Ruth Leon recommends… Bernd and Hilla Becher Exhibition – The Met Museum

Ruth Leon recommends… Bernd and Hilla Becher Exhibition – The Met Museum

Ruth Leon recommends

norman lebrecht

September 06, 2022

Bernd and Hilla Becher Exhibition – The Met Museum

Click here to watch

Perhaps the greatest bonus of writing this Blog is the surprising exposure to arts and artists who have never swam into my ambit before. I would never have thought that I would be interested in this subject matter but I was riveted by this video. It is a virtual tour of an exhibition currently at the Met, celebrating the renowned German artists, Bernd and Hilla Becher (1931–2007; 1934–2015), who changed the course of late twentieth-century photography.

Their work focuses exclusively on industrial architecture, in an extraordinarily detailed series of pictures of buildings which we know exist but never actually look at. Working as a rare artist couple, they focused on a single subject: the disappearing industrial architecture of Western Europe and North America that fuelled the modern era. Their seemingly objective style recalled nineteenth- and early twentieth-century precedents but also resonated with the serial approach of contemporary Minimalism and Conceptual art. Equally significant, it challenged the perceived gap between documentary and fine-art photography.

The enthusiasm of the exhibition’s curator Jeff Rosenheim,  accompanied by the Met’s director, Max Hollein,    who has a personal reason to be fascinated by these photographs, is infectious and, even more importantly, being guided by these two amazingly knowledgable art historians, a world opens up that I’d never even envisaged.

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  • nota bene says:

    I agree. It’s a marvelous video for all the reasons you cite. As good as seeing the exhibit in person.

  • Peter San Diego says:

    It seems to be a fascinating exhibit.

    However, “have never swam”?! A proofreader with a knowledge of grammar might be helpful. If you’re going to use the auxiliary verb, then you need the past participle there, not the past tense.