Edward Burtynsky is known as one of Canada's most respected photographers. His remarkable photographic depictions of global industrial landscapes are included in the collections of over fifty major museums around the world, including the National Gallery of Canada, 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.
Born in 1955 of Ukrainian heritage at St. Catharines, Ontario, Burtynsky is a graduate of Ryerson University (Bachelor of Applied Arts in Photography) and studied Graphic Art at Niagara College in Welland. He links his early exposure to the sites and images of the General Motors plant in his hometown to the development of his photographic work. His imagery explores the intricate link between industry and nature, combining the raw elements of mining, quarrying, manufacturing, shipping, oil production and recycling into eloquent, highly expressive visions that find beauty and humanity in the most unlikely of places. In 1985, Burtynsky also founded Toronto Image Works, a darkroom rental facility, custom photo laboratory, digital imaging and new media computer-training centre catering to all levels of Toronto's art community. Mr. Burtynsky also sits on the board of directors for: Toronto’s international photography festival, Contact and The Ryerson Gallery and Research Center.
Exhibitions include Water (2013) at the New Orleans Museum of Art & Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans, Louisiana (international touring exhibition), Oil (2009) at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. (five-year international touring show), Manufactured Landscapes at the National Gallery of Canada (touring from 2003 - 2005), Before the Flood (2003), and China (toured 2005 - 2008). Burtynsky's visually compelling works are currently being exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across Canada, in the United States, Europe and Asia.
An active lecturer on photographic art, Mr. Burtynsky's speaking engagements include the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, The Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the TED conference, Idea City, and Ryerson University in Toronto. His images appear in numerous periodicals each year, in the past among them are: Canadian Art, Art in America, The Smithsonian, Harper's Magazine, Flash Art, Blind Spot, Art Forum, Saturday Night, Playboy, National Geographic Society and the New York Times.
Mr. Burtynsky’s distinctions include the TED Prize, The Outreach award at the Rencontres d’Arles, The Flying Elephant Fellowship, Applied Arts Magazine book award(s), and the Roloff Beny Book award. In 2006 he was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of Canada and holds four honorary doctorate degrees, with a fifth to be awarded in 2013.
Edward Burtynsky is represented by: Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto; Paul Kuhn Gallery, Calgary; Art 45, Montreal; Howard Greenberg and Bryce Wolkowitz, New York; Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Hong Kong; Flowers Gallery, London; Galerie Stefan Röpke in Köln, Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco and Sundaram Tagore Gallery in Hong Kong. His prints are housed in over fifty public collections worldwide.
Photo: © Birgit Kleber 2012