October, 2016

Edward Burtynsky, “Vermont Marble Company #5, Abandoned Granite Section, Rochester, Vermont, 1991,” chromogenic colour print, AP1, 102 x 127 cm. Gift of the artist, 2002. Collection of the MacLaren Art Centre.

Edward Burtynsky (Canadian, b. 1955)
Vermont Marble Company #5, Abandoned Granite Section, Rochester, Vermont, 1991
chromogenic colour print, AP1
102 x 127 cm
Gift of the artist, 2002
Collection of the MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie

One of Canada’s most celebrated photographers, Edward Burtynsky was born in St. Catharines, Ontario in 1955. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Photography from Ryerson University, and studied Graphic Art at Niagara College in Welland. Burtynsky has achieved worldwide recognition for his large-scale photographs that explore the environmental and social impacts of industrial production around the world. In 2006, he was the subject of the award-winning documentary film Manufactured Landscapes. Burtynsky lives and works in Toronto.

Vermont Marble Company #5, Abandoned Granite Section, Rochester, Vermont, 1991 is an example of Burtynsky’s continued investigation of industrial landscapes. Part of his Quarries series, this large-scale photograph depicts an abandoned granite pit set in a lush autumnal New England forest. The photograph highlights the contradiction of beauty and destruction in our contemporary landscape, generating tension on visual, emotional and ethical levels. In typical Burtynsky fashion, this work exposes our dependence on nature to provide materials for our consumption. He writes in a statement titled Exploring the Residual Landscape: “These images are meant as metaphors of the dilemma of our modern existence; they search for a dialogue between attraction and repulsion, seduction and fear. We are drawn by desire […] yet, we are consciously or unconsciously aware that the world is suffering for our success.”