Biography

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.

The New Yorker
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The New Yorker
The Long View December 2016

Edward Burtynsky's quest to photograph a changing planet. 

Artsy
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Artsy
Sundaram Tagore’s “World Art” Fills a Venetian Palazzo May 2015

Sundaram Tagore had his first taste of the Venice Biennale as a graduate student, when a scholarship from the Italian Ministry of Culture landed him in the city to study museology at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Now, 26 years on, with eponymous galleries in New York, Singapore, and Hong Kong, Tagore has returned to mount his own exhibition to run alongside the 56th Venice Biennale.

Ultra Vie
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Ultra Vie
Art Central art fair 2015 | Our favourite works March 2015

Edward Burtynsky’s large-format colour photographs document the ramifications of human industry on the natural world in a perversely beautiful manner.

Asian Art News
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Asian Art News
Edward Burtynsky at Sundaram Tagore Gallery September 2014

Burtynsky pulls no punches in his work. His photographs in his recent exhibition in Hong Kong entitled Water, and his latest feature documentary entitled Watermark speak to earth’s anguish around the world with an eloquence and directness that few artists match.

RTHK
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RTHK
Video interview with Edward Burtynsky May 2014

Photographer Edward Burtynsky talks about his latest and most ambitious project, Water.

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST / 48 HOURS
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SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST / 48 HOURS
Flow Business May 2014

Edward Burtynsky's Water photos document the way mankind is changing the planet.

Hong Kong Tatler
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Hong Kong Tatler
Edward Burtynsky at Sundaram Tagore Gallery April 2014

Known worldwide for his beautiful imagery of industrial landscapes, Edward Burtynsky’s most recent series of color photographs titled Water will go on display at the Sundaram Tagore Gallery in Central. The series, which began in 2007, is the artist’s largest and most ambitious project to date.

The Business Times
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The Business Times
Recording Human Impact on the Earth March 2014

Edward Burtynsky tells Chean Ui-Hoon that he wanted to photograph nature but wished to do it with a different angle.

Time Out Singapore
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Time Out Singapore
Water colours March 2014

As award winning Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky makes his solo SIngapore debut this month, he shares some of the best shots from his latest series, Water.

Blouin Artinfo/Modern Painters
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Blouin Artinfo/Modern Painters
500 Best Galleries Worldwide July 2013

Sundaram Tagore Gallery has been named one of the top galleries in the world by Blouin Artinfo and Modern Painters magazine.

Time Out Hong Kong
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Time Out Hong Kong
Buying Fine Art Photography March 2013

"Firstly, you should look at photographers that you value and only acquire the very best piece the photographer is producing – the top of the line. Just the name of the photographer alone is not enough. The piece itself has to be breathtaking."

Pipeline
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Pipeline
Gillman Barracks: A Type of Odyssey March 2013

While packing the usual stars, including Cartier-Bresson, Burtynsky, Hirst, Liebovitz and Polidori, the show tries also to speak to the Southeast Asian region via an ambitious sound installation by the American Taylor Kuffner.

Wall Street Journal
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Wall Street Journal
In Hong Kong, a Timely Photo Series on Water November 2012

Edward Burtynsky spent most of the past decade with his lens on the oil industry. Now he is shifting his focus to what he calls "the next great liquid": water.

ArtInfo
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ArtInfo
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Expands to Singapore September 2012

The Sundaram Tagore Gallery is expanding to Singapore, opening its fifth location within the new Gillman Barracks art district on September 14th. It beat out 30 other applicants to make the cut as one of the 13 galleries selected by a government-appointed committee to open what is touted to be the next big destination for contemporary art in Asia.

Time Out Singapore
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Time Out Singapore
September 2012

Former military compound Gillman Barracks is now home to some of the world's top gallery brands.

Bloomberg
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Bloomberg
Singapore Woos Millionaires With Murakami, Leibovitz June 2012

What's the connection between racing car driver Lewis Hamilton, Michelin-starred chef Joel Robuchon and New York gallery owner Sundaram Tagore? The answer is Singapore.

The Atlantic
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The Atlantic
The Art of Industry: The Making and Meaning of Edward Burtynsky's New Exhibit, 'Oil' June 2012

This thematic show features nearly 50 large-format images that tell the story of oil, from its origins, extraction, and processing in the tar sands of Alberta or the first offshore platforms in Azerbaijan, through the spaghetti junctions and motorcycle rallies that represent oil's spatial, infrastructural, and cultural footprint, all the way to oil's afterlife in mountains of compacted barrels and broken tankers in the Bay of Bengal.

Daily Serving
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Daily Serving
The Big Bicture: An Interview with Ed Burtynsky June, 2012

The impact of oil has consistently reappeared in the work of Canadian photographer Ed Burtynsky for well over a decade. Burtynsky’s photographs often soar into the air, freeing us from our limited perspective, offering us the ability to better understand the scale and impact that this material has on contemporary life. It is only through this expansive perspective that we begin to understand the magnitude and consequence of our complicit actions.

