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Pitheads–Perspective Views

A work made of fifteen silver gelatin prints.

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  • A work made of fifteen silver gelatin prints.

Date:

1981

Artist:

Bernd & Hilla Becher
German
Bernd Becher (German, 1931–2007), Hilla Becher (German, 1934–2015)

About this artwork

For over 50 years, Bernd and Hilla Becher collaboratively photographed industrial structures throughout Europe and the United States. The artists came to consider the buildings “anonymous sculptures,” and they grouped them according to type or function—in this case, pithead towers above mine shafts. The images are presented in a grid, to emphasize both formal differences and overall sameness. Although the Bechers were greatly influenced by the reductive, serial formats common in Minimalist and Conceptual Art of the 1960s, Hilla once explained, “Our idea of showing the material has much more to do with the 19th century, with the encyclopedic approach used in botany or zoology, where … species are compared with one another on the individual pages of the lexicon.”

Currently Off View

Contemporary Art

Artist

Bernd and Hilla Becher

Title

Pitheads–Perspective Views

Origin

Germany

Date

1981

Medium

Fifteen silver gelatin prints

Dimensions

50.8 x 40.6 cm (20 x 16 in.) each; 152.4 x 203.2 cm (60 x 80 in.), installed

Credit Line

Restricted gift of the Photographic Society, Twentieth-Century Discretionary Fund

Reference Number

1983.220a-o

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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