August Sander / Bernd and Hilla Becher

A Dialogue
May 1 - June 7, 2014
Exhibition Views Thumbnail View
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein GalleryBernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein GalleryBernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein GalleryBernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein GalleryBernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein GalleryBernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein GalleryBernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein GalleryBernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein GalleryBernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein GalleryBernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein GalleryBernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein GalleryBernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein GalleryBernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein GalleryBernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein GalleryBernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein GalleryBernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein GalleryBernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Silverstein Gallery
Selected Works Thumbnail View
Bernd and Hilla Becher, Water Tower, Mannheim, GermanyBernd and Hilla Becher, Water Tower, Mannheim, Germany

Bernd and Hilla Becher
Water Tower, Mannheim, Germany, 1978    
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1989.  23 5/8 x 19 5/8 in.

Bernd and Hilla BecherBernd and Hilla Becher

Bernd and Hilla Becher
Water Tower, Arras, Pas-de-Calais, 1979    
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 2006.  23 5/8 x 19 5/8 in.

August Sander Secretary at West German Radio, Cologne, 1931     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1992.  10 1/4 x 5 3/16 in.August Sander Secretary at West German Radio, Cologne, 1931     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1992.  10 1/4 x 5 3/16 in.

August Sander
Secretary at West German Radio, Cologne, 1931    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1992.  10 1/4 x 5 3/16 in.

August Sander Real Estate Agent, 1928     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 3/16 x 5 1/4 in.August Sander Real Estate Agent, 1928     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 3/16 x 5 1/4 in.

August Sander
Real Estate Agent, 1928    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 3/16 x 5 1/4 in.

August Sander Café Waitress, 1928-1929     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990.  10 1/4 x 5 in.August Sander Café Waitress, 1928-1929     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990.  10 1/4 x 5 in.

August Sander
Café Waitress, 1928-1929    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990.  10 1/4 x 5 in.

August Sander Soldier, c. 1940     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990.  10 1/4 x 7 1/2 in.August Sander Soldier, c. 1940     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990.  10 1/4 x 7 1/2 in.

August Sander
Soldier, c. 1940    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990.  10 1/4 x 7 1/2 in.

August Sander Aviator, 1920     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 1/2 in.August Sander Aviator, 1920     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 1/2 in.

August Sander
Aviator, 1920    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 1/2 in.

August Sander Catholic Priest, 1927     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/8 x 7 3/8 in.August Sander Catholic Priest, 1927     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/8 x 7 3/8 in.

August Sander
Catholic Priest, 1927    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/8 x 7 3/8 in.

August Sander Nun, 1921     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 3/16 x 7 9/16 in.August Sander Nun, 1921     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 3/16 x 7 9/16 in.

August Sander
Nun, 1921    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 3/16 x 7 9/16 in.

August Sander Pharmacist, c. 1930     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 6 1/4 in.August Sander Pharmacist, c. 1930     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 6 1/4 in.

August Sander
Pharmacist, c. 1930    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 6 1/4 in.

August Sander The Notary, 1924     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1991. 10 1/4 x 7 1/4 in.August Sander The Notary, 1924     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1991. 10 1/4 x 7 1/4 in.

August Sander
The Notary, 1924    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1991. 10 1/4 x 7 1/4 in.

August Sander Painter [Anton Räderscheidt], 1926     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1991. 10 1/4 x 7 3/8 in.August Sander Painter [Anton Räderscheidt], 1926     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1991. 10 1/4 x 7 3/8 in.

August Sander
Painter [Anton Räderscheidt], 1926    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1991. 10 1/4 x 7 3/8 in.

August Sander Farmer on His Way to Church, 1925-1926     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 6 1/2 in.August Sander Farmer on His Way to Church, 1925-1926     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 6 1/2 in.

August Sander
Farmer on His Way to Church, 1925-1926    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 6 1/2 in.

