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Nevada Museum of Art opens Edward Burtynsky. Oil

The Nevada Museum of Art presents Edward Burtynsky. Oil, on view June 9 through September 23, 2012. Edward Burtynsky: Oil, features more than 50 large-¬scale color landscapes by Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky. The exhibition surveys a decade of photographic imagery exploring the subject of oil, chronicling the “life cycle” of this major energy resource, one that has profoundly shaped the modern world.

Edward Burtynsky, AMARC #5, Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson, Arizona, USA, 2006. Chromogenic color print. Photograph © Edward Burtynsky, courtesy Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto / Howard Greenberg & Bryce Wolkowitz, New York

“Edward Burtynsky’s timely and cautionary photographs have long been a vital part of the Nevada Museum of Art’s permanent Carol Franc Buck Altered Landscape photography collection,” commented Ann M. Wolfe, curator of exhibitions and collections, Nevada Museum of Art. “Given the Museum’s ongoing commitment to issues related to natural and built environments, we are thrilled that this international photographer’s work will be on view in our galleries.”

Edward Burtynsky: Oil is an examination of one the most important subjects of our time by one of the most respected and recognized contemporary photographers in the world. From 1997 through 2009, Burtynsky traveled internationally to chronicle the production, distribution, and use of this critical fuel. In addition to revealing the rarely¬ seen mechanics of its manufacture, he photographs the effects of oil on our lives, depicting landscapes altered by its extraction from the Earth and by the sprawl generated around its use.

Burtynsky’s large-scale color photographs render his subjects with transfixing clarity of detail. His extensive exploration is organized thematically: aerial views of oil fields, the architecture of massive refineries, highway interchanges ribboning across the landscape, and motor culture aficionados at automotive events. The series concludes with arresting images of ancient oil derricks, vistas of junked vehicles, recycling yards, and mammoth ship breaking operations.

Edward Burtynsky: Oil is organized by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and made possible with the generous support of the Scotiabank Group. All photographs in the exhibition are chromogenic color prints and are lent by the artist, courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto, and Howard Greenberg & Bryce Wolkowitz, New York. The exhibition is on an international tour through 2013.

Edward Burtynsky: Oil will be exhibited June 9 through September 23, 2012 at the Nevada Museum of Art, Donald W. Reynolds Center for the Visual Arts, E. L. Wiegand Gallery located at 160 West Liberty Street in downtown Reno. The Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. Cost: Museum members free; $10 adults; $8 students/seniors; $1 children 6 – 12; free for children five and under. For more information, please call 775.329.3333 or visit

Edward Burtynsky color photographs of industrially transformed landscapes are in the collections of major museums around the world, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Bibliothéque Nationale in Paris, and the Museum of Modern Art and Guggenheim Museum in New York. Born in 1955 of Ukrainian heritage in St. Catharines, Ontario, Burtynsky is a graduate of Ryerson University and Niagara College. His father worked on an automobile production line at a General Motors plant in his hometown; Burtynsky credits this experience as his earliest exposure to the subject of industry, and oil in particular. Major exhibitions include Manufactured Landscapes (2003); Before the Flood (2003); Burtynsky – China (2005); and Edward Burtynsky – Quarries (2006), all of which have traveled extensively to venues in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Asia. Among many other honors, in 2004 Burtynsky was awarded a prestigious TED Prize; he holds four honorary doctorate degrees, and in 2007 he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada, that nation’s highest civil honor.

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