Von Lintel Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of large-scale color photographs by Canadian artist Edward Burtynsky.
Burtynsky is renowned for his sublime images investigating natural landscapes transformed by human interference. The subjects in Industrial Abstract—international copper, gold, salt mining and lumber operations—are translated into large-scale, sweeping aerials of otherworldly geometries and intoxicating swathes of color. A camera strapped to a drone, or with the artist in a helicopter or plane records extraordinary levels of visual information. Personal details like a truck or boat morph into startling reference points within each colossal view. These compositions are contemplated and deliberate; describing the cumulative impact of industrialization with a sense of beauty and consciousness.
“Open-pit mines are wounds we’ve inflicted, and the wonderment they excite easily becomes tinged with pangs of remorse or dread. Burtynsky calls that storm of feeling ‘a reversal of the sublime. In the beginning, “the sublime” meant us in fear of nature,’ he explains. We would look up at a thundercloud or mountain, or across a heavy sea, and be ‘awe-struck or powerless. But fast forward to the Industrial Revolution, and 150 years after that, and now we are the awesome and fearsome force that’s reshaping the planet.’” —Jon Mooallem, New York Times.
Featured in the exhibition are recent works, including an image of saw mills in Lagos, Nigeria from Burtynsky’s forthcoming project —Anthropocene, the term scientists feel reflects the geological epoch in which human activity is the dominate planetary influence. Burtynsky’s lens provides a perspective few are privy to experience, and with it the opportunity to contemplate and wonder.
Edward Burtynsky was born in 1955 in St. Catharines, Ontario. His work is included in over sixty major museums around the world including the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in California. His last feature documentary—Watermark—premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. The artist has 12 published books, the most recent—Salt Pans (Steidl) and Essential Elements (Thames & Hudson)—were released in 2016. He lives and works in Toronto.