Tag Archives: Bernd And Hilla Becher

The Bechers on Display at Paris Photo

The work of the photographic duo Bernd and Hilla Becher is indisputably some of the most important in modern photography. This week, a two-part exhibit at Paris Photo highlights the historical significance of the Bechers, most well known for their “typologies”—uniform, photographic studies of industrial structures such as water towers and blast furnaces.

The first part of the show, Bernd and Hilla Becher—Printed materials 1964-2012, features an extensive collection of rare ephemera related to the Bechers’ work. These objects, including posters, invitations and museum catalogues, were amassed by curator and book dealer Antoine de Beaupré for more than ten years.

“You get an historical overview,” said Beaupré. “and also an evolution of how their work developed over the years, especially in the beginning.”

One highlight of the collection is the magazine Anonyme Skulpturen which was printed in 1969 to accompany an exhibition of the Bechers’ work in Düsseldorf. This work would become a monograph of the same name, published in 1970, which is also featured in the Paris show.

The printed objects collected by Beupré represent the Bechers’ work from 1964 to 1977, while a presentation of their monographs, mounted under plexiglass and affixed to the gallery walls, span from 1970 to the present day.

The second section of the Paris show features a selection of 117 photographs chosen by Hilla Becher (Bernd Becher passed away in 2007) from the 1977 book Zeche Zollern II – Photographs of Bernd & Hilla Becher. Together, these prints, objects and publications are a comprehensive tribute to the Bechers’ long and prolific photographic career.


Antoine de Beaupré is a curator and the founder of the Librairie 213 in Paris.

Bernd and Hilla Becher—Printed materials 1964-2012 is on display at Paris Photo from Nov. 15 to 18.

Exploring Space and Place with Beate Gütschow, Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer

“Through the Lens of Candida Höfer,” interview profile courtesy AsiaAlter

In Lost Places: Sites of photography at Hamberger Kunsthalle in Germany (through September 23, 2012), 20 innovative contemporary photographers respond to the question: ”What happens to real places if a space loses its usual significance and can be experienced on a virtual plane?”

These artists, many who came out of Bernd and Hilla Becher’s renowned Dusseldorf School of Photography, which championed the de-emphasis of the perspective of the photographer and focus on the object’s command over the frame, present the documentation of landscape at a time when traditional notions of “space” and “place,” for better or worse, are rapidly changing.

Artist included in the exhibition are: Thomas Demand (b. 1964), Omer Fast (b. 1972), Beate Gütschow (b. 1970), Andreas Gursky (b. 1955), Candida Höfer (b. 1944), Sabine Hornig (b. 1964), Jan Köchermann (b. 1967), Barbara Probst (b. 1964), Alexandra Ranner (b. 1967), Ben Rivers (b. 1972), Thomas Ruff (b. 1958), Gregor Schneider (b. 1969), Sarah Schönfeld (b. 1979), Joel Sternfeld (b. 1944), Thomas Struth (b. 1954), Guy Tillim (b. 1962), Jörn Vanhöfen (b. 1961), Jeff Wall (b. 1946) and Tobias Zielony (b. 1973).

Gursky, Höfer, Ruff, Struth, and Wall were all featured in Stefan Gronert’s large-format volume The Dusseldorf School of Photography (Aperture 2010). In the fascinating video series “Contacts: The Renewal of Contemporary Photography,” Gursky and Wall describe the methodology behind their work.

In 2005, Aperture also published Höfer’s monograph Architecture of Absence, which features her meticulously composed images of public spaces marked with the richness of human activity, yet largely devoid of human presence.

Gütschow, “who constructs cityscapes and landscapers that are reminiscent of well-known places, but that do not allow any true reference” for her photographs in this exhibition, did a monograph with Aperture as well in 2007 called LS/S.

Work by Joel Sternfeld was featured in Aperture issue 192 and 180. Guy Tillim appears in Aperture issue 193.

