Edward Burtynsky: Natural Order

September 3 - 26, 2020

Nicholas Metivier Gallery is pleased to announce Natural Order, the international debut of new photographs by Edward Burtynsky. The exhibition will open at the gallery on September 3rd and run until September 26th. Recorded artist talks with Burtynsky and guest speakers, Paul Roth, Marta Braun and Cameron Bailey are available to watch by clicking here.


This Spring, in the early days of the pandemic, Edward Burtynsky found himself in Grey County, Ontario, as a result of the government-mandated isolation. He began shooting the surrounding forests using a new camera that captures unprecedented detail and density. Burtynsky photographed this area in the early 1980s and his return to this subject nearly 40 years later marks a full circle in his career. This most recent approach to nature is more painterly and abstract than ever before.  


During this time spent in isolation and while reflecting on this historic moment and the gravity of these events, I have taken the opportunity to once again turn my lens to the natural landscape as subject matter. The result is this new series, made during the time of year when the cycle of renewal exerts itself on the Earth. From the frigid sleep of winter to the fecund urgency of spring, these images are an affirmation of the complexity, wonder and resilience of the natural order in all things. I find myself gazing into an infinity of apparent chaos, but through that selective contemplation, an order emerges — an enduring order that remains intact regardless of our own human fate. These images are all from a place called Grey County, Ontario. They are also from a place in my mind that aspires to wrest order out of chaos and to act as a salve in these uncertain times.



The photographs created during this time came together in a new series titled, Natural Order. In addition to a release of large-scale colour photographs, Burtynsky and Nicholas Metivier Gallery have published a limited edition portfolio including ten, 20 x 24 inch photographs contained in a linen-covered box. Also included in the portfolio is a new book of the same name, published by Steidl. The portfolio is an edition of 20. Burtynsky and Nicholas Metivier Gallery are issuing this portfolio as a special initiative to support the Canadian photography community. Proceeds from the sale of the Natural Order portfolio will be donated to the Art Gallery of Ontario and Ryerson Image Centre in Toronto for the establishment of new funds dedicated to acquiring the works of emerging to mid-career Canadian artists.


The Natural Order book, published by Steidl, will also available for purchase separately through the gallery.


To access the virtual exhibition walkthrough, click here.