Early Landscapes


Artist's Statement

"I believe photography is a great medium to grow older with, to mature with, because the more you've done, the more you know about the world and comprehend your indebtedness to your predecessors in art, the more you can let those influences enrich your work.

At the beginning of our conversation I paid homage to the landscape photographers of the nineteenth century. I believe they bequeathed to us all an image of a new world through the camera's lens. When I think about that work what comes to mind is that sweeping view of the vast terrain. They were always looking for an elevated perspective so that the foreground begins quite far away, and the scene unfolds as the eye moves into mid-aspect and on into infinity. That hovering - looking out across the great expanse - is something that I found to be a rich viewpoint. It turns the space into what I believe is a mythic space, an archetypal sense of the landscape." — Edward Burtynsky

Burtynsky’s evolving compositional strategies were also informed by a marked desire to explore how the visual properties of modernist painting might be made relevant to colour landscape photography. Foremost in his mind was the Abstract Expressionist treatment of pictorial space as a dense, compressed field evenly spread across the entire surface of a large composition. Emphasizing these pictorial concerns within the landscape tradition was for him another way to contribute to the field and to assert the relevance of painting to his photographic practice.