Lost Places: Sites of Photography
Exhibition on view:
June 8 – September 23, 2012

Hamberger Kunsthalle
GlockengieBerwall 20095
Hamburg, Germany
+49 (0) 40-428-131-200

Outer Space: Thomas Ruff’s Altered Reality

The themes that have defined the more than 30-year career of Thomas Ruff were born while the influential German photographer was studying under famed photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Düsseldorf Art Academy from 1977 to 1985. Known for their typology work of water towers in which they photographed with a straightforward point of view, the Bechers believed that images which were photographed objectively were more truthful. Bernd Becher criticized Ruff’s student work, faulting his photographs for not being his own. They were simply clichés, Becher argued, mimicking fictionalized images in magazines. Ruff turned the criticism on its head—he began to make images that questioned the very methodology of image making.

“Most of the photos we come across today are not really authentic anymore,” Ruff once said. “They have the authenticity of a manipulated and prearranged reality. You have to know the conditions of a particular photograph in order to understand it properly.”

It’s easy to see these ideas in Ruff’s space work, the topic of a new exhibition and book called Stellar Landscapes, which premiered at the Frankfurt Book Fair last weekend. In his book, Ruff includes appropriated imagery of space that he has collected over the last 20 years. In some of the photographs, Ruff used images made from NASA satellites, which he downloaded for free online. Ruff often took images that seemed to be abstract renderings of the surface of a planet and used color to abstract them further. Other times, the photographer hand colored the NASA photographs to make abstract scenes more realistic. Ruff has always had a fascination with the dialogue between photography and context of a photograph. It seems only natural, then, that Ruff translated this idea into reworking existing NASA images of to present another—and equally important—view of space.

Stellar Landscapes is on view at the Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Münster through January 8. The book is available now through Kerher Verlag.

Opening Tonight!

Robert Frank
Rodeo, New York City, 1954, printed c. 1954

Great Photographs of the 20th Century: From the Street will feature work by Robert Adams, Richard Avedon, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Abbas Kiarostami, Lisette Model and Gary Winogrand.

Exhibition on view
May 19 – July 1, 2011

Reception and Panel Discussion:
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Reception at 5:30 pm
Panel discussion at 6:30 pm

Hasted Kraeutler
537 West 24th Street
New York, NY

 

LaToya Ruby Frazier (Save Our Community Hospital) Campaign for UPMC Braddock Hospital 2011

Always The Young Strangers

Higher Pictures presents Always the Young Strangers, an exhibition of 17 young artists. The exhibition is modeled after and takes its name from a show curated by Edward Steichen at the Museum of Modern Art in 1953. The work in our show is cohesive, chaotic and expansive. The artists are highly tuned-in, producing work that vaporizes the traditional 20th century approach to medium and style. For the artist today, these have entered the hyper-real – they leave us only with references to medium and style. Aided by technologies beyond the camera, their art discloses a hybridized world made by hand. Collectively this work feels and speaks of individuality and possibility.

Erica Allen, Cortney Andrews, Talia Chetrit, Jessica Eaton, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Anna Krachey, Jessica Labatte, Andrea Longacre-White, Aspen Mays, MPA + Katherine Hubbard, Yamini Nayar, Emily Roysdon, Carrie Schneider, Kate Steciw, Letha Wilson, Ann Woo.

Higher Pictures
764 Madison Avenue
New York

Opening reception: Thursday May 19, 6 – 9 pm
Exhibition on view: May 19 through July 9, 2011

Arthur Ou, untitled (Screen Test 1) 2007, courtesy the artist

The exhibition Undressing the World presented by Conveyor will feature Aaron Gustafson, Arthur Ou, Christine Shank, David Horvitz, Elizabeth Bick, George Pitts, Haley Bueschlen, Hrvoje Slovenc, Laura Bell, Leif Huron, Nicholas Alan Cope, Penelope Umbrico, Simone Douglas, Claudia Sohrens, Sophie Barbasch, Stephen Cardinal, and Sylvia Hardy.

The launch party will kick off with a performance by Hypercolor.

