Gas containers, Germany 1982-1998 © Bernd and Hilla Becher 2004
Seraing, Leige, Belgium 1980
Pittsburgh, © Bernd and Hilla Becher 2004


Exhibition: Bernd and Hilla Becher in Paris

The Centre Pompidou in Paris presents the photographs of Bernd and Hilla Bechers until January 3, 2005. They have been documenting industrial buildings for more than 40 years.


Bernd and Hilla Becher met in the late 1950s. In the meantime, they have been working on an archive of industrial architecture for more than 40 years. Their black-and-white photographs present the buildings centered and filling the format set against the neutral background of a cloudless sky. The industrial buildings thus appear as "anonymous sculptures." In the course of time, typologies of recycling plants, winding towers, gas containers, chalk stoves, water towers and more have been created.

"The objects that we are interested in have one thing in common: they were built without any consideration for the scale and ornamental grids. Their aesthetics consist of the fact that they were created without an aesthetic intention. The attractiveness of the theme is that buildings of a fundamentally equal function occur in a diversity of forms. Through photography we try to organize these forms and make them comparable," says the couple.


Bernd and Hilla Becher were awarded, among others, the Golden Lion of the XLIVth Biennale in Venice (1991) and the International Photography Award of the Swedish Hasselblad Foundation (2004). Bernd Becher was a professor of photography at the National Art Academy in Düsseldorf.