Edward Burtynsky: Oil Nevada Museum of Art, Feature Gallery South 160 West Liberty Street, Reno, NV Through September 23 One of the most important topics of our time, oil and its industry serve as the departure point for the work of one of the most admired photographers working today. From 1997 through 2009, Edward Burtynsky traveled the world chronicling oil, its production, distribution, and use. Through 50 large-scale photographs, Burtynsky illustrates stories about this vital natural resource, the landscapes altered by its extraction, and the sprawl caused by the development of infrastructure needed to transport it. Behind the awe-inspiring photography is an epic tale about the lifeblood of mankind's existence in the 21st century. Curated by the Center for Art + Environment, Oil forces the viewer to contend with the scale and implications of humanity’s addiction to energy.
Posts tagged with "Edward Burtynsky":
A revamped South Street Seaport Museum shook off the dust last night to reopen after a three-month renovation overseen by the Museum of the City of New York. The exhibits were both a departure from and an embrace of the old collection. The design team, particularly Wendy Evans Joseph and Chris Cooper of Cooper Joseph Studio, turned what could have been a cramped exhibition arrangement into a free-flowing multi-leveled space. Some of the contemporary elements might strike a design-conscious audience as familiar. A very large segment of the exhibition space is devoted to contemporary furnishings designed and "Made in New York," feeling a bit like an ICFF satellite. A fashion component adds a dash of Fifth Avenue flair. MCNY's curator of architecture and design Donald Albrecht noted that the port was always about moving goods and "making." Much of the work assembled in the show is manufactured in Brooklyn warehouses that once serviced the maritime trade but have since been repurposed for an ever-expanding design industry. A few standouts were Daniel Michalik's recycled cork chaise lounge from 2006 and designer David Nosanchuk's multi-faceted Plexiglas lamp, the NR1. Nosanchuk's piece represents a rarity these days in that it was both designed and manufactured in Manhattan. With all the ship-making tools painstakingly arranged on angled white plane in the gallery next door, the "making" tradition becomes abundantly clear. Less clear is whether the inclusion of contemporary fashion makes the same seamless leap. Still, fashion designer Jordon Betten's installation of a lost waif in a part of the museum building that originally housed the Sweet's Hotel (1870-1920) provides a stirring contrast to the decayed rafters. Some older exhibits from MCNY made the trip downtown, including Eric Sanderson's Manahatta, which includes a three dimensional map of Mahattan with an overhead projector that digitally morphs the terrain from natural wetlands and forests of 1650 to today's dense street grid. There's also a tight ensemble of Edward Burtynsky photographs. Burtynsky's images of Bangladeshi shipbreakers dismantling once powerful ships for scrap metal provide an unexpected smack of mortality. Another gallery calls attention to "The New Port" with a time-lapse video by digital artist Ben Rubin called Terminal 8 that focuses on of arrivals and departures of American Airlines jets at JFK. But as the gallery prominently features American Airlines corporate brand it's difficult to see the artistic forest through the commercial trees, a fact made all the more jarring by the Occupy Wall Street photo exhibition just two galleries away. The Occupy segment of the exhibit is perhaps the biggest stroke of marketing smarts on the part of MCNY that might just distract tourists from the ghoulish "Bodies" exhibit across the street and bring them back into a New York state of mind. The Occupy gallery was packed on opening night. It added a cool factor that can't be quantified. The exhibit itself recalls the Here is New York show that opened in Soho about a month after the 9/11 attacks and later toured around the world. The photos celebrate, engage, and provoke, much like the demonstrations. Not a bad metaphor for the city at large or the new management.
In the late 1960s, the New York architect Stan Ries was consulting on design and photography for the art nouveau exhibit Hector Guimard at the Museum of Modern Art, when the director approached him with an unusual opportunity to photograph the entire design collection. Given two days to decide between architecture and photography as a career, he chose the latter. “With photography, the creative cycle is much shorter, and you don’t have to have a client,” he said. “I can make the photograph and I can suit myself.” Since that time, Ries has amassed architectural photographs from nearly three dozen renowned artists, among them Ansel Adams, Julius Shulman, Margaret Bourke-White, and Martin Rich. Over 70 pieces from his unique collection can be seen in the exhibition Architectural Photography: from 1860 to the Present at Carrie Haddad Photographs in Hudson, New York, on view through November 29. The works on display have helped Ries sharpen his own eye behind the lens. Photographs from Ries’ collection range from English cathedrals to American skyscrapers, from antiquated architectural relics to minimalist interiors. They explore how the two-dimensional photograph captures three-dimensional structure through light, angle, and proportion. Paraphrasing the great architectural photographer Robert Lautman, Ries said the two most important things about architectural photography are knowing where to stand with your camera, and what time to stand there. “Architectural photographers do a lot of ‘hurry up and wait,’” he said. “The most interesting thing I discovered was that the earliest photographers were doing that too. The people that shot in the 19th century—there’s about 15 mid-19th century pictures in the exhibit, and they were not the straight-on Cathedral of Notre Dame,” he said. At the same time, his collection includes work such as David Trautrimas’ surrealist compositions of household appliances as architecture. “It’s the complete opposite of the 19th-century photography, which is what appealed to me about it,” said Ries. The exhibition also contains supplementary art such as the seven- and eight-foot-tall steel columns used in sculptor-photographer John Cross’ photos of ancient ruins. For Ries, architectural photography succeeds when it avoids two issues: generic subjects, too often prominent in travel photography; and poor framing, a symptom of content-driven street photography. “There’s a sense of design and there’s something very interesting going on in the composition. And I particularly like things that are not, how should I say, typical elevation photographs of a building,” he said. “You see the thing, and it has to grab you.” Ries will be present at Carrie Haddad Photographs this Saturday, November 14, at 4 p.m., when photographer Norman McGrath will speak about his newly released book, Architectural Photography: Professional Techniques for Shooting Interior and Exterior Spaces. Featured photographers Richard Edelman, Harry Wilks, Chad Kleitsch, and Martin Rich will also be in attendance.