Conveyor will be hosting a series of artist talks, live music and perhaps even performance art throughout the weekend at 25CPW.

Stay tuned to our website for more details: www.conveyorarts.org

Conveyor is an organization dedicated to supporting photographic-based artists, through the production and circulation of new works in the medium. In partnership with Conveyor Print Space, we provide artists with opportunities for printing, exhibition and publication.

The Conveyor Magazine Issue One {Curiosities} includes Review on the Photographic Universe Conference: Images and Writing from Arthur Ou, Penelope Umbrico, Andrea Geyer, Wafaa Bilal, Lorne Blythe, Daniel Small, Luca Antonucci and Simone Douglas.

Click here to purchase the Penelope Umbrico Photographs book.

 


Primary Photographic Gallery is pleased to present “2001″ an exhibition of photographs by New York photographer Tim Barber.

Opening reception: Thursday, May 19th, 6-10pm

Exhibition on view: May 19th – June 15th

Tim Barber grew up in Amherst Massachusetts, lived for a few years in the mountains of Northern Vermont, studied photography in Vancouver B.C. and now lives in New York City. A photographer, curator and designer, Barber runs the online gallery and image archive tinyvices.com, where visitors are encouraged to submit their photographs and artwork. He is represented in the US and UK by Webber Represents.

Following this show Barber will be curating a series of solo exhibitions for Primary Photographic Gallery featuring the artists Asger Carlsen, Brooke Smith, Greg Halpern and Kate Steciw. Stay tuned for schedule information.

Primary Photographic Gallery
195 Chrystie St.
New York, NY 10002


MICHAEL SCHMIDT: "Not Fade Away: The Face of German History in Michael Schmidt’s Ein-heit" (2003)

Not Fade Away: The Face of German History in Michael Schmidts Ein-heitBy Michael W. customer portal software . Jennings, October, 2003Fotografieren verboten. Photography forbidden. residencia canina en Mntrida . car . Is this the coded message that stutters at us in a central image from the photoessay U-ni-ty (Ein-heit) by the contemporary Berlin photographer Michael Schmidt? The cropped image of a sign, perhaps a sign that was part of the material culture

Der Rote Bulli and Eyes Look Through You



This year I was invited to contribute a couple essays to books that are currently available. Since blogging is more or less pressure-free, I accepted these challenges with great apprehension but I’m fairly happy with the results. You be the judge.

The larger of the two is a brick-like catalog from the NRW Forum Dusseldorf called Der Rote Bulli: Stephen Shore and the New Dusseldorf Photography. This is an exhibition curated and edited by Christoph Schaden and Werner Lippert on the occasion of Dusseldorf’s Quadrennial 2010 that examines the generations of photographers that have studied at the Art Academy in Dusseldorf under Bernd and Hilla Becher. At its heart, is the transatlantic dialogue between Germany and the United States that rose due to the influence of Stephen Shore’s work that would appear in his landmark book Uncommon Places.

Der Rote Bulli – The Red Bully – refers to the red Volkswagon van that appears in Stephen Shore’s photograph Church Street and Second Street, Easton, Pennsylvania, June 20, 1974. This image was made on the first day Shore used an 8 x 10 camera that he had been given by the influential Metropolitan Museum curator Weston Neuf after Shore set off to the industrial regions of Pennsylvania. He had made only one previous photograph before setting up his tripod on Church street, a straight on portrait of Easton resident Nicholas Bader wearing an unbuttoned pink shirt. In that image, Bader stares directly into the lens with a questioning gaze, presumably a mirrored reflection of Shore’s own expression as he was depressing the shutter – figuring out how this new tool would greatly shift his approach to photographing.

In Schaden’s book and exhibition, the Church street image becomes an important marker that would connect the German and US dialogue on current practice. One year after the Church street picture was made it appeared in the legendary New Topographics show in Rochester. The Becher’s, who were the only European photographers to have work in the show, had seen the image and eventually purchased a print of it for their own collection soon thereafter. Whatever the presumed attraction they might have had to that particular image, one superficial link is interesting to note, they had also owned an identical red VW van in which they had logged thousands of miles documenting industrial architecture until Bernd’s death in 2007.

