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Typologies of Industrial Buildings (MIT Press) Hardcover – Black & White, March 26, 2004

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The format of Typologies, with its catalogue-like arrays of many small images...invite[s] a comparative examination..."-- Brian Hayes, "American Scientist"

About the Author

Bernd and Hilla Becher have collaborated since 1959. Founders of the internationally acclaimed Becher class at the Dusseldorf Art Academy, they have received numerous awards, including the Golden Lion at the 1990 Venice Biennale and the 2002 Erasmus Award. Bernd Becher retired as Professor at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art in 1999.
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Product Details

  • Series: MIT Press
  • Hardcover: 228 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (March 26, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262025655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262025652
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 1 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #433,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Reading the introduction to this remarkable book I came across the fact that Bern and Hilla Becher are continuing the German tradition of companies photographing their industrial premises. Alfred Krupp, about 1860, was the first to have his own photographer and a printing plant to produce promotional material. Other companies followed and printed ever more lavish photo books about their plants.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
Fabulous photos arranged in logical and pleasing order. Captions are limited to location only. I would have enjoyed a little more explanation of the function of the building types shown. However, as the blurb says "Bernd and Hilla Becher's photography can be considered conceptual art, typological study, and topological documentation."

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!
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