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 Bibliotèque Nationale in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
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, nature and humanity’s impact upon the Earth.
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 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 have recently been 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, the 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 have appeared in various periodicals, among them: Art in America, Art News, The Smithsonian, Harper’s Magazine, Flash Art, Blind Spot, Art Forum, Saturday Night, Canadian Art, 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 awards, and the Roloff Beny Book award. In 2006 he was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of Canada and given an honorary degree; Doctor of Laws, from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.