Bernd & Hilla Becher
Photographs from the 1960s and 70s
Zwirner & Wirth will present an exhibition of selected photographs from the 1960s and 70s by the highly influential German artists Bernd & Hilla Becher. Having begun their partnership in 1959, the Bechers transformed not only our post-modern vision of the world, but also their ground-breaking methods and techniques have completely redefined the role of the photograph in the realm of the fine arts. Considered the most influential teachers of the second half of the 20th Century, the Bechers have contributed greatly to the recent success of the new generation of German conceptual photographers, such as Thomas Ruff, Andreas Gursky and Thomas Struth, all of whom studied under the Bechers at the Academy of Arts in Düsseldorf.
In their signature style, the Bechers have, over the past four decades, produced images of industrial landmarks, which at one time stood for the technological triumphs of the industrial age. This exhibition will present a survey of photographs, tracing the beginnings of the Bechers’ artistic collaboration in the 1960s and 70s, including key images of the gas tanks, blast furnaces, cooling towers, coal mines structures, framework houses, lime kilns and water towers. Typical of the early years, many of the photographic works from the 60s and 70s are uniquely composed artworks consisting of photographs mounted to board and hand-inscribed by the artists.