The Boston Globe
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The Boston Globe
Extracting unsettling beauty from Vermont quarries May 2012

Globalization has a recording angel. For two decades, Edward Burtynsky large-format color photographs of mining in Australia, shipbreaking in India, and manufacturing in China have documented how extraction, production and consumption collaborate to alter the environment to degrees almost entirely unprecedented in human history.

NY Arts Magazine
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NY Arts Magazine
Five World-Renowned Photographers Point their Lenses at India JANUARY 2012

For centuries India has held a grip on the Western imagination. Sundaram Tagore Gallery’s exhibition at this year’s India Art Fair in New Delhi (January 26 to 29) traces the country’s influence on a group of notable photographers.

XINMSN
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XINMSN
A Moment with ... Gallerist Sundaram Tagore January 2012

Meet Sundaram Tagore, a New York-based gallerist, art historian and now award-winning director.

the pocket arts guide
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the pocket arts guide
Sundaram Tagore: Tradition and Transcendence OCTOBER 2011

Sundaram Tagore Gallery has supported Fine Art Asia since the fair started in 2006. It has branches in Hong Kong, New York and Beverley Hills. The gallery specialises in artwork that interweaves the modern, the cultural and the abstract.

Gallery Guide
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Gallery Guide
Lee Waisler - About Faces March 2011

For his second solo exhibition in Hong Kong, California-based American painter Lee Waisler presents a series of moving portraits of historical and contemporary figures. Having practiced abstraction for decades, Waisler returned to figuration full-force six years ago, making what he calls "dimensional portraits," combining strips of wood and blocks of color to create nuanced faces and figures.

Glass
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Glass
Paradise Lost January 2011

Edward Burtynsky's photographs are a document of our modern world. From oil-scarred landscapes and the dream like monotony of manufacturing plants, to the booming industrial backdrop of modern China, his work represents the stark and very real repercussions of our modern way of life. But despite the socio-political nature of his subjects, Burtynsky maintains that he is 'not an activist', he is, at the core, an artist.

Asian Art News
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Asian Art News
Edward Burtynsky at Sundaram Tagore Gallery Nov 2010

"Every viewer will see in Burtynsky's work the aspects of nature, and of man's engagement in nature, that seem most significant to him at the time. It may be the beauty of color; it may be the magic of pattern; it may be the bizarre juxtaposition of beauty and industry, or the betrayal of nature or of man that often results from uncontrolled industrial exploitation. Burtynsky's work can generate this diversity of appreciation due to its accessibility, its universality, and its honesty. The artificial is made natural, and man's attack on nature is made beautifully clear."

Artforum critics' picks
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Artforum critics' picks
Edward Burtynsky October 2010

"Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky's first solo exhibition in Hong Kong offers works made between 1985 and 2008. His longtime preoccupation with the effect that industrial operations have on the earth is apparent: The large-sale photographs show how various industries currently dominate landscapes around the world, from oil fields to highways, electronics factories to car lots."

South China Morning Post
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South China Morning Post
Edward Burtynsky --- The photographer tells Yvonne Lai why he takes a wide angle view of humanity's industrial impact October 2010

"After following the construction of the Three Gorges Dam [documented in the film Manufactured Landscapes], I'm now doing a series on dams further up the Yangtze as part of a series on water. The kind of meditation I did on oil [in a book published in 2008], I'm doing on water. I see them both as having huge human implications."

Asia Tatler
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Asia Tatler
Edward Burtynsky's Manufactured Landscapes October 2010

"If aliens wanted to understand modern civilization as it is today, they would probably look at Ed Burtynsky's photographs. His large-scale works show monstrous quarries, poisonous metal tailings, spaghetti highways and sprawling oil fields."

Straits Times
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Straits Times
Arts fair takes boutique route October 2010

"Gallery directors are optimistic about the Singapore art market... New York-based Sundaram Tagore... said: 'The Singaporean community in the artistic context has matured. You see so many more museums, and the Government is taking a greater interest in art.'"

The Wall Street Journal
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The Wall Street Journal
Weekend Art Picks in Asia October 2010

"Famous for his panoramic color photographs of natural landscapes that teem with mining, industrial and building activity, Edward Burtynsky is finally getting a one-man show in Asia."

HK Magazine
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HK Magazine
Upclose with Edward Burtynsky October 2010

"Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky is famous for his visually striking and disarmingly beautiful large-format photographs of industrial landscapes. During his first solo exhibition in Hong Kong, he talks to Penny Zhou about his industrial background and the messages behind his images."

INDESIGNLIVE
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INDESIGNLIVE
Edward Burtynsky Exhibition September 2010

"As an industrial designer, the profession presents me with an intrinsic irony.
It celebrates the possibilities of producing beautiful things. But it also exposes the disarming reality of where things come from."

