Edward Burtynsky: Water

September 5 - October 12, 2013

Reception for the artist: Thursday, September 12, 6 – 8 PM

The Nicholas Metivier Gallery is pleased to announce Edward Burtynsky’s latest project, Water. The exhibition will be on view at two locations in Toronto, the permanent space at 451 King Street West and a temporary space at 80 Spadina Avenue, Suite 404. In addition to photographs, the space at 80 Spadina Avenue will screen a short film about the making of the documentary film Watermark. The exhibition will open on September 5 and will be on view through October 12 with a reception for the artist on Thursday, September 12 from 6–8 pm.

The Water project includes the largest release of new photographs in the history of Burtynsky's career, the Burtynsky-Water book, published by Steidl and the documentary film Watermark, (co-directed by Edward Burtynsky and Jennifer Baichwal). Together, the film, book and photographs chronicle the various roles that water plays in modern life - as a source of healthy ecosystems and energy, as a key element in cultural and religious rituals and as a rapidly depleting resource.

Five years in the making, Burtynsky traveled to ten different countries for the Water project including Mexico, Canada, the United States, India, China, Spain and Iceland. In these places, he found visually compelling representations of water – or lack of water in many cases – and used them to tell the story of our past, present and future relationship with the world’s most vital natural resource. Much of the new work is shot from an aerial perspective in order to capture the scale and complexity of his subjects. These include dry-land farming in Spain, pivot irrigation farming in Texas, dried out step-wells in India, massive dams in China, pristine watersheds in Northern British Columbia and natural riverbed erosion in Iceland. The resulting images are his most abstract and painterly to date.

While trying to accommodate the growing needs of an expanding, and very thirsty civilization, we are reshaping the Earth in colossal ways. We have to learn to think more long-term about the consequences of what we are doing, while we are doing it. My hope is that these pictures will stimulate a process of thinking about something essential to our survival; something we often take for granted – until it’s gone.

– Edward Burtynsky

The Watermark Film:
Watermark is a feature documentary film co-directed by Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky. This film is their second collaboration following the award-winning film, Manufactured Landscapes in 2006. Watermark is a feature presentation at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and will be released theatrically in Canada this fall.
To preview Watermark click here

The Burtynsky-Water Book:
Edward Burtynsky’s fifth book, Burtynsky-Water, (228 pages, 114 colour plates/ hardcover), is published by Steidl and will be available for purchase through the gallery, September 2013.

The Touring Museum Exhibition:
Burtynsky-Water, will open at the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, organized with the New Orleans Museum of Art, on October 5, 2013 and runs until January 9, 2014. 

About Edward Burtynsky:
Edward Burtynsky is one of Canada’s preeminent artists and an internationally renowned photographer. Since the early 199os, his work has been shown in hundreds of touring international museum shows and commercial exhibitions including Oil at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. and Manufactured Landscapes at the National Gallery of Canada. His work is held in the collections of Tate Modern, London, England; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid, Spain. Awards and distinctions include the TED Prize and the Roloff Beny Book award. In 2006 Burtynsky was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of Canada.