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LOT 033

Edward Burtynsky

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OC RCA
1955 -
Canadian

Manufacturing #10a & #10b, Cankun Factory, Xiamen City, China
digital chromogenic print diptych
on verso signed, editioned 2/6 and dated 2005 on the artist's label
48 x 120 in, 121.9 x 304.8 cm

CAD
PRICE: $40,250

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

PROVENANCE
Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto
Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco
Private Collection, New York

LITERATURE
Edward Burtynsky, China: The Photographs of Edward Burtynsky, 2005, page 7, reproduced pages 100 – 101

Throughout his extensive career, Edward Burtynsky has sought to document the complex relationship between human industry and the natural landscape. From desolate oil fields and skeletal ship hulls to painterly toxic waste spills and vertiginous quarries, his large-format photographs capture the often invisible spaces and processes of mass production, expansion, consumerism and disposal. The vivid, hyper-detailed images are visually captivating and often beautiful in their composition even as they depict moments of crisis or friction between industry and the natural world.

One of his most prominent series is China. Produced over a span of five years in the early 2000s, this series focuses on the industrial sites, production networks and environmental injuries that support global consumerism. The arresting landscapes reveal colossal factories at various stages of construction and decay, masses of recycling detritus from obsolescent technology, and the shocking density and scale of workers’ dormitories and rapidly expanding city infrastructure. Within this series Burtynsky confronts his concerns with the material costs of modernization, industrialization and mass consumerism. He notes that “the resulting degradation of our environment intrinsic to the process of making things should be of deep concern to all.”

Burtynsky’s images of interior factory spaces are particularly compelling works in the China series. The photos are revealing: these new “manufacturing landscapes” were only made accessible via the intervention of the Chinese department of external affairs, and demonstrate the immense scale required to support industrial production. In Manufacturing #10a & #10b, the vast collective of workstations of an iron and coffee-maker factory in Xiamen City is organized into a highly ordered grid system. The ambient anxiety of overproduction, the monumental industrial project of producing more than humanity could possibly consume, saturates Burtynsky’s exceptionally precise image, which supplies more detail than the eye is able to process at once. The eerie rigidity of the seemingly endless factory complex and the innumerable labourers stationed within it is heightened by the bold, primary palette of the work tables, steel beams and uniforms. By presenting the enormous assembly space as a diptych, two parallel prints extending into two staggeringly distant vanishing points, Burtynsky intensifies the sense of scale, pushing the scene into the realm of uncanny, utilitarian sublime. The image is paradoxical in its simultaneous banality and overwhelming scale, its methodical rhythm and its stylized colour. Manufacturing #10a & #10b vividly represents the aesthetic tensions of Burtynsky’s photographs, inviting us to look further into the systems and processes that reshape the landscape of our planet—and, indeed, making it impossible for us to look away.

Burtynsky's artworks were recently on view at the Saatchi Gallery in London, UK, as part of "Civilization: The Way We Live Now," an international contemporary exhibition that explores the ever-evolving and complex human existence through the eyes of 150 photographers. Before arriving in London, this exhibition traveled to several prominent institutions worldwide, including the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, South Korea; the UCCA Centre for Contemporary Art in Beijing, China; the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia; the Auckland Art Gallery in Auckland, New Zealand; the Museum of Civilisation (Mucem) in Marseille, France; and the Musei San Domenico in Forlì, Italy.

Available for post auction sale. CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information posted, errors and omissions may occur. All bids are subject to our Terms and Conditions of Business. Bidders must ensure they have satisfied themselves with the condition of the Lot prior to bidding. Condition reports are available upon request.

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Time, Location
23 Nov 2023
Canada
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[ translate ]

OC RCA
1955 -
Canadian

Manufacturing #10a & #10b, Cankun Factory, Xiamen City, China
digital chromogenic print diptych
on verso signed, editioned 2/6 and dated 2005 on the artist's label
48 x 120 in, 121.9 x 304.8 cm

CAD
PRICE: $40,250

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

PROVENANCE
Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto
Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco
Private Collection, New York

LITERATURE
Edward Burtynsky, China: The Photographs of Edward Burtynsky, 2005, page 7, reproduced pages 100 – 101

Throughout his extensive career, Edward Burtynsky has sought to document the complex relationship between human industry and the natural landscape. From desolate oil fields and skeletal ship hulls to painterly toxic waste spills and vertiginous quarries, his large-format photographs capture the often invisible spaces and processes of mass production, expansion, consumerism and disposal. The vivid, hyper-detailed images are visually captivating and often beautiful in their composition even as they depict moments of crisis or friction between industry and the natural world.

One of his most prominent series is China. Produced over a span of five years in the early 2000s, this series focuses on the industrial sites, production networks and environmental injuries that support global consumerism. The arresting landscapes reveal colossal factories at various stages of construction and decay, masses of recycling detritus from obsolescent technology, and the shocking density and scale of workers’ dormitories and rapidly expanding city infrastructure. Within this series Burtynsky confronts his concerns with the material costs of modernization, industrialization and mass consumerism. He notes that “the resulting degradation of our environment intrinsic to the process of making things should be of deep concern to all.”

Burtynsky’s images of interior factory spaces are particularly compelling works in the China series. The photos are revealing: these new “manufacturing landscapes” were only made accessible via the intervention of the Chinese department of external affairs, and demonstrate the immense scale required to support industrial production. In Manufacturing #10a & #10b, the vast collective of workstations of an iron and coffee-maker factory in Xiamen City is organized into a highly ordered grid system. The ambient anxiety of overproduction, the monumental industrial project of producing more than humanity could possibly consume, saturates Burtynsky’s exceptionally precise image, which supplies more detail than the eye is able to process at once. The eerie rigidity of the seemingly endless factory complex and the innumerable labourers stationed within it is heightened by the bold, primary palette of the work tables, steel beams and uniforms. By presenting the enormous assembly space as a diptych, two parallel prints extending into two staggeringly distant vanishing points, Burtynsky intensifies the sense of scale, pushing the scene into the realm of uncanny, utilitarian sublime. The image is paradoxical in its simultaneous banality and overwhelming scale, its methodical rhythm and its stylized colour. Manufacturing #10a & #10b vividly represents the aesthetic tensions of Burtynsky’s photographs, inviting us to look further into the systems and processes that reshape the landscape of our planet—and, indeed, making it impossible for us to look away.

Burtynsky's artworks were recently on view at the Saatchi Gallery in London, UK, as part of "Civilization: The Way We Live Now," an international contemporary exhibition that explores the ever-evolving and complex human existence through the eyes of 150 photographers. Before arriving in London, this exhibition traveled to several prominent institutions worldwide, including the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, South Korea; the UCCA Centre for Contemporary Art in Beijing, China; the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia; the Auckland Art Gallery in Auckland, New Zealand; the Museum of Civilisation (Mucem) in Marseille, France; and the Musei San Domenico in Forlì, Italy.

Available for post auction sale. CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information posted, errors and omissions may occur. All bids are subject to our Terms and Conditions of Business. Bidders must ensure they have satisfied themselves with the condition of the Lot prior to bidding. Condition reports are available upon request.

[ translate ]
Estimate
Unlock
Time, Location
23 Nov 2023
Canada
Auction House
Unlock