Acclaimed Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky chronicles the human impact on nature in his disarmingly beautiful images of industrial landscapes around the globe. Shot from up to 7,000 feet above, Burtynsky’s painterly, often abstract images bring the scale of environmental devastation into perspective. Burtynsky began photographing nature in the early 1980s. His early works were intimate explorations of Canada’s unspoiled landscapes. By the late 1980s, however, he turned away from the quickly disappearing natural terrain. He realized this was the world that we were losing not the one we were to inherit. Instead, he reflected on his own experience working in the mining and automobile industries. Gradually he began to investigate industrial incursions into land with arresting results.
Edward Burtynsky’s works are in the collections of more than fifty museums worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Photographer’s Gallery, London; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid; and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.
Burtynsky was recognized with a TED award in 2005. In 2006 he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest civilian honor. He holds six honorary doctorate degrees and his distinctions include the National Magazine Award, the MOCCA award, the Outreach Award at the Rencontres d’Arles and the Applied Arts Magazine book award. Burtynsky lives and works in Toronto, Canada. In 2007, Edward Burtynsky was the subject of the award-winning documentary Manufactured Landscapes, which screened at the Sundance Film Festival. Burtynsky’s new film, Watermark, which he made in conjunction with award-winning filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nick de Pencier, premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.