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Within fifty years of collaboration (from 1959–2007), Bernd and Hilla Becher produced one of their most important series of conceptual photography—Grain Elevators is one of the many industrial structures such as water towers, blast furnaces, and oil tanks, they were able to document and from that, capture the American and European imagination and landscape.
The Bechers were fascinated by industrial production methods of the nineteenth century and Le Corbusier’s concept of buildings as functioning machines. They wanted to show the agricultural prosperity of a forgotten era and investigated the ways in which industry affects the economy and the environment.
The Becher’s works are now in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Tate Gallery in London.