New York Photo Review
Volume 2 Issue 43 December 6 to 12, 2011

Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat
The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino
Soho Photo Gallery
Central Booking Magazine

Dry Abstractions
Edward Burtynsky
Dryland Farming
Don Burmeister
Olive Groves #3 Jaen, Spain by Edward Burtynsky. Source: brycewolkowitz.com
Edward Burtynsky, "Olive Groves #3 Jaen, Spain" 2010

In line with much of his previous work, the latest effort by peripatetic landscape photographer, Edward Burtynsky, is absolutely breathtaking. Photographing from the air over central Spain (mostly Aragon with a few pictures from the South,) he concentrates on agricultural areas during the long dry summer months.

The parched ground, punctuated occasionally with olive orchards, allows the underlying geology to come through, and by carefully composing the images so there is little evidence of human occupation, each becomes an abstraction in browns and grays –– almost totally unreadable in traditional landscape mode. Rather they evoke the palette and texture of the early Cubist painters, although it is unlikely that Picasso ever ascended over the landscape of his homeland.

Dryland Farming #7, Monegros County, Aragon, Spain by Edward Burtynsky. Source: brycewolkowitz.com
Edward Burtynsky, "Dryland Farming #7, Monegros County, Aragon, Spain" 2010

The photographs are large, but Burtynsky is a master of large format photography. Each of the images can be satisfyingly enjoyed from both across the room and from a foot away. In both cases they retain the sense that real information can be absorbed.

The only problem with this exhibit is that there are just too many similar pictures. Although these photographs look like abstract paintings, they are not. Their impact is geological and anthropological, not emotional, and unless you have a specific interest in the valleys of Spain (there’s Tio Gerardo’s house!) they all have much the same impact. An earlier generation would have edited these images down to 3 or 4 definitive ones, but today, with some of these pictures selling for $42,000 a pop, the incentive to include just a few more must be too strong to resist.___________________________________________________

Incidentally, if you don’t have the wall space for these photographs, you might want to take a look at the satellite images of this fascinating area <Google Maps>.

Edward Burtynsky
Dryland Farming


Bryce Wolkowitz
505 W 24th St.
Chelsea         Map

212 243 8830
brycewolkowitz.com

Wednesday, October 26 to
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Hours: Tues-Sat, 10 to 6
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The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino
Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat
Central Booking Magazine
Soho Photo Gallery