Bernd and Hilla Becher (German, 1931-2007; German, b. 1934) have created a typological index of German architecture. The couple married in 1961, and have since explored industrial, commercial, and residential structures throughout Germany. Their exhaustive cataloguing has created a kind of anthropological and sociological record of their country’s landscape. Documenting barns, water towers, coal tipples, cooling towers, grain elevators, coal bunkers, coke ovens, oil refineries, blast furnaces, gas tanks, storage silos, and warehouses, the couple has created systematically, standardized images of each site. The rigorous frontality of the individual images gives them the simplicity of diagrams, while their density of detail offers encyclopedic richness.
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