Bernd und Hilla Becher: Hochöfen (Blast Furnaces), Limited Edition (with Print)
BECHER, Bernd (Bernhard) und Hilla
Price: 3,750.00 USD
München (Munich): Schirmer/Mosel Verlag, 1990. 1990/2003. First German edition (the limited edition was published by Schirmer/Mosel in 2003). Limited slipcased edition of 100 hand-numbered copies (pasted-on plate on front free endpaper notes edition number, this being #19/100), with an original black and white gelatin silver print (printed in 2003) ''Blast Furnace, Völklingen, Saar, Germany, 1986" (image size 8-3/4 x 6-1/8 inches; paper size 9-3/4 x 7-1/8 inches; numbered and signed in pencil on verso by Bernd Becher and Hilla Becher; print edition 100) in a separate cloth portfolio with beveled window overmat for presentation. Both the book and matted photograph (in cloth portfolio) fit inside the larger cloth slipcase. Hardcover. Cloth, with dust jacket. Photographs and text (in German) by Bernd and Hilla Becher. Unpaginated with 223 duotone plates, and 6 additional duotone plates of typologies of blast furnaces (96 black and white illustrations). 11-3/8 x 10-5/8 inches. [Cited in Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, The Photobook: A History, Volume II. (London and New York: Phaidon, 2006).] Out of print (sold out prior to publication). Very scarce. Fine in publisher's original packaging (book, print and slipcase all in Fine condition). From the publisher: "Typological, repetitive, at times oddly humorous, Bernd and Hilla Becher's photographs of industrial structures are, in their cumulative effect, profoundly moving. The Becher's serenely cool, disarmingly objective, and notoriously obsessive images of watertowers, gas tanks, grain elevators, blast furnaces, and mine heads have been taken over a period of almost thirty years, under overcast skies, with a view camera that captures each detail and tonality of wood, concrete, brick, and steel. Blast Furnaces represents a continuation of, but also a counterpoint to the Bechers' earlier book Watertowers. There basic functional elements were hidden or clothed in disguises, whereas the 256 duotone prints included here record a purely functional and exposed architecture, built to contain heat, pressure, and accumulations of gases and unhindered by any outside constraints. The blast furnace is the symbol of the steel industry. Like other building types which attract the Bechers, it is also an endangered industrial species. Essentially giant, cone-shaped circular stoves, blast furnaces dominate the cityscapes of Pittsburgh, Youngstown, and Birmingham much as religious structures dominated medieval cities. These photographs, taken between 1961 and 1989, convey the unique characteristics, physical complexity, and eerie presence in the landscape of blast furnaces in Great Britain, Belgium, France, Austria, Germany, and the United States. Bernd and Hilla Becher [taught] at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. They began their collaborative photographic enterprise in 1957, when they did a study of workers' houses in their native Germany. The Bechers follow in a distinguished line of German photographers that includes August Sander, Albert Renger-Patzsch, and Werner Manz, all of whom contributed in different ways to the definition of "objective" photography. A selection of their photographs [was] on view throughout 1990 at the Dia Art Foundation galleries in New York, and they [represented] Germany in the 1990 Venice Biennale." Signed by Author. 1st Edition. Fine.