We are pleased to present an exhibition of work by six world-renowned photographers who are deeply engaged with the environment and contemporary social issues. Each of these artists creates compelling visual narratives that explore our shared humanity and convey the beauty inherent in our diversity and in the natural world.
Sebastião Salgado and Steve McCurry share a photojournalistic approach, recording human struggle and the impact of conflict and globalization. Karen Knorr’s intricate images use ancient myths and allegories to frame issues of entrenched social constructs. Lalla Essaydi and Robert Polidori explore the human condition through intimate examinations of spaces, both real and symbolic. Edward Burtynsky photographs industrial landscapes around the world, laying bare the devastating impact of manufacturing and human consumption. A selection of images from Burtynsky's new series Natural Order is included in this show.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky has always had a deep connection to the natural world. Over his 40-year career he’s documented the human impact on nature with captivatingly beautiful images of industrial landscapes around the globe. However, the lockdown this past spring provided him with an opportunity focus on the wild beauty of landscapes closer to home. He shot Natural Order, his newest series, in Grey County, Ontario, during lockdown. Burtynsky turned his lens back to nature, particularly the change of seasons and the cycle of renewal, revealing the resilience of the natural order. These images recall his early works that explore Canada’s unspoiled landscapes.
The series includes a limited-edition portfolio of ten 20 x 24-inch photographs in a linen-covered box. It includes a book of the same name published by Steidl. Burtynsky and Nicholas Metivier Gallery in Toronto will donate $200,000 from the proceeds of the portfolio's sale to the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Ryerson Image Centre for the acquisition of works by emerging and mid-career Canada photo artists.
Sebastião Salgado has made it his life’s work to document the impact of globalization on humankind. In the past three decades, he has traveled to more than 100 countries for his photographic projects and devotes years to each series in order to grasp the full scope of his topic. Born in Brazil in 1944, Sebastião Salgado began his career as a professional photographer in 1973 in Paris.
London-based artist Karen Knorr uses photography as a method of critical inquest, employing opulent architectural monuments in Asia and Western Europe to frame issues of power and class structure rooted in cultural heritage. Her work, which is influenced by surrealism and the magical realism of Latin America, also explores issues of colonialism, exoticism, appropriation, and femininity as it relates to the animal world.
Magnum photographer Steve McCurry is best known for his evocative color images, many of which have become modern icons. He has travelled around the globe documenting conflict, ancient traditions, vanishing cultures and contemporary culture. He transcends cultural boundaries to capture the essence of human struggle, joy and unguarded moments. McCurry’s exquisite use of color and his unwavering commitment to retain the human element make his images timelessly captivating.
Lalla Essaydi was born and raised in Morocco and educated in the West before moving to Saudi Arabia for several years. She explore issues of gender, cross-cultural identity and the prevalent myths of Orientalism. Working across multiple disciplines, including painting, video, installation and photography, Essaydi challenges the social norms and hierarchies that shaped her life as a young girl in Morocco.
Robert Polidori is renowned for his evocative photographs of building interiors and exteriors. His images are investigations into the psychological implications of human habitats altered by the passage of time and the people who have lived in them. Polidori, who was recently awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, has shot all over the world, from the decaying mansions of Havana to the faded beauty of Goa’s colonial architecture. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York commissioned him to photograph New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and exhibited those photographs to wide acclaim in 2006.