse of the mount of one print; sequentially numbered 'Q1 - Q6' in pencil on the reverse of each mount.

$50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for $138,600

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department
+1 212 940 1225


Vanessa Hallett
Deputy Chairwoman, Americas and Worldwide Head of Photographs
+1 212 940 1243


New York Auction 7 October 2021