Cooling Tower, Waltrop Mine, Waltrop, Ruhr, Germany

Object Details

Title:

Cooling Tower, Waltrop Mine, Waltrop, Ruhr, Germany

Artist/Maker(s):

Bernd and Hilla Becher (German, partnership 1959 - 2007)

Culture:

German

Place(s):

Ruhrgebiet, Germany (Place created)

Date:

1967

Medium:

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions:

23.9 x 17.9 cm (9 7/16 x 7 1/16 in.)

Copyright:

© Bernd and Hilla Becher

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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.

Exhibitions
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, (Cat.)
Bibliography

Bernd and Hilla Becher, Anonyme Skulpturen: A Typology of Technical Constructions (New York: Wittenborn, 1970) Kühlturm, ca. 1960, Zeche "Waltrop," Waltrop, Ruhrgebiet, Photo 1967.