Chosen by: Kim Spencer-Nairn, Gallery Member
I will always remember the first time I saw a Burtynsky photograph. It was a diptych of the Sudbury nickel tailings and I was immediately struck by its simultaneous beauty and ugliness as the toxic red substance wove through the manufactured landscape. I have been a huge fan of his work ever since.
This piece is from Burtynsky’s earlier quarry work. I love the contrast of the industrial and organic architecture and surprising scale of the work. (The printed size of the image as well as how enormous this quarry is revealed to be when the viewer discovers the tiny ladders.) I am so glad that this piece is part of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s amazing collection.
Edward Burtynsky, Rock of Ages Quarry #45, Abandoned Section, Rock of Ages Quarry, Barre Vermont, 1991. Chromogenic print. Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Gift of the artist.