Water. This second initiative of the ongoing NOMA-CAC programming partnership includes over 50 large-scale color photographs that form a global portrait of humanity's relationship to water. An ongoing exhibition and programming partnership between two of the most significant cultural institutions of New Orleans.
NOMA—>CAC is proud to present Edward Burtynsky: Water, the world premiere of the latest body of work by internationally renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky, opening Saturday, October 5 in the second floor Lupin Foundation Gallery of the Contemporary Arts Center. This second initiative of the ongoing NOMA—>CAC programming partnership includes over 50 large-scale color photographs that form a global portrait of humanity’s relationship to water. Burtynsky’s images address several facets of the world’s vital resource, exploring the source, collection, control, displacement, and depletion of water. The exhibition opens on October 5, 2013 and runs through January 19, 2014.
Edward Burtynsky (born 1955, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada) has long been recognized for his ability to combine vast and serious subject matter with a rigorous, formal approach to picture making. The results are images that are part abstraction, part architecture, and part raw data. In producing Water, Burtynsky has worked across the globe—from the Gulf of Mexico to the shores of the Ganges—weaving together an ambitious representation of water’s increasingly fragmented lifecycle.
“The CAC is thrilled to be able to premiere an exhibition of this scale and quality through our partnership with NOMA,” said Neil Barclay, Executive Director of the Contemporary Arts Center. “Burtynsky’s work has long served as a commentary on the relationship between art and environment, and I believe the subject of these works will be of keen interest to anyone who has experienced life in New Orleans over the past decade.”
“Five years in the making, Water is at once Burtynsky’s most detailed and expansive project to date, with images of the 2010 Gulf oil spill, step wells in India, dam construction in China, aquaculture, farming, and pivot irrigation systems,” said Susan M. Taylor, Director of the New Orleans Museum of Art. In addition Water includes some of the first pure landscapes that Burtynsky has made since the early 1980s. These archaic, almost primordial looking images of British Columbia place the structures of water control in a historical context—tracing the story of water from the ancient to the modern, and back again.
While the story of water is certainly an ecological one, Burtynsky is more interested in presenting the facts on the ground than in declaring society’s motives good or bad. In focusing on all the facets of people’s relationship with water, including ritual and leisure, Burtynsky offers evidence without an argument. “Burtynsky’s work functions as an open ended question about humanity’s past, present, and future,” said Russell Lord, Freeman Family Curator of Photographs at the New Orleans Museum of Art. “The big question is: do these pictures represent the achievement of humanity or one of its greatest faults, or both? Each visitor might find a different answer in this exhibition, depending upon what they bring to it.”
The exhibition, organized by Russell Lord, is accompanied by a catalogue published by Steidl with over 100 color plates from Burtynsky’s water series. It includes essays by Lord and Wade Davis, renowned anthropologist and Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society.
NOMA—>CAC is an ongoing exhibition and programming partnership between two of the most significant cultural institutions of New Orleans: the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Contemporary Arts Center. Edward Burtynsky: Water is the second initiative of this unique collaboration, which will draw on the strengths of both institutions to provide thought-provoking exhibitions and programming for a cross section of the community.
About NOMA and the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden
The New Orleans Museum of Art, founded in 1910 by Isaac Delgado, houses over 35,000 art objects encompassing 4,000 years of international art. Works from the permanent collection, along with continuously changing temporary exhibitions, are on view in the museum’s 46 galleries Tuesdays-Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The adjacent Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden features work by 62 artists, including several of the 20th century’s master sculptors. The Sculpture Garden is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. The New Orleans Museum of Art and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden are fully accessible to handicapped visitors and wheelchairs are available from the front desk. (www.noma.org)
About the Contemporary Arts Center
The Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) was artist-formed in the fall of 1976 to serve the needs of both the visual and the performing arts communities, and the CAC remains one the few nationwide arts organizations serving a truly multidisciplinary mission. Occupying a warehouse built in 1905 and renovated in 1990, the CAC features 10,000 square feet of gallery space and a theater for the performing arts to offer artists a venue for bold experiments in painting, theater, photography, performance art, dance, music, video, education, and sculpture. (www.cacno.org)
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Opening reception: Saturday, October 5, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
New Orleans Museum of Art
One Collins Diboll Circle, City Park New Orleans, LA 70124
Contemporary Arts Center second floor Lupin Foundation Gallery.
Gallery hours: Wednesday through Monday, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. $8 General Admission; $5 for Students & Seniors; FREE to CAC Members; FREE to Louisiana Residents; FREE to NOMA Members during WATER Exhibition