erasmus prize 2002: bernd and hilla becher, industrial structures
14 Sep 2002 - 5 Jan 2003

Bernd (b. 1931) and Hilla (b. 1934) Becher have been recording the anonymous industrial architecture of Europe and the United States since 1959.

In particular, their strong conceptual view on image and method have influenced a whole generation of German photographers, among them Thomas Struth, Andreas Gursky and Thomas Ruff, Meisterschüler of Bernd at the Düsseldorf Art Academy in the 1980s, and all represented in the collection of the Stedelijk Museum.

The Bechers inventory the disappearing industrial heritage in the form of monumental series and typolgies. Their attention is exclusively focused on making visible the manifestations and function of structures such as gasholders, water towers and mine pitheads. Despite the absence of aesthetic elements or the social aspects of industrial activity, their series possess an imposing beauty and are permeated with a nostalgic sense of bygone industrial grandeur.

The Stedelijk Museum is showing their series Factories, a large number of typologies and landscapes, and an number of independent images.

The presentation of the Erasmus Prize to Bernd and Hilla Becher will take place on October 23, 2002.
In cooperation with the Goethe Institute, Amsterdam and Festival November Music NL, the percussionist Christof Schläger will give a concert (Electric Motion - Neue Fassung) at the Stedelijk on November 2 in the Music Today.