Sweeping views of landscapes, altered by industry, mine tailings, quarries and scrap piles are the subjects Edward Burtynsky’s photography is most famous for. It is said that the beauty of the photographs by this great Canadian artist is very often in tension with the compromised environments they depict. About himself and his work he says: “Nature transformed through industry is a predominant theme in my work. (…) These images are meant as metaphors to the dilemma of our modern existence; they search for a dialogue between attraction and repulsion, seduction and fear. We are drawn by desire – a chance at good living, yet we are consciously or unconsciously aware that the world is suffering for our success. Our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet sets us into an uneasy contradiction. For me, these images function as reflecting pools of our times.”
Edward Burtynsky’s works are included in the collections of over fifty major museums around the world, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Bibliotèque Nationale in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in California.