Burtynsky’s Tar Sands images hit DC on the eve of Copenhagen

“Oil,” a major exhibition by Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky, is currently on display at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. in Washington, DC. The exhibit includes horrific photos of the Alberta Tar Sands:


[Click images for larger view – links fixed.]

Burtynsky specializes in sweeping, often eerily beautiful views of landscapes altered by industry: mine tailings, quarries, scrap piles. James Fallows, of the Atlantic, which features another of Burtynsky’s images this month, writes:

The impact of the exhibit as a whole is, well, hard to convey in words…. [V]ery few people have seen the range of oil-industry artifacts that he has captured in his wall-sized and incredibly-detailed photos. Extraction and refinery operations around the world; the industries oil has made possible; the indications of the end of the oil era. Hard to forget.

The exhibit moves next to The Rooms Art Gallery in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where it will be on display from May 7–August 15, 2010. It will continue to travel through 2012.

More photos and a video after the jump.

Burtynsky Tar Sands #7-s

Burtynsky Tar Sands #11-s

Here’s a video about “Oil” from the Corcoran Gallery of Art: