Edward Burtynsky: African Studies. Howard Greenberg Gallery

NEW YORK—Edward Burtynsky’s powerful new photography series African Studies, a seven-year project spanning ten countries, will have its New York premiere with two solo gallery exhibitions this March. The exhibitions will be on view at Sundaram Tagore Gallery from March 2 through April 1 at 542 West 26th Street and at Howard Greenberg Gallery from March 4 through April 22 at 41 East 57th Street. Opening receptions will be held at Sundaram Tagore Gallery Thursday, March 2, 6 – 8 p.m. and at Howard Greenberg Gallery Saturday, March 4, 3 – 5 p.m. The artist will attend both receptions.

African Studies is the subject of a 208-page monograph of the same title newly published by Steidl (2023).


Since the early 1980s, Edward Burtynsky has been photographing industrial landscapes across the globe, documenting in remarkable detail the human imprint on the planet through terraforming, extraction, urbanization and deforestation. For this project, he focused on Sub-Saharan Africa, traveling to Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Madagascar and Tanzania between 2015 and 2020.

Burtynsky’s interest in Africa was sparked 20 years ago while he was working on his landmark 2004 photographic project China, which explores the country’s rapid globalization and the construction of the Three Gorges Dam. The series, and subsequent award-winning documentary film by Jennifer Baichwal, Manufactured Landscapes (2006), chronicle China’s transformation into the world’s leading manufacturer and depository for its waste. Burtynsky witnessed firsthand the immense environmental—and by extension, human—cost of development, and he predicted Africa would be the next, and perhaps the last, region to undergo major industrial expansion.

Presented in large-format photographs, African Studies conveys the fragility of the natural world, bringing together images of lush, undisturbed landscapes and environments irretrievably altered by industry. The series was largely photographed from aerial perspectives, a viewpoint that distills the continent’s diverse topography into graphic patterns and gradients of sumptuous color. The resulting effect seemingly transforms the marks of human infrastructure into painterly abstract compositions. In these images, as in all his work, Burtynsky skillfully integrates critical reporting with sublime visual aesthetics creating a harmonious balance between content and form.

“With this project I hope to continue raising awareness about the cost of growing our civilization without the necessary consideration for sustainable industrial practices and the dire need for implementing globally organized governmental initiatives and binding international legislations in order to protect present and future generations from what stands to be forever lost,” Burtynsky said.

ABOUT EDWARD BURTYNSKY

Edward Burtynsky (b. 1955) is represented in the collections of more than 80 museums worldwide, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid; Tate Modern, London; and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

Notable exhibitions include Anthropocene (2018) at the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada (international touring exhibition); Water (2013) at the New Orleans Museum of Art and Contemporary Arts Center, Louisiana (international touring exhibition); Oil (2009) at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. (five-year international touring show), China (toured 2005 – 2008); Manufactured Landscapes at the National Gallery of Canada (toured 2003 – 2005); and Breaking Ground produced by the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography (toured 1988 – 1992).

Honors include the inaugural TED Prize, the Governor General’s Award in Visual Media Arts, The Outreach award at the Rencontres d’Arles, the Roloff Beny Book award and the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award. In 2020, Burtynsky was awarded a Royal Photographic Society Honorary Fellowship and in 2022, he was honored with the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award by the World Photography Organization. Most recently he was inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame and was named the 2022 recipient for the annual Pollution Probe Award. Burtynsky was born in St. Catharines, Ontario, in 1955. He lives and works in Toronto.

Howard Greenberg Gallery

41 E 57th St 8th floor, New York, NY 10022, United States

Edward Burtynsky: African Studies. Howard Greenberg Gallery

Sulfur Springs #1, Dallol, Danakil Depression, Ethiopia, 2018. © Edward Burtynsky, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery and Sundaram Tagore Gallery, New York

Event Title: Edward Burtynsky: African Studies

Event Description: Edward Burtynsky’s powerful new photography series African Studies, a seven-year project spanning ten countries, will have its New York premiere with two solo gallery exhibitions this March. The exhibitions will be on view at Sundaram Tagore Gallery from March 2 through April 1 at 542 West 26th Street and at Howard Greenberg Gallery from March 4 through April 22 at 41 East 57th Street

Start date: March 4, 2023

End date: April 22, 2023

Location name: Howard Greenberg Gallery

Address: 41 E 57th St 8th floor, New York, NY 10022, United States

Art Martin Cid Magazine
Art Martin Cid Magazine
News about art, exhibitions, museums and artists around the world. An international view of the art world.
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