Edward Burtynsky, ‘Pivot Irrigation #1, High Plains, Texas Panhandle, USA’, 2011, Phillips

“While trying to accommodate the growing needs of an expanding, and very thirsty civilization, we are reshaping the Earth in colossal ways." Edward Burtynsky
Courtesy of Phillips

Edward Burtynsky's aerial photographs from his Water series are rooted in the complex, symbiotic, and at times, destructive relationship we have with the earth. This image taken over the Texas panhandle, optically transforms the large pivot irrigation sprinklers into an abstracted geometric tableau, a perfectly weighted composition created by the sprinklers paths and division in the crops and farmland below. The subject of pivot irrigation speaks to a larger discourse surrounding the heavy demands on agriculture and supply of water in our world today. Just as he has done with his other subjects- from oil to manufacturing centers- here Burtynsky presents a carefully composed work brimming with a deeper environmental commentary.
Courtesy of Phillips

Signature: Signed in ink, printed title, date and number 6/12 on an artist's label affixed to the reverse of the flush-mount.

Steidl, Edward Burtynsky: Water, p. 101

Acquired directly from the artist

About Edward Burtynsky

Edward Burtynsky’s large-format color photographs document the ramifications of human industry on the natural world in a perversely beautiful manner. Bold swathes of color and rich texture render his images of mines, industrial refineries, shipbreaking yards, and other scarred landscapes from Detroit to Bangladesh, painterly. “Dryland Farming” (2011), an aerial series exploring how humans reshape natural topography through farming in a semi-arid, remote region of northern Spain, evokes abstract painting; seeing the colors and shapes from 2,000 feet above reminded the artist of Pablo Picasso’s Guernica (1937). Burtynsky intends his work to spark “a second look at what we call progress,” which has won him acclaim as an environmental champion as well as an artist; he received a TED Prize in 2005 for producing images that “powerfully alter the way we think about the world and our place in it.”

Canadian, b. 1955, St. Catharines, Canada

Group Shows

Nicholas Metivier Gallery, 
BURTYNSKY/ SHAPIRO: Nature Abstracted
Nicholas Metivier Gallery, 
View Artist's CV