Edward Burtynsky

Extraction / Abstraction

Photographs and text by Edward Burtynsky, with additional texts by Simon Schama and Marc Mayer.

Published on the occasion of Edward Burtynsky’s largest and most comprehensive exhibition to date, at the Saatchi Gallery, London, Extraction / Abstraction looks deeply at the key subjects and signature images spanning his 45-year career. Alongside Burtynsky’s compelling photographs, the book includes texts by celebrated art historian Simon Schama, who examines Burtynsky’s work in light of the question “Can art help save the world?”, and by curator Marc Mayer, former director of the National Gallery of Canada, who provides an overview of the photographer’s achievements as technician, journalist and artist.

Extraction / Abstraction presents a dichotomy of Burtynsky’s image-making imperative: the lucid and informed documentation of large-scale extractive processes, and how he transforms the landscapes of industry into complete abstractions. Other essential themes in his oeuvre such as agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure and waste also find their rightful place here. With more than 130 color plates, the book furthermore has a special section, the “Process Archive,” featuring previously unpublished, behind-the-scenes photographs of Burtynsky at work on the ground and in the air throughout his career. The archive provides a glimpse into the artist’s progression through the evolution of the medium itself, from mid twentieth-century large-format analogue (film-based) cameras, through to twenty-first-century high-resolution digital technologies, including explorations into photogrammetry and augmented reality.

Signed interleaving. Limited availability.


1st Edition
9 1/2 x 12 1/4 x 1 inches
240 Pages
Published by Steidl, 2024
$75.00 shipped within the Continental USA


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