Edward Burtynsky to Unveil Gulf Oil Spill Photographs

In the wake of the April 10 Gulf of Mexico oil spill brought about by pervasive institutional irresponsibility at BP, many in the outraged art-blog commentariat referenced Edward Burtynsky‘s magisterial “Oil” series, for which the photographer spent a decade traveling the globe to document the entire industrial complex behind our poisonous energy addiction. It comes as no surprise that Burtynksy himself was riveted by the Gulf disaster — in fact, IN THE AIR has learned, he traveled down to the site of the spill to photograph the aftermath.

The new series, executed in large-scale digital c-prints, was captured this May and June when Burtynsky boarded a helicopter and took aerial shots of the burning Deepwater Horizon rig where the crisis — the worst marine oil spill in history — originated. An artist whose work has long been driven by deep-seated environmental concerns, Burtynsky will debut the images on September 16 at Toronto’s Nicholas Metivier Gallery. (The photographer will also open a show on September 9 at New York’s Hasted Hunt Kraeutler Gallery, featuring large-scale c-prints derived from Polaroids he took at a Bangladeshi shipbreaking site.)