Edward Burtynsky was born in 1955 of Ukrainian heritage. He holds a BA in applied arts and photography from Ryerson University and is one of Canada’s most highly acclaimed photographers.
Burtynsky links the development of his photographic work to his early contact with the General Motors plant in his hometown in Ontario. His photographs explore the intricate links between industry and nature. They search for beauty and humanity in processes such as mining, quarrying, manufacturing, shipping, and so forth.
In 1985, Burtynsky founded Toronto Image Works, a darkroom rental facility, custom photo laboratory, digital imaging and new media computer-training center that caters to all levels of Toronto’s art community. He also sits on the board of directors of Contact, Toronto’s international photography festival, and The Ryerson Gallery and Research Center.
His work is included in the collections of over fifty museums around the world, including the National Gallery of Canada, Bibliotèque Nationale in Paris, Museum of Modern Art and Guggenheim Museum in New York, and Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid.
"The summer 2012 issue of tasj featured scores of my favorite contemporary photographers, but somehow I managed to leave out Edward Burtynsky, whose work I really, really like (sorry!) There is something wonderfully chilling about his depictions of mines, quarries, shipyards and other industrial environments and the compositional structure of each piece always feels just right."
"Some of my favorite Edward Burtynsky photographs are pretty terrifying once you get past how beautiful they are. Somehow, through his lens, all of the horrors of industry look very beautiful. The world he sees looks entirely unfamiliar to me like some distant planet. Unfortunately it is our planet."
"Edward Burtynsky's uncanny landscapes project an intense presence and are rich with drama. My favorite is the amazing "Shipbreaking" series. Very potent stuff."