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Blast Furnaces, Heads, Frontal Views

A work made of gelatin silver prints (12).

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  • A work made of gelatin silver prints (12).




Bernd Becher (German, 1931–2007) and
Hilla Becher (German, 1934-2015)

About this artwork

Bernd and Hilla Becher collaboratively photographed industrial structures throughout Europe and the United States in the mid-1950s, including cooling and water towers, grain elevators, framework houses, and blast furnaces. They adopted a consistent viewpoint that facilitated comparative analysis and, beginning around 1970, began calling their depersonalized collections of architectural forms “anonymous sculptures.” Grouped according to type or function, these typologies are presented in grids or sequences that prompt attention to shared motifs and structural principles. Although the Bechers were greatly influenced by Minimal and Conceptual Art, their approach also has historical roots. As Hilla Becher 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 plants of the same variety or animals of the same species are compared with one another on the individual pages of the lexicon.”


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Bernd and Hilla Becher


Blast Furnaces, Heads, Frontal 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.

Made 1985


Gelatin silver prints (12)


Each image: 40.2 × 31 cm (15 7/8 × 12 1/4 in.); Each frame: 51.6 × 41.3 × 3.2 cm (20 5/16 × 16 1/4 × 1 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Boardroom, Inc.

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.


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