Bernd Becher was born in Siegen, Germany, in 1931. Hilla Becher was born Hilla Wobeser in Potsdam, Germany, in 1934. They met at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where they both studied painting in the late 1950s, and began to collaborate in 1957. Their first gallery exhibition took place in 1963 at the Galerie Ruth Nohl in Siegen. Since then, their work has been shown in Documentas 5 (1972), 6 (1977), 7 (1982), and 11 (2002), in Kassel, Germany, and at the São Paulo Bienal in 1977. The Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, organized a retrospective of the artists’ work in 1981. Their exhibition at Dia Center for the Arts, New York, in 1989–91 included photographs of grain elevators, hot-blast stoves, mineheads, and other industrial structures. After winning the Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale in 1990, the Bechers reworked their Venice installation for a retrospective exhibition at the Kunstverein Cologne. Retrospectives were also held at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, in 2004–5, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 2008. In 2004, the Bechers received the Hasselblad Award, an international photography prize, in recognition of their influence on future generations of artists. Bernd Becher died in Rostock, Germany, in June 2007. Hilla Becher died in Düsseldorf in October 2015.