August Sander Workmen in the Ruhr, c. 1928     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 3/16 x 7 3/16 in.August Sander Workmen in the Ruhr, c. 1928     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 3/16 x 7 3/16 in.

August Sander
Workmen in the Ruhr, c. 1928    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 3/16 x 7 3/16 in.

August Sander Street Musicians, 1922-1928     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 1/4 in.August Sander Street Musicians, 1922-1928     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 1/4 in.

August Sander
Street Musicians, 1922-1928    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 1/4 in.

August Sander Urban Missionaries, c. 1931     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 in.August Sander Urban Missionaries, c. 1931     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 in.

August Sander
Urban Missionaries, c. 1931    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 in.

August Sander Blacksmiths, 1926     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 7/8 in.August Sander Blacksmiths, 1926     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 7/8 in.

August Sander
Blacksmiths, 1926    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 7/8 in.

Bernd and Hilla BecherBernd and Hilla Becher

Bernd and Hilla Becher
Plant for Styrofoam Production, Wesseling near Cologne, Germany, 1997    
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1998. 19 5/8 x 23 5/8 in.

Bernd and Hilla BecherBernd and Hilla Becher

Bernd and Hilla Becher
Grain Elevator, Morgangis / Epernay, F, 2006    
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 2006. 23 5/8 x 19 5/8 in.

Bernd and Hilla BecherBernd and Hilla Becher

Bernd and Hilla Becher
Grain Elevator, Kankakee, Illinois, USA, 1982    
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1982.  23 5/8 x 19 5/8 in.

Bernd and Hilla BecherBernd and Hilla Becher

Bernd and Hilla Becher
Grain Elevator, Swanders, Ohio, USA, 1987    
Gelatin silver print. 23 5/8 x 19 5/8 in.

Bernd and Hilla BecherBernd and Hilla Becher

Bernd and Hilla Becher
Grain Elevator, Ottoville, Ohio, USA, 1987    
Gelatin silver print. 19 5/8 x 23 5/8 in.

August Sander The Herbalist, c. 1928     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/8 x 6 5/8 in.August Sander The Herbalist, c. 1928     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/8 x 6 5/8 in.

August Sander
The Herbalist, c. 1928    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/8 x 6 5/8 in.

Bernd and Hilla BecherBernd and Hilla Becher

August Sander
High School Student, 1926    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1991. 10 1/16 x 5 1/2 in.

Bernd and Hilla BecherBernd and Hilla Becher

August Sander
Member of Parliament [Democrat], 1927    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 13/16 x 6 13/16 in.

August Sander The Composer [Paul Hindemith], c. 1925     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 1/8 in.August Sander The Composer [Paul Hindemith], c. 1925     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 1/8 in.

August Sander
The Composer [Paul Hindemith], c. 1925    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 1/8 in.

August Sander Film Actress [Tony van Eyck], 1933     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 5/8 in.August Sander Film Actress [Tony van Eyck], 1933     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 5/8 in.

August Sander
Film Actress [Tony van Eyck], 1933    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 5/8 in.

August Sander The Art Scholar [Wilhelm Schäfer], 1926     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 3/16 x 7 3/8 inAugust Sander The Art Scholar [Wilhelm Schäfer], 1926     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 3/16 x 7 3/8 in

August Sander
The Art Scholar [Wilhelm Schäfer], 1926    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 3/16 x 7 3/8 in

Bernd and Hilla BecherBernd and Hilla Becher

Bernd and Hilla Becher
Herborn, Westerwald, 1988    
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 2000. 23 5/8 x 19 5/8 in.

Bernd and Hilla BecherBernd and Hilla Becher

Bernd and Hilla Becher
Rothenburg ob der Tauber, 1998    
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 2000. 23 5/8 x 19 5/8 in.

Bernd and Hilla BecherBernd and Hilla Becher

Bernd and Hilla Becher
Rothenburg ob der Tauber, 1998    
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 2000. 23 5/8 x 19 5/8 in.

