New York

Bernd And Hilla Becher

Sonnabend Gallery Downtown

Bernd and Hilla Becher continue to make photographs. And these photographs continue to be of similar types of industrial structures like water towers, or like the ends of houses in Typology of Framework Houses (1959–74). I can think of no reason why I should like the Bechers’ art—which I do—save that it appeals to the religious side of my Marxism, an art of total self-abnegation dedicated to the tabulation of the everyday through its more apparently peripheral features. Certainly this is an art that’s historically conscious, not to say devoted or devotional. Even as I say this, though, I realize that the Bechers must have seen many houses such as those in Typology of Framework Houses. The selection of this particular nine may be one of the most idiosyncratic events I’ve ever encountered. Such a paradox is impressive.

Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe