Skip to Content
Closed today, next open Thursday. Closed today, next open Thursday.

Pitheads–Perspective Views

A work made of fifteen silver gelatin prints.

Image actions

  • A work made of fifteen silver gelatin prints.




Bernd & Hilla Becher
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


Bernd and Hilla Becher


Pitheads–Perspective Views


Germany (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Fifteen silver gelatin prints


50.8 × 40.6 cm (171 ft., 8 in. × 140 ft., in.); Installed: 152.4 × 203.2 cm (60 × 80 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by the Photographic Society, Twentieth-Century Discretionary Fund

Reference Number


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.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions