Edward Burtynsky and Ansel Adams: A pairing of devastation and beauty

Reply Fri 23 Jul, 2010 07:05 pm

Shelburne, Vt.
Last month, Stephan Jost felt jittery, not because he was curating the Shelburne Museum's inaugural photography exhibit, but because the exhibit presents more than 60 prints by 20th-century American photographer Ansel Adams and contemporary Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky – artists whose respective works, on the surface, seem diametrically opposed.

"Ansel Adams and Edward Burtynsky: Constructed Landscapes," which runs through Oct. 24 at the Vermont museum, features four rooms of Adams's signature black-and-white wilderness photographs and three rooms of Burtynsky's color photographs of rock quarries, coal heaps, and rusty ships in North America and Asia.

"This pairing makes both of them look better," says Mr. Jost. "It makes Adams more interesting and relevant, and it makes Burtynsky look aesthetically stronger, because he can stand up to Adams's work."

When Adams died in 1984, he left a formidable legacy: The San Francisco native's photographs of the American West promoted photography as a fine-art medium and created iconic visuals for the American conservation movement. In a 2001 introduction to a major Adams retrospective, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art called him "one of the century's great modern artists."

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Reply Fri 23 Jul, 2010 07:14 pm
Bookmarking on the run, tsar.
I'll definitely be back later!
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Reply Sat 24 Jul, 2010 08:30 am
What's going on in this photo?

Edit: Photo creds: ‘Tailings #30, Sudbury, Ontario, 1996,’ by Edward Burtynsky.
Reply Sat 24 Jul, 2010 08:52 am
This museum is only 4 hours away...... hmmm....
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Reply Sat 24 Jul, 2010 11:05 am
I remember this photo was discussed in the documentary, Manufactured Landscapes:
Though I can't remember the exact details of this photograph, I remember its some kind of industrial or residual mining pollution. Regardless of its exact composition, its highly toxic albeit a beautiful poison.

The film trailer:
Reply Sat 24 Jul, 2010 04:55 pm
I think djjd might have posted some information (& images) about one of these artists to an old thread of mine, tsar. I'll check.
Reply Sat 24 Jul, 2010 05:04 pm
A lot of that kind of landscape is what we do to reclaim and clean up mining sites. When acid water mixes with the minerals in the lode, the results are usually some toxic soup that would kill any aniumals that drink the water.
Id be willing to bet that that stream has apH of at least 2 (or lower) and no trees will grow in the valley.

Thanks Tsar, Im gonna be up in Maine and NH in Oct and Nov,its an easy trip and Ill have to follow up on this show, the Burtynsky looks really interesting
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Reply Sat 24 Jul, 2010 05:40 pm
Found it!
Edward Burtynsky:


(Starting at the 3rd bottom post on the page. There are some interesting links on the artist, too.)

And check this out!
Kalgoorlie, Australia:


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Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 10:49 pm
This is an interesting post…were you aware of the recent authentication by a group of experts that a bunch of glass negatives found at a garage sale were created by Ansel Adams! Apparently, some of the negatives had never been developed into photographs. Here is a link about the story. www.lostnegatives.com
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Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 10:53 pm
Thanks for the thread, Tsar. Very interesting.
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 04:55 am
I only wished the exhibition did some travelling across the country ... <<cough>> the Met Museum <<cough>> the International Center Of Photography <<cough>> <<cough>>. I can't imagine myself in Vermont any time soon.

I guess they're not going to take the hint. I wonder if I email them for a request for a traveling show, how soon will my email be deleted or ignored and dumped into a spam box? Or will they even consider such an idea? Surprised
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