Bernd Becher (German, 1931-2007) & Hilla Becher

Water Towers IV, 2007

Bernd Becher (German, 1931-2007) & Hilla Becher (German, 1934-2015), Water Towers IV, 2007, digital pigment print (Ditone) on photo paper, 35 1/2 x 44 1/2 in. Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School, 2010.10. © Hilla Becher.

For their series Typologies, Bernd and Hilla Becher photographed examples of European and American industrial architecture—such as blast furnaces, silos, and grain elevators—that are becoming obsolete. Rather than romanticizing or sentimentalizing their subjects, they catalogue and present each structure frontally against flat, evenly gray backgrounds. The grid layout invites viewers to observe similarities and differences among the examples.