CNN Go
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CNN Go
Beastly-Beautiful Industrial Landscapes Through the Lens of Edward Burtynsky September 2010

"Back in 1984 when the HSBC tower was first being built, planes still landed in Kai Tak Airport and the jetfoil ride to Macau was considered a long trip, photographer Edward Burtynsky arrived Hong Kong. It was the first place in Asia the Canadian had traveled to. We caught up with Burtynsky before he jetted off to Fuijian province, and chatted about being detained by Chinese police, getting access to Saudi Arabian oil fields and that first trip to Asia"

The Standard
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The Standard
Price of Prosperity September

"Vast. Intricate. Awe-inspiring. Depressing. Momentous. Stagnant. These conflicting words come to mind when gazing on the universally acclaimed works of Edward Burtynsky. The Canadian photographer is best known for capturing a global panoply of images featuring breathtaking scenes with a man-and-environment theme"

Hong Kong Gallery Guide
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Hong Kong Gallery Guide
Through the lens of Edward Burtynsky September 2010

"Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky is internationally known for his works on man- made landscapes that render, with disconcerting beauty, grave matters of industrial transformation. For its photography focussed issue, The Hong Kong Gallery Guide caught up with Burtynsky ahead of his exhibition at Sundaram Tagore Gallery, to hear his views on photography as an art form, collecting art, and his creative vision."

Glass
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Glass
Burtynsky's 1st solo exhibition in Hong Kong AUGUST 2010

World-renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky, known for his disarmingly beautiful images of industrial landscapes, is to have his first solo exhibition in Hong Kong. The Canadian artist presents large-scale photographs shot in Hong Kong, China, India, Azerbaijan, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, and the United States.

Color Magazine
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Color Magazine
An Uneasy Contradiction Surveying the career of Edward Burtynsky July 2010

"From the mid-1980s to the present, photographer Edward Burtynsky has made beautiful images of landscapes we'd rather not see. He photographs sites that are essential to our worldwide energy consumption: open-pit mines, refineries, quarries, and uranium tailings. More recently, he has photographed landscapes we couldn't imagine without his camera: China's relocation of millions of citizens to make way for the Three Gorges Dam, E-waste recycling, tire dumps, and ship- breaking. For two decades, Burtynsky's environmentally conscious photographs have grown from picturing quiet, seemingly benign hillsides with houses and dogs to the flagrantly poisonous, in the red river tailings of Sudbury, Ontario."

Time Out Hong Kong
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Time Out Hong Kong
Interview: Edward Burtynsky July 2010

"On his way to document the Gulf spill, the Canadian photographer talks to Edmund Lee about his fascination with the imageries of urban and industrial transformation. It is with the industrial landscapes created by mankind that one can best judge its progress and failings, and Edward Burtynsky has been taking a front row seat in these spectacles of environmental disasters for nearly three decades. The 55-year-old Canadian artist's large-format colour photographs have drawn worldwide acclaim for the sublime beauty they captured."

Portfolio
Press
Portfolio
Edward Burtynsky's Negative Sublime

"Over the last three decades, Edward Burtynsky has created a body of images he describes as tracing "the man-made transformations our civilisation has imposed upon nature". This is a modest formulation with which to describe landscape photographs of often vast scale and stunning ocular power. Burtynsky's camera surveys terrain apparently subject to Promethean forces: quarries sit like mammoth inverted buildings, gouged out according to an unnatural symmetry. A mine tailing spreads luminous poison across blackened countryside, a suppurating geological sore. Oil derricks stretch like advancing robots as far as any human eye can see."

Toronto Life
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Toronto Life
The eyes of Ed Burtynsky February 2004

"He has photographed slag heaps in Sundbury, marble quaries in Italy and disintegrating cities along the Yangtze. How a miner turned entrepreneur conjures beauty from devastation, changing the way we see the world"

Time Magazine
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Time Magazine
Made in Canada: Frame of Work September 2005

"Edward Burtynsky wants to start a conversation about change. His photography documents the massive impact of human beings on the earth's landscape. He has filled his view finder with nickel mines in Sundbury, marble quarries in Italy and the demolition of the Yangtze River vallery in China. The enormous, deeply colorful prints he produces are both sublime and horrible."

Art in America
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Art in America
The Toxic Sublime February 2006

"Edward Burtynsky's grandly scaled photographs of industrial wastelands and detritus radiate a beauty as fearsome as it is spectacular. His recent retrospective confronted viewers with the true (but not quite hidden) cost of fulfilling our consumerist desires"

Collections
Press
Collections
The Wish Maker: Edward Burtynsky February 2007

"As a recipient of the TED prize, Burtynsky received his wishes, becoming a founding member of an exclusive club that includes the likes of Bono and Bill Clinton. Make no mistake, however; this is not a prize to be wasted on the self indulgent. Upon acceptance, the winner is charged with saving the world of its ills, armed only with their reputation, a sharp mind and a purse of $100,000."

Art Forum
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Art Forum
Edward Burtynsky November 2005

"Uncomfortable ironies abound in Canadian artist Edward Burtynsky's large color photographs of ravaged natural terrain. Burtynsky's subjects have consistently been landscapes in which the process of industrialization has resulted in spectacles that dwarf the likes of Michael Heizer's sprawling City, 1970-99. Burtynsky's work is undeniably gorgeous yet maintains connections to the documentary"

The New York Times
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The New York Times
Burtynsky's Account: Adding Up the Price that Nature Pays January 2004

"Edward Burtynsky views the world through a large-format camera and finds beauty in highly improbable places. For nearly 20 years his subject has been the ravages of heavy industry, seen at a scale so vast as to be unimaginable."

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