Bernd Becher (1931-2007) and Hilla Becher, born in 1934, have collaborated since 1959. Founders of the inter nationally acclaimed Becher class at the Dusseldorf Art Academy, they have received numerous awards, such as the Golden Lion at the 1990 Venice Biennial, and the 2002 Erasmus Prize. Hanz Liesbrock is art historian and Director of the Josef Albers Museum, Bottrop, Germany.
Bernd and Hilla Becher's photography can be considered conceptual art, typological study, and topological documentation. Their work can be linked to the Neue Sachlichkeit movement of the 1920s and to such masters of German photography as Karl Blossfeldt, August Sander, and Albert Renger-Patzsch. Their photographs documenting the architecture of industrial structures, taken over the course of forty years, make up the most important body of work to be found in independent objective photography. This volume adds cooling towers to a list of photographic projects that includes book-length studies of water towers, blast furnaces, gas tanks, mineheads, and frame houses.
Bernd and Hilla Becher's photographic documentation of the abandoned and demolished Hannover Coal Mine resurrects the colliery before the viewer s eyes: the three winding towers spanning a period of about 100 years; the power station with its cooling towers; the adjacent coking plant; and the spectacular conveyor belts traversing the entire compound.
Over the course of nearly five decades, Bernd and Hilla Becher documented almost every type of industrial architecture--from water towers and steel mills to gas tanks and grain silos--in Europe and the United States.
The Bechers' 224 photographs of watertowers comprise a unique, single minded, even obsessive mission. They were taken from as many as 8 angles, over a period of 25 years, with a stylistic approach so consistent that photographs juxtaposed from the 1950s and 1980s suggest a minute to minute account deadpan portraits of unadorned metal, concrete, and wooden structures.
Over the course of his 14-year artistic career, Peter Heisterkamp, aka Peter Schwarze, aka Blinky Palermo, tirelessly probed the limits of abstract painting. Having begun his brushwork on more traditional surfaces, he shifted his activity to less conventional supports, experimenting with diverse materials and forms, exploring the relationships that can exist between the wall and the space delimited by the painting.