World renowned Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky, famous for his surreal landscapes and provocative series chronicling the world’s dependence on oil, has donated 34 works to the Vancouver Art Gallery.
The gallery now owns 44 photographs by the Ontario-born artist, and will feature his work at an upcoming exhibition from March 1 to May 26.
“We would like to express our gratitude to Edward Burtynsky for this significant body of work,” said VAG director Kathleen Bartels, in a statement on Wednesday, adding that his gift will help build the gallery’s photo-based collection of works by leading contemporary artists.
Burtynsky’s work captures surreal landscapes that society depends on, such as marble quarries, oil production centres and refineries and ship breaking sites.
His film directorial debut Watermark won the 2014 Best Canadian Documentary Film prize, awarded by the Toronto Film Critics Association.
The record price at auction for Burtynsky’s work is $38,250 for a piece called Shipbreaking #10, Chittagong, Bangladesh, according to the Heffel art index. The median price of the 87 works of his that have sold at auction is $9,600.
According to the gallery, the new addition of 34 works comprises three decades of Burtynsky’s photography, representing eight different series from 1983 to 2013. The Breaking Ground series, for instance, features images of cars, structures and roads in B.C., and documents the C.N. Rail track, according to the art gallery, while the Quarries series was shot in India, Italy and China.
Another of his series, Oil, Fields, Mines and Tailings documents his fascination with the extraction of resources. The most recent series Water has led Burtynsky to travel around the world to understand the use and misuse of this ubiquitous resource, including looking at human-inflicted disasters such as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
Burtynsky was one of the inaugural recipients of the TED Prize in 2005, and was awarded the Order of Canada in 2006.
Source: Vancouver sun. 18 February 2014