Bernd and Hilla Becher, [Watertowers], 1967–80, printed 1980 (Sonnabend Gallery)
The Online Photographer has learned that photographer Bernd Becher has died. He passed away last Friday during a difficult operation at a hospital in Rostock, Germany. He was 75.
With his wife and collaborator Hilla Becher, Bernd Becher of Düsseldorf was perhaps the world's most well known and accomplished photographer of industrial structures. The couples' rigorous, stern method constituted a sort of comparative taxonomy of utilitarian structures, often presenting numerous examples the same type of structure together in the same work, always photographed in black and white, straight on, always in the same flat light under the same kind of leaden overcast or featureless white skies. The formal beauty of their investigations has long been appreciated, and has earned for Bernd and Hilla Becher widespread acclaim as art photographers. Their style never lost its interest, has not become stale, and remains instantly recognizable.
Bernd Becher was also influential as a teacher, numbering among his students Andreas Gursky, Candida Hofer, Thomas Struth, and Thomas Ruff.
Our sincere condolences to Frau Becher and to the artist's friends and family.
Mike (thanks to Oren Grad, Christian Ahn, and Robert Phillips)