The Galería Arnés y Röpke is pleased to present a new solo exhibition with works from the Iberia Quarries series by Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky.
Burtynsky's large scale colour photographs document the many facets of nature as they are transformed by human industry. Industrial processes are presented as highly expressive visions where beauty is found in the most unlikely of places.
The works from the Iberia Quarries series were photographed in Spain and Portugal in 2006 after Burtynsky realized photographs of Quarries in Canada, Italy, China, India and the United States over seventeen years.
Through masterful technique and often dizzying compositions, the artist presents his magnificent colour images as thought-provoking studies of those deconstructed territories that are created as we dig into the earth for material in order to build our cities. These detailed, sumptuous photographs urge us to consider how we as viewers are simultaneously attracted yet repulsed by these landscapes—somewhere a building is created while a landscape is being destroyed.
The images by Burtynsky (born 1955 in St. Catharines, Ontario) are metaphors of the dilemma of our modern existence. We are drawn by the desire for prosperity and a good comfortable life, yet we all know that the world suffers to meet those demands. Our dependence on nature to provide us with the materials for our consumption, in contrast to our concern for the health of our planet, sets us into the uneasy contradiction that feeds the dialogue in Burtynsky's images between attraction and repulsion, seduction and fear. This contradiction is absolutely intended, as the artist insists that he is not celebrating nor condemning anything; neither industrialization nor the impact of civilization on the environment. Edward Burtynsky shows exceptional talent with his constant attention to composition and light, always presenting images with a painter's eye for colour and a sculptor's feel of form.
His photographs are included in the collections of 15 major museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Biblioteque National in Paris. Edward Burtynsky is established as one of Canada's most respected contemporary photographers. In June 2006, he was appointed to the Order of Canada, Canada's highest civilian honour, recognizing lifetime achievement.