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Typologies of Industrial Buildings (MIT Press) Hardcover – Black & White, March 26, 2004
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The Bechers though have pursued, since 1957, a unique photographic objective in attempting to record as much of the industrial landscape as possible but in a way that is personal to them. Their head on, flat perspective and grey sky backgrounds just seem so right as you turn the pages. I think this is the only book to show so many of their photos: just over 1500. They are divided into 130 Plates with between six and thirty photos to a Plate though they are mostly fifteen throughout the book. The structure sequence are: water towers; cooling towers; gas tanks; colliery winding towers; preparation plants; gravel plants; lime kilns; grain elevators; coal bunkers; blast furnaces; details (close-ups) and industrial facades. Winding towers has thirty Plates with over four hundred photos. The briefest of captions locate the place, country and the photo date.
Armin Zweite writes a thirty page introduction (translated from German which makes it seem overly complex) but full of interesting insights about the Bechers work, style origins and their place in contemporary photography. The book is beautifully produced as one would expect from the German publishers Schirmer (MIT have the English language rights) with quality paper and printing in a 200 screen.
Because Typologies contains so many works taken by these two remarkable photographers I think it is way above the usual art monograph.
***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.
The text is limited to the Bechers' approach to their photographic art and is a little dense and esoteric for the average reader. Definitely for those who wish to understand the Bechers' place in the art world.
I'll keep it for the wonderful pictures!