Bernd and Hilla BecherBernd and Hilla Becher

Bernd and Hilla Becher
Katznbach, Westerwald, Germany, 1989    
Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1989. 19 5/8 x 23 5/8 in.

August Sander Farm Children, c. 1928     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 1/4 in.August Sander Farm Children, c. 1928     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 1/4 in.

August Sander
Farm Children, c. 1928    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 1/4 in.

August Sander Middle-Class Child, c. 1925     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/8 x 7 1/2 in.August Sander Middle-Class Child, c. 1925     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/8 x 7 1/2 in.

August Sander
Middle-Class Child, c. 1925    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/8 x 7 1/2 in.

August Sander Middle-Class Child, 1926     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 3/8 in.August Sander Middle-Class Child, 1926     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 3/8 in.

August Sander
Middle-Class Child, 1926    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/4 x 7 3/8 in.

August Sander Farm Children, c. 1913     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 9 15/16 x 7 1/2 inAugust Sander Farm Children, c. 1913     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 9 15/16 x 7 1/2 in

August Sander
Farm Children, c. 1913    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 9 15/16 x 7 1/2 in

August Sander Middle-Class Children, 1925     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/8 x 7 3/16 in.August Sander Middle-Class Children, 1925     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/8 x 7 3/16 in.

August Sander
Middle-Class Children, 1925    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 1/8 x 7 3/16 in.

August Sander Farmer's Child, c. 1940s     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 3/16 x 7 in.August Sander Farmer's Child, c. 1940s     Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 3/16 x 7 in.

August Sander
Farmer's Child, c. 1940s    
Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1990. 10 3/16 x 7 in.

Press Release

Bruce Silverstein in collaboration with Sonnabend Gallery is pleased to present August Sander / Bernd and Hilla Becher: A Dialogue, curated by Hilla Becher.

This thought-provoking exhibition offers a visual and conceptual parallel of the best-known typological projects from the 20th century—images of industrial and residential architecture by Bernd and Hilla Becher are juxtaposed with August Sander’s portraits of German citizens from his rigorous People of the Twentieth Century series.  This new context for these iconic images provokes a fascinating conversation between these artists’ works occurring on both a formal and ideological level.  It is relevant to note that the Bechers’ contribution to contemporary art as artists and educators resides in their radical presentation of their photographs as a typology, or classification of images of the same subject—i.e. grain elevators, coalbunkers, water towers, etc.—in a grid format which necessitates the viewer’s interpretation of the group of images as a single work as well as a comparative study of the differences between the individual subjects.  This current exhibition is unusual as the Bechers’ architectural images are displayed as singular “portraits” while Sander’s photographs of people are presented as typological grids.

 


August Sander (1876-1964) began his People of the Twentieth Century series in 1911—his attempt to capture through “absolute photography” a “true psychology of our time and our people”—a mirror of the age.  He worked to create portraits of individuals from various social strata and their particular surroundings as an attempt to order the myriad types of human characters he saw around him and create a more universal portrait of human existence in the 20th century.   An earlier manifestation of the Bechers’ attitude, Sander’s project in its totality highlights a tension between image and document, specific and general.

Bernd and Hilla Becher (b.1931-2007 / b.1934) first collaborated in 1959 after meeting at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1957.  They set out to document via photography the various designs of industrial buildings in the Ruhr Valley, choosing for a background a flat, uniformly lit sky, and decidedly portraying the buildings exactly as they were, as clearly and legibly as possible.  By the 1960s, they defined their conceptual approach to presenting these images as typologies, employing a purposefully neutral, reductive style of image-making that prioritizes their systematic practice and chosen mode of display, creating an interpretation of these images both as aesthetic, formal exercises, and documents of industrial architecture. 

August Sander’s work and the Bechers’ works have been exhibited widely.  Their images are a part of the world’s most celebrated collections.