Edward Burtynsky: Oil, an original exhibition featuring more than 50 large-¬scale color landscapes by Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky will be on view at the Nevada Museum of Art
in Reno, Nevada, June 9 through September 23, 2012. The exhibition surveys a decade of photographic imagery exploring the subject of oil, chronicling the life cycle of this major energy resource, one that has profoundly shaped the modern world.
Edward Burtynskys timely and cautionary photographs have long been a vital part of the Nevada Museum of Arts permanent Carol Franc Buck Altered Landscape photography collection, commented Ann M. Wolfe, curator of exhibitions and collections, Nevada Museum of Art. Given the Museums ongoing commitment to issues related to natural and built environments, we are thrilled that this international photographers work will be on view in our galleries.
Edward Burtynsky: Oil is an examination of one the most important subjects of our time by one of the most respected and recognized contemporary photographers in the world. From 1997 through 2009, Burtynsky traveled internationally to chronicle the production, distribution, and use of this critical fuel. In addition to revealing the rarely¬ seen mechanics of its manufacture, he photographs the effects of oil on our lives, depicting landscapes altered by its extraction from the Earth and by the sprawl generated around its use.
Burtynsky's large-scale color photographs render his subjects with transfixing clarity of detail. His extensive exploration is organized thematically: aerial views of oil fields, the architecture of massive refineries, highway interchanges ribboning across the landscape, and motor culture aficionados at automotive events. The series concludes with arresting images of ancient oil derricks, vistas of junked vehicles, recycling yards, and mammoth ship breaking operations.
Edward Burtynsky color photographs of industrially transformed landscapes are in the collections of major museums around the world, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Bibliothéque Nationale in Paris, and the Museum of Modern Art and Guggenheim Museum in New York. Born in 1955 of Ukrainian heritage in St. Catharines, Ontario, Burtynsky is a graduate of Ryerson University and Niagara College. His father worked on an automobile production line at a General Motors plant in his hometown; Burtynsky credits this experience as his earliest exposure to the subject of industry, and oil in particular. Major exhibitions include Manufactured Landscapes (2003); Before the Flood (2003); Burtynsky China (2005); and Edward Burtynsky Quarries (2006), all of which have traveled extensively to venues in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Asia. Among many other honors, in 2004 Burtynsky was awarded a prestigious TED Prize; he holds four honorary doctorate degrees, and in 2007 he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada, that nations highest civil honor.