The New Yorker
December 04, 2006
The German photographer who catalogued the natural and material world in his influential 1928 book “Die Welt Ist Schön” (“The World Is Beautiful”) exemplifies the cool, objective approach the Bechers have since passed on to Gursky, Ruff, and Struth. This show of b1ack-and-white prints made between 1926 and 1962 includes some handsome pictures of trees and plants, but its real meat is industrial: factories, machinery, and their component parts. Renger-Patzsch’s images of gleaming silos and smokestacks find echoes in the work of Charles Sheeler and the Bechers. His photos of the factory floor are even more distinctive, however, and a study of the gleaming inner workings of some anonymous machine steals the show.