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The work