14. Jun. 2014 – 30. Aug. 2014

Edward Burtynsky: Water

Burtynsky Edward, Cerro Prieto Geothermal Power Station, Baja, Mexico, 2012, chromogenic print, 122x163, Edition 2 of 6


SCHEUBLEIN + BAK proudly presents the first solo exhibition of Edward Burtynsky in Switzerland who gained fame for his preeminent depictions of industrial landscapes. Born in 1955 in St. Catharines, Ontario (Canada) the artist has continuously challenged himself with epic photographic cycles on the most important themes of our time such as the rising power China, oil as a source of energy or in his latest opus magnum the world’s most vital natural resource, WATER.

Burtynsky’s most ambitious project so far, WATER evolved between the years 2008 – 2013 and took place in nine different countries including Mexico, India, China, Spain and Iceland. Burtynsky took stunning photographs on agriculture, aquaculture and other geopolitically charged themes. No artist has ever done such an intense and varied research on the relationship between human civilisation and the natural resource, WATER.

Gigantic silt releases from the mega-dam construction on the Yellow River in China remind the viewer of the industrial impressions in the 19th century paintings by Claude Monet and William Turner. Large-scale photographs, taken from an aerial perspective out of a helicopter, reveal dry-land farming in Spain, pivot irrigation sites in Texas and the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and are both beautiful and haunting.

„While trying to accommodate the growing needs of an expanding – and very thirsty – civilisation we are reshaping the Earth in colossal ways. Over five years, I have explored water in various aspects; distress, control, agriculture, aquaculture, waterfront and source. We have to learn to think more long-term about the consequences of what we are doing, while 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)

Edward Burtynsky’s WATER series presents a convolute of works which were exhibited in a touring museum exhibition, BURTYNSKY – WATER, organized by the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), featuring 60 large-scale prints in 2013. The museum exhibition is accompanied by a book published by Steidl (BURTYNSKY – WATER, Göttingen, 2013, 228 pages, 114 colour plates / hardcover) and WATERMARK, a documentary film co-directed by Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky. WATERMARK won a prize at the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF) in 2013 and will be screened at Swiss cinemas in summer 2014.

Edward Burtynsky is one of Canada’s preeminent artists and an internationally renowned photographer. Since the early 1990s, 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 LANDSCAPE at the National Gallery of Canada. His work is held in more than 50 museum collections such as TATE Modern (London), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), Museum of Modern Art (New York), Whitney Museum of American Art (New York) and Reina Sofia Museum (Madrid). Awards and distinctions include the TED Prize and the Roloff Beny Award. In 2006, Burtynsky was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of Canada.

Opening Reception: Saturday, 14 June 2014, 2 – 6 pm

Duration of the exhibition: 14 June – 30 August 2014

Location: SCHEUBLEIN + BAK, Schloss Sihlberg, Sihlberg 10, 8002 Zürich

Opening hours: Tuesday - Friday, 11am - 5pm, and by appointment

Press inquires: +41 43 888 55 10 or info@scheubleinbak.com