Internationally renowned Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky has donated 34 of his works to the Vancouver Art Gallery's permanent collection.
“We would like to express our gratitude to Edward Burtynsky for this significant body of work,” said Vancouver Art Gallery director Kathleen Bartels in a statement on Wednesday. “This extraordinary addition not only greatly expands the range of Burtynsky’s oeuvre in the Gallery’s collection, but also builds further depth to the Gallery’s already significant photo-based collection of works by leading contemporary artists.”
Burtynsky’s works focus on human incursions into the natural landscape, documenting the impact between humans and their evolving environment, with subjects including marble quarries, the oil industry, ship breaking, the Three Gorges Dam and water. His film directorial debut Watermark won the 2014 Best Canadian Documentary Film prize, awarded by the Toronto Film Critics Association.
The Gallery's collection previously included ten of Burtynsky's photographs, ranging in date from 1985 to 2002. The new addition of works donated represents each of the artist's major series from 1983 to 2013.
The large-format colour photographs, shot in BC, nationally and around the world in Australia, Iceland, Spain and China, speak to the global scope and the universal nature of Burtynsky’s subject matter through eight different series. These include the Oil, Fields, Mines and Tailings series, which addresses the topic of the extraction of resources.
The artist, born in St. Catherines, Ontario, has exhibited his work extensively in solo exhibitions since 1982. Burtynsky was one of the inaugural recipients of the TED Prize in 2005, and was awarded the Order of Canada in 2006.
The Vancouver Art Gallery's collection of photographs by the artist will be featured in the upcoming exhibition A Terrible Beauty: Edward Burtynsky, March 1 to May 26, 2014.
For more on the upcoming exhibition, visit the Vancouver Art Gallery website.
Image credit: Edward Burtynsky, Nickel Tailings #6, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, 1995, chromogenic print, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Gift of the Artist
© Edward Burtynsky, Courtesy Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto / Paul Kuhn Gallery, Calgary