Arrows of Time: Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum (January 24 to April 2, 1995)
- Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center at UCLA, (Los Angeles), January 24 to April 2, 1995
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Cooling Tower, Waltrop Mine, Waltrop, Ruhr, Germany
Bernd and Hilla Becher (German, partnership 1959 - 2007)
Ruhrgebiet, Germany (Place created)
Gelatin silver print
23.9 x 17.9 cm (9 7/16 x 7 1/16 in.)
© Bernd and Hilla Becher
This cooling tower, its worn, corrugated sides crisscrossed with steel supports, is an unwitting work of sculpture. Its industrial purpose is communicated by the title, not the structure's appearance. Centralized and isolated, Bernd and Hilla Becher framed the tower like a gigantic milk bottle placed squarely in a miniaturized landscape, dwarfing the building on its right.
The blank, pale gray sky surrounds the tower, emphasizing its clean lines. In order to achieve an overall uniform contrast in the print, the Bechers exposed their negatives on overcast days for even lighting.