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Industrial photographer Bernd Becher dies, aged 75

Bernd Becher, the renowned photographer of industrial architecture, has died aged 75.

Working with his wife Hilla, Becher spent almost half a century painstakingly compiling a uniquely comprehensive record of blast furnaces, grain silos, coalmines, water towers and gas tanks across Europe and America.

The pair (whose work is pictured above) took thousands of black and white photos of 'unloved' technical buildings and soon-to-be demolished structures which they compiled into publications dedicated to each separate building type.

Born in Siegen, Germany, in 1931, Becher said he wanted to create a 'visual memorial' of an industrial age that was increasingly being flattened to give readers 'the chance to go back to a time that is gone forever'.

The duo's first book, Anonymous Sculpture:A Typology of Technical Buildings, was published in 1970 and was followed by Water Towers in 1988.

Their last tome, which came out last year, solely featured shots of grain elevators pictured against neutral skies.

Both Becher and his wife taught at Dusseldorf Kunstakademie and scooped the Erasmus prize in 2002 and Hasselblad award for photography in 2004.

He is survived by his wife and son.

by Richard Waite

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