In examining Shore’s influence on the Becher students of the Art Academy in Dusseldorf, Schaden has chosen a smart edit of images from the expected stars (Gursky, Struth, Ruff, Hutte, Hofer), but more importantly, from unexpected or less familiar artists like Volker Dohne, Wendelin Bottlander, Tata Ronkholz, Andi Brenner, Claus Goedicke. This is an important inclusion since the Becher’s taught almost 80 masters students between 1976 and 1998.

Several texts accompany this 344 page book, including essays by Christoph Schaden, Maren Polte, Gerald Schroder and mine on the reception of the Becher’s work in the United States between 1968 and 1991. My essay is based on, and indebted to, the in-depth two year research by Christoph Schaden on the various ways the work was perceived here in the US which often ran in opposition to how the Bechers saw their work.

The exhibition in Dusseldorf will be on-view at the NRW-Forum Kultur und Wirtschaft in Dusseldorf until January 16, 2011.

The other book I contributed to is Eyes Look Through You from the Brooklyn-based photographer Ted Partin who was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Kunstmuseen Krefeld, Germany.

For the last decade Partin has been photographing his friends and extended tribe in Brooklyn and elsewhere with the lush description from an 8 x10 camera. His subjects, mostly thirty-somethings around the age of Partin himself, persuade us to see their individualism in these intimate portraits. Neither completely real (Partin often directs his subjects) nor consciously conceived fictions, his pictures sit within a territory where the dividing line between the innocent and perverse, reality and fantasy, is often blurred.

His subjects aren’t fearful of presenting their personal idiosyncrasies to his camera or the larger world in general. They tattoo their bodies and modify themselves in the hopes of shaping their personal identities. In the image that graces the cover, a boyish-looking young woman lays on a table as the tattooist’s gun, barely perceptible, works on her shoulder. She gazes as calm as if simply deep in thought. Pain has become a commonplace experience that is endured, perhaps even invited. This is one thread which links many of Partin’s photographs; life is full of discomfort, arm yourself and adapt, get used to it.

Partin acknowledges that sitting before a camera creates a level of discomfort for most of his subjects, so why not work within this emotional space and use the effect to the picture’s advantage? This sentiment is felt by noticing how many of Partin’s subjects find themselves posing upon uncomfortable looking surfaces. Tabletops, asphalt rooftops, sidewalks, iron gratings echo of the world’s hardness.

What do we ultimately take away from Partin’s pursuit? His pictures persuade us to see individuals, giving them volume and weight. Beyond age difference, tattoos or clothing we enter a common human exchange as if meeting someone face to face. Their image is to be considered and though photographs do not allow us to fully “know” these people in any real sense, we draw a resounding connection through their poignancy, in hope of knowing just a little more about ourselves through their presence.

Eyes Look Through You is hardcover and includes two essays and a transcript of an interview between Partin and Sylvia Martin, the exhibition’s curator.

Der Rote Bulli and Eyes Look Through You



This year I was invited to contribute a couple essays to books that are currently available. Since blogging is more or less pressure-free, I accepted these challenges with great apprehension but I’m fairly happy with the results. You be the judge.

The larger of the two is a brick-like catalog from the NRW Forum Dusseldorf called Der Rote Bulli: Stephen Shore and the New Dusseldorf Photography. This is an exhibition curated and edited by Christoph Schaden and Werner Lippert on the occasion of Dusseldorf’s Quadrennial 2010 that examines the generations of photographers that have studied at the Art Academy in Dusseldorf under Bernd and Hilla Becher. At its heart, is the transatlantic dialogue between Germany and the United States that rose due to the influence of Stephen Shore’s work that would appear in his landmark book Uncommon Places.

