Edward Burtynsky (b. 1955) is one of a generation of photographers who seek to portray the visible outcomes of a globalized economy and humankind’s impact on environments around the world. He has achieved global recognition with his large-scale photographs and project-based monographs, such as Quarries, Oil, and Water, all of which have resulted in popular touring exhibitions and, in the case of Water, a feature-length documentary film entitled Watermark. However, while Burtynsky’s global standing is without question, no comprehensive retrospective of his career to date exists.
Edited and curated by William A. Ewing, Edward Burtynsky: Essential Elements provides an overview of Burtynsky’s work across four decades, including 140 photographs of both iconic and previously unpublished images. It conceives of Burtynsky’s oeuvre as five free-flowing sections that provide a sense of both his visual language and his exploration of the dilemmas at the heart of our globalized world. Each of the five sections is interleaved with a selection of texts from previous publications and articles on Burtynsky that work in concert with the photographs to provide a complete understanding of Burtynsky’s view of the world.
With an introduction by William A. Ewing and an essay by Joshua Schuster, this book provides both an entirely new way of seeing Burtynsky’s work.
Edward Burtynsky is a Canadian photographer. His previous publications include Water, Oil, Quarries, China, and Manufactured Landscapes.
William A. Ewing
William A. Ewing is an author, lecturer, and curator of photography and former director of the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne. His many publications on photography include Edward Burtynsky: Essential Elements and Civilization.