“THE SEEDS OF EUROPEAN PHOTOGRAPHY’S FUTURE”: FIRST EDITION OF ANONYME SKULPTUREN
BECHER, Bernd and Hilla. Anonyme Skulpturen: Eine Typologie technischer Bauten. Dusseldorf: Art-Press, (1970). Quarto, original blue cloth, original dust jacket. $4500.
First edition of the Bechers’ first major book, “a meditation on identity and difference” in technical buildings chosen for their very anonymity, with 194 black-and-white photogravure plates.
In 1970, “the seeds of European photography’s future were being sown… in a book called Anonyme Skulpturen (Anonymous Sculptures)… The authors were the German husband-and-wife team of Bernd and Hilla Becher… [who] looked backwards to the ‘objective’ rather than the ‘subjective’ German photography of the 1920s and early 30s, and also to an era in European industrialization that had largely ended with WWII. But the Bechers also represented the future. They looked forward to a new integration between the traditional arts and photography, and to a new period of vigour and excitement in European photography” (Parr & Badger, 193). “The Bechers’ first major book, Anonyme Skulpturen… has had an enormous impact… For those who are more interested in the Bechers as artists than as industrial archaeologists, this is the one to have on one’s shelf” (Parr & Badger II:266). “The serial nature of the Bechers’ process rhymes with their mass-produced subjects so that method and subject are splendidly reciprocal, a meditation on identity and difference… The year this book appeared, the Bechers’ work was included in the influential Information show curated by Kynaston McShine at the Museum of Modern Art” (Roth, 194). Text in German, English, and French; photogravures printed on coated stock. Open Book, 258.
Book fine; lightest edge-wear to near-fine photographic dust jacket. Rare.