Bernd & Hilla Becher
Jul 15 – Nov 6, 2022

Bernd & Hilla Becher, Water Tower, Verviers, Belgium

The renowned German artists Bernd and Hilla Becher (1931–2007; 1934–2015) changed the course of late twentieth-century photography. Working as a rare artist couple, they focused on a single subject: the disappearing industrial architecture of Western Europe and North America that fueled the modern era. Their seemingly objective style recalled nineteenth- and early twentieth-century precedents but also resonated with the serial approach of contemporary Minimalism and Conceptual art. Equally significant, it challenged the perceived gap between documentary and fine-art photography.


Bernd & Hilla Becher, Gas Tank, Wesseling / Cologne, Germany

Bernd & Hilla Becher, Lime Kiln, Brielle, Netherlands

Bernd & Hilla Becher, Chemical Factory, Wesseling / Cologne, Germany

Bernd & Hilla Becher, Blast Furnace, Youngstown, Ohio, United States

Bernd & Hilla Becher, Gravel Plant, Günzburg, Germany

Bernd & Hilla Becher, Water Towers

Bernd & Hilla Becher, Industrial Forms

Bernd & Hilla Becher, Collective Portrait: Objects with Different Functions, Grube Anna, Alsdorf / Aachen

Using a large-format view camera, the Bechers methodically recorded blast furnaces, winding towers, grain silos, cooling towers, and gas tanks with precision, elegance, and passion. Their rigorous, standardized practice allowed for comparative analyses of structures that they exhibited in grids of between four and thirty photographs. They described these formal arrangements as “typologies” and the buildings themselves as “anonymous sculpture.”

This posthumous retrospective celebrates the Bechers’ remarkable achievement and is the first ever organized with full access to the artists’ personal collection of working materials and their comprehensive archive.


Bernd Becher, Eisernhardter Tiefbau Mine, Eisern, Germany

Hilla Becher, [Pine Needle Tuft]

Hilla Becher, [Mountain Elm Leaf]

Hilla Becher, [Metal Forms]

Bernd Becher, Eisernhardter Tiefbau Mine, Eisern, Germany

Bernd Becher, Eisernhardter Tiefbau Mine, Eisern, Germany

Bernd Becher, Eisernhardter Tiefbau Mine, Eisern, Germany

Bernd & Hilla Becher, Water Towers

Bernd & Hilla Becher, Water Towers

Bernd Becher, Eisernhardter Tiefbau Mine, Eisern, Germany

Bernd & Hilla Becher, Water Towers

The exhibition is made possible by Joyce Frank Menschel, the Barrie A. and Deedee Wigmore Foundation, the Edward John & Patricia Rosenwald Foundation, and Linda Macklowe.

It is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in association with Studio Bernd & Hilla Becher and Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur.

The catalogue is made possible by the Mary C. and James W. Fosburgh Publications Fund.

Additional support is provided by the Mellon Foundation.


Bernd & Hilla Becher
July 15 – November 6, 2022 / The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Visit the exhibition page >

Rencontres d’Arles 2022
Jul 4 – Sep 25, 2022
Artists who use the medium are there to remind us of what we want to neither hear nor see....
Only Barely Still
Contretype / Jun 1 – Sep 11, 2022
The Arctic was never considered a place for women, historically deemed unfit to deal with the challenges of an...
Our 5th Year Anniversary
ARTPIL / Prescription .129
We are rounding out our fifth year with nearly 3 million visits strong. A very exciting journey it has...
Fly in League with the Night
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
Each painting is made from a composite archive of found images supplemented by her own imagination, rendered in expressive,...
World Press Photo 2022
Winners & Exhibitions Announced
Providing a variety of perspectives from all corners of the globe, the 2022 World Press Photo Contest awarded works...
ARTPIL / Prescription .128
100 Days into Ukraine
More terrible is love in Kyiv than magnificent Venetian passions. Butterflies fly light and maculate into bright tapers. Dead...
Venice Biennale / 59th Edition
Apr 23 – Nov 11, 2022
The 59th edition takes its title from a book by Leonora Carrington in which the Surrealist artist describes a...
Charging Myths / On-Trade-Off
Mar 6 – Aug 21, 2022
How is technological innovation dependent on raw materials? This question is key in the exhibit tracing the origins of...