Bernd and Hilla Becher gained fame by their concept of typological photographic documentation of water-towers and industrial buildings. The exhibition at the right hand side starts with early conceptual photo series by Stephen Shore and Bernd and Hilla Becher.
Then, it moves on to Shore's 'American Surfaces' and 'Uncommon Places' series, which made him a key figure of the US New Color Photography movement. Often, these are seemingly trivial examples of American everyday life. This was a revolutionary act, at a time, when artistic photography was mainly seen as highly aesthetic black and white photography (by Richard Avedon for instants). Just like in the photograpphy of William Eggleston, you can find certain aspects of pop art adopted to the medium of photography.
In 1976, the Bechers started their legendary photography course at the Academy of Art in Düsseldorf; Germany. Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff or Candida Höfer are only three of their very successful students. The Bechers introduced the photographs of Stephen Shore from an early beginning on to their class.
The second, left-hand, part of the show investigates the influence of Shore upon Becher's students. I find it very interesting to search for similar approaches in the works of the 'old' masters and the students.
Bernd Becher helped Stephen Shore in 1977 to arrange his first institutional solo exhibition at the Kunsthalle in Düsseldorf. However it lasted until 1995, that Mr. Shore attended the Becher calss for the first time personally. Stephen Shore's photographs even were included in Documenta 6 in 1977.
I think this is a very good show about the transatlantic influence of Stephen Shore on the Becher school of photography.
'Der Rote Bulli. Stephen Shore and the New Düsseldorf Photography' at NRW-Forum Düsseldorf, Germany
Through 16 January 2011