Sebastião Salgado: Magnum Opus

May 27 - June 17, 2023
Listen to Sebastião Salgado and Edward Burtynsky in conversation


Nicholas Metivier Gallery is pleased to announce Magnum Opus, a solo exhibition of platinum-palladium photographs by Sebastião Salgado. The exhibition will open on May 27th and run until June 17th. A public opening reception will take place on Saturday, May 27th between 12 and 3 pm. Acclaimed photographer Edward Burtynsky will lead a Q & A discussion with Salgado at 12 pm on Saturday, May 27th.


Internationally renowned photographer Sebastião Salgado has released his latest body of work, Magnum Opus. The series represents the culmination of his illustrious career in limited editioned platinum palladium prints, the most sophisticated and archival of the photographic mediums. It is characterized by an expansive tonal range and a remarkably luminous quality.


The fifty photographs that comprise Magnum Opus were chosen by Salgado and his partner, Lélia Wanick Salgado, and represent seminal works from almost five decades of photographic expeditions around the world. The photographs were selected from Salgado's two most recent series, Amazônia, and Genesis, as well as earlier projects including Other Americas, Sahel and Workers. Also featured are images from the Serra Pelada, gold mine in Brazil and the burning oil fields of Kuwait after the Gulf War.  


"When I take a photograph, I engage my entire cultural, human and social heritage. A photograph is taken in a fraction of a second, but you need a whole life in order to create it.”

– Sebastião Salgado



Instituto Terra


Proceeds from the sales of Magnum Opus photographs benefit Instituto Terra, a foundation started by Sebastião Salgado and Lélia Wanick Salgado in 1999. Its mission is to to revive the Brazilian forest that once covered the Bulcão Farm, land once owned by the Salgado family but had since been devastated by a drastic process of ecological degradation.


In 24 years, Instituto Terra has planted close to 2.4 million trees. Their nursery has produced more than six million seedlings of 300 endemic species. Some of the tropical forest has now been restored and many animals - birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians - have returned to their natural habitat. The new trees are also helping to revive water sources and streams.



About Sebastião Salgado (1944- ) 


Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado is best known for his captivating black and white photographs of the natural world and those inhabiting it. Salgado trained as an economist before discovering photography in the early 1970s while working in London. Now one of the world’s most influential living photographers, his work spotlights global issues in relation to labour, nature and climate change. His practice has taken him to over 120 countries, with subjects ranging from workers in the burning oil fields of Kuwait to the breathtaking landscapes of Antarctica.


Salgado has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards and honours throughout his career for his contribution to photojournalism, including the Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, USA (2019); Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, Germany (2019); Member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts of Institut de France, elected for the seat previously occupied by Lucien Clergue (2016); Honorary Doctor of Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA (2021); The Praemium Imperiale Award, Japan Art Association, Japan (2021). His work is held in public collections internationally, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Tate, London; and the Getty Museum, Los Angeles. He has been the subject of various solo shows at major institutions, including the Natural History Museum, London; the National Museum of Singapore; the Sejong Centre, Singapore; and Prague Castle, Prague.