To say that Bernd and Hilla Becher are one of the world's most famous photography couples would be an understatement. The pair, who started exhibiting their photographic work together in 1963, have been hugely influential in the global contemporary art scene, inspiring peers and the wider public with their powerful work on lonely and seemingly mundane industrial structures.
Working at the renowned Düsseldorf School of Photography, the Bechers famously taught the likes of Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer and Thomas Struth, making an indelible mark on the world of modern photography.
Bernd (1931 - 2007) and Hilla (b. 1934) Becher's new show opens today at the Sprüth Magers gallery in London, featuring five typologies of industrial structures, as well as a selection of single large-scale photographs. This is their first solo show in London since the Camden Arts Centre in 1998 and the largest presentation of their work since 'Cruel and Tender', at Tate Modern, in 2003.
The photographers are known for organising their clear, black-and-white work into systematic typology groups, which are then presented in neat grids, highlighting the differences and similarities between structures. The same has been done for this exhibition; the five typologies on display span industrial facades, cooling towers, gas tanks, coal bunkers and water towers.
And this striking show is the first stop of the photography season about to hit London this month. Coming up very soon is the Barbican's Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture exhibition, opening three weeks later and offering a further look into photography's architectural love affair.