Remarkable pictures and sources of inspiration for Bernd and Hilla Becher are the focus of the presentation and at the same time enter into a dialogue with selected works by the photographer couple. The photographs of Peter Weller (b.1868 in Hommelsberg, d.1940 in Düsseldorf) and August Sander (b.1876 in Herdorf, d.1964 in Cologne) already inspired Bechers in the 1960s. While Peter Weller, who of his own free will was mainly involved in documenting mines and steal works in the Siegerland and Westerwald regions, is comparatively less well-known, August Sander is one of the great names in the history of photography, a personality who is directly associated with his portrait work “People of the 20th Century”.
The exhibition shows the correspondences in terms of content and methodology in the work of the three photographic positions. The documentary description of industrial landscapes in the Westerwald and Siegerland is reflected in both Weller’s and Bechers’ systematic work; even motivic analogies can be illustrated. The serial as well as the typological view of reality also characterizes August Sander’s empathetic and analytical portrait photographs. Not only portraits of craftsmen and workers are being shown, but also portraits that were taken in his home region in the Siegerland, such as in the small town of Herdorf, and are largely unknown.
Bernd & Hilla Becher, Peter Weller, August Sander
7 March – 20 September 2020