Bernd & Hilla Becher
Hilla and Bernd Becher are the founders of the famous “Düsseldorfer Photoschule” to which numerous internationally successful photographers such as Axel Hütte, Andreas Gursky and Thomas Ruff belonged to. This is not the only reason why they are considered central figures in the recognition of photography as an independent art form. It is also because they presented their black and white photographs, often hung in groups and referred to as “typologies”, early on in museums and art galleries, where Hilla and Bernd Becher have made a significant contribution to the ennoblement of the medium. They pursued their consistent approach to photography for over four decades: in diffuse, shadowless light, from a slightly elevated position, they placed for example cooling and water towers, grain silos, blast furnaces or entire industrial landscapes centrally and as neutrally as possible in the picture. At first glance, these technically perfect, cool prints are reminiscent of documentary photography, but one cannot deny that the images have an impressive aesthetic quality. With the Bechers, the industrial buildings become “Anonymous Sculptures” (which is also the title of their 1969 exhibition at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf) and documentation becomes an artistic concept.