Der Rote Bulli – The Red Bully – refers to the red Volkswagon van that appears in Stephen Shore’s photograph Church Street and Second Street, Easton, Pennsylvania, June 20, 1974. This image was made on the first day Shore used an 8 x 10 camera that he had been given by the influential Metropolitan Museum curator Weston Neuf after Shore set off to the industrial regions of Pennsylvania. He had made only one previous photograph before setting up his tripod on Church street, a straight on portrait of Easton resident Nicholas Bader wearing an unbuttoned pink shirt. In that image, Bader stares directly into the lens with a questioning gaze, presumably a mirrored reflection of Shore’s own expression as he was depressing the shutter – figuring out how this new tool would greatly shift his approach to photographing.

In Schaden’s book and exhibition, the Church street image becomes an important marker that would connect the German and US dialogue on current practice. One year after the Church street picture was made it appeared in the legendary New Topographics show in Rochester. The Becher’s, who were the only European photographers to have work in the show, had seen the image and eventually purchased a print of it for their own collection soon thereafter. Whatever the presumed attraction they might have had to that particular image, one superficial link is interesting to note, they had also owned an identical red VW van in which they had logged thousands of miles documenting industrial architecture until Bernd’s death in 2007.

In examining Shore’s influence on the Becher students of the Art Academy in Dusseldorf, Schaden has chosen a smart edit of images from the expected stars (Gursky, Struth, Ruff, Hutte, Hofer), but more importantly, from unexpected or less familiar artists like Volker Dohne, Wendelin Bottlander, Tata Ronkholz, Andi Brenner, Claus Goedicke. This is an important inclusion since the Becher’s taught almost 80 masters students between 1976 and 1998.

Several texts accompany this 344 page book, including essays by Christoph Schaden, Maren Polte, Gerald Schroder and mine on the reception of the Becher’s work in the United States between 1968 and 1991. My essay is based on, and indebted to, the in-depth two year research by Christoph Schaden on the various ways the work was perceived here in the US which often ran in opposition to how the Bechers saw their work.

The exhibition in Dusseldorf will be on-view at the NRW-Forum Kultur und Wirtschaft in Dusseldorf until January 16, 2011.

The other book I contributed to is Eyes Look Through You from the Brooklyn-based photographer Ted Partin who was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Kunstmuseen Krefeld, Germany.

For the last decade Partin has been photographing his friends and extended tribe in Brooklyn and elsewhere with the lush description from an 8 x10 camera. His subjects, mostly thirty-somethings around the age of Partin himself, persuade us to see their individualism in these intimate portraits. Neither completely real (Partin often directs his subjects) nor consciously conceived fictions, his pictures sit within a territory where the dividing line between the innocent and perverse, reality and fantasy, is often blurred.

His subjects aren’t fearful of presenting their personal idiosyncrasies to his camera or the larger world in general. They tattoo their bodies and modify themselves in the hopes of shaping their personal identities. In the image that graces the cover, a boyish-looking young woman lays on a table as the tattooist’s gun, barely perceptible, works on her shoulder. She gazes as calm as if simply deep in thought. Pain has become a commonplace experience that is endured, perhaps even invited. This is one thread which links many of Partin’s photographs; life is full of discomfort, arm yourself and adapt, get used to it.

Partin acknowledges that sitting before a camera creates a level of discomfort for most of his subjects, so why not work within this emotional space and use the effect to the picture’s advantage? This sentiment is felt by noticing how many of Partin’s subjects find themselves posing upon uncomfortable looking surfaces. Tabletops, asphalt rooftops, sidewalks, iron gratings echo of the world’s hardness.

What do we ultimately take away from Partin’s pursuit? His pictures persuade us to see individuals, giving them volume and weight. Beyond age difference, tattoos or clothing we enter a common human exchange as if meeting someone face to face. Their image is to be considered and though photographs do not allow us to fully “know” these people in any real sense, we draw a resounding connection through their poignancy, in hope of knowing just a little more about ourselves through their presence.

Eyes Look Through You is hardcover and includes two essays and a transcript of an interview between Partin and Sylvia Martin, the exhibition’s curator.