Press Office
Amelia Okell
+44 (0) 20 7811 3091

BURTYNSKY: Extraction/Abstraction


  • From 14 February 2024, BURTYNSKY: Extraction/Abstraction will be open to the public.
  • Curated by Marc Mayer, former Director of the National Gallery of Canada, the exhibition will feature large-scale photographs, murals and augmented reality.
  • European premiere of Burtynsky’s multimedia piece, In the Wake of Progress
  • The Exhibition will use stunning imagery to explore how humanity impacts the planet and invites viewers to consider how we can find a sustainable way to live in the future.

LONDON, UK – Saatchi Gallery is pleased to announce BURTYNSKY: Extraction/Abstraction as the major exhibition for its Spring 2024 season. The exhibition, opening to the public on 14 February 2024, marks the largest exhibition ever mounted in the 40+ year career of world-renowned photographic artist, Edward Burtynsky, who has dedicated his practice to bearing witness to the impact of human industry on the planet. Curated by Marc Mayer, former Director of the National Gallery of Canada and Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the exhibition will feature 94 of Burtynsky’s large-format photographs as well as 13 high-resolution murals, and an augmented reality (AR) experience. A never-before-seen element in this exhibition, referred to as the “Process Archive,” will also showcase Burtynsky’s navigation through each of the technological shifts in the photographic medium that have occurred over recent decades. The exhibition will reveal Burtynsky’s life-long observation of humanity’s incursion into the natural world, and the environmental consequences of industrial processes. 

Occupying two floors of London’s iconic Saatchi Gallery, this major exhibition will be organised into five main sections: Abstraction, Agriculture, Extraction, Manufacturing & Industry, and Waste.

A presentation of Burtynsky’s most ambitious project to date      — In the Wake of Progress — will be a special feature of the exhibition. This 22-minute multimedia experience, co-produced by legendary music producer Bob Ezrin (known for his work with Pink Floyd, Andrea Bocelli, Peter Gabriel, Taylor Swift and many others), will immerse audiences in the story of human industry’s impact on Earth, told through artistry and scale, urging us to rethink our legacy and seek a more sustainable future. Forty years in the making, In the Wake of Progress combines the most powerful photographs and film footage of Burtynsky’s career, choreographed to a compelling award-winning original score.      

Through a deep historical understanding of image-making, and a mastery of the photographic medium, Burtynsky invites viewers to look at places that exist beyond our common experience, places that satisfy our wants and needs in the present while they determine the future of our habitat. Paired with the serious ecological concern that drives Burtynsky’s creative process is an equally compelling exploration of the strangely beautiful marks industry leaves on the canvas of the Earth. 

The exhibition will also highlight both local and national organisations who are making positive contributions to the areas of sustainability, biodiversity loss, conservation and climate change through a dedicated interactive space and connected online materials.

Visitors will also be able to make a contribution to the exhibition by leaving a message of their own hope for a sustainable future.

Edward Burtynsky: “I have spent over 40 years bearing witness to the ways in which modern civilization has dramatically transformed our planet. At this time, the awareness of these issues presented by my large format images has never felt more urgent. I am grateful to be mounting the largest exhibition of my career at Saatchi Gallery in London, UK and I hope the exhibition experience will continue to provide inflection points for diverse conversations on these issues and move us all to a place of positive action.”

Marc Mayer, Exhibition Curator: “With stinging irony and unwavering technical mastery, Burtynsky’s pictures confront our complacency and trouble our arrogance precisely by flattering our increasingly devastated biosphere with ravishing pictures.”

Paul Foster, Saatchi Gallery Director: “This is an exhibition that reminds us how beautiful our planet is. Burtynsky has even captured how beauty remains evident in the ways that humans have exploited its resources for our own ends. However, these images are also a wake-up call for humanity to change its ways or face a precarious and uncertain future. I cannot think of a more important exhibition that we could have presented.”

— ENDS —


For all press enquiries, please contact:

Eleanor Thirlway   I   +44 (0) 20 7811 3091

Press Preview: Tuesday 13th February, 10 AM – 1 PM

RSVP via link:

Dates and Opening Hours: 14 February – 6 May

Open to the public:

10 AM – 6 PM (last admission 4.30 PM)

Saatchi Lates: Dates to be announced.


Spaces: First and Second Floors



Public admission by ticket only. Walk-ins are welcome but pre-booking is advised. Tickets can be booked in advance online at


Press images can be obtained via our press page:

By using the images, you acknowledge and accept the terms and conditions found on our website. These
images can only be reproduced to illustrate a review or criticism of a work or report as defined by section 30 (i) and (ii) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Social Media

Join the discussion about the exhibition online:

Instagram:                                                       @saatchi_gallery                    @edwardburtynsky

TikTok, Twitter:                                               @saatchi_gallery                    @edwardburtynsky               

Facebook:                                                       @saatchigalleryofficial           

School Visits & Community Groups

With the generous support of all our patrons, for each major exhibition, there are opportunities for students.
and community groups to engage in creative projects and workshops. Visit or
call +44 (0) 20 7811 3087 for more details.



Edward Burtynsky is regarded as one of the world’s most accomplished contemporary photographers. His remarkable photographic depictions of global industrial landscapes represent over 40 years of his dedication to bearing witness to the impact of humans on the planet. Burtynsky’s photographs are included in the collections of over 80 major museums around the world. Major (touring) exhibitions include Anthropocene (2018); Water (2013) organised by the New Orleans Museum of Art & Contemporary Art Center, Louisiana; Oil (2009) at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.; China (2005 five-year tour); and Manufactured Landscapes (2003) at the National Gallery of Canada. Burtynsky’s distinctions include the inaugural TED Prize in 2005, which he shared with Bono and Robert Fischell; in 2006 he was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of Canada; the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts; the Outreach Award at the Rencontres d’Arles; the Roloff Beny Book award; and the 2018 Photo London Master of Photography Award. In 2019 he was the recipient of the Arts & Letters Award at the Canadian Association of New York’s annual Maple Leaf Ball and the 2019 Lucie Award for Achievement in Documentary Photography. In 2020 he was awarded a Royal Photographic Society Honorary Fellowship and in 2022 was honoured with the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award by the World Photography Organization. In 2022, he was inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame and was named the 2022 recipient for the annual Pollution Probe Award. Most recently he received the 2023 PHotoESPAÑA Award for Professional Career and was awarded with the 25th edition of the Pino Pascali Prize. Burtynsky was also a key production figure in the award-winning documentary trilogy Manufactured Landscapes (dir. Jennifer Baichwal, 2006), Watermark (dir. Baichwal and Burtynsky, 2013), and ANTHROPOCENE: The Human Epoch (dir. Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, and Burtynsky, 2018). All three films continue to play in festivals around the world. Burtynsky currently holds eight honorary doctorate degrees.



Since 1985, Saatchi Gallery has provided an innovative platform for contemporary art. Exhibitions have
presented works by largely unseen young artists, or by international artists whose work has been rarely or
never exhibited in the UK. This approach has made the Gallery one of the most recognised names in
contemporary art. Since moving to its current 70,000 square feet space in the Duke of York’s Headquarters
in Chelsea, London, the Gallery has welcomed over 10 million visitors. The Gallery hosts thousands of school visits annually and has over 6 million followers on social media. In 2019 Saatchi Gallery became a registered charity, beginning a new chapter in its history.

Registered Charity Number: 1182328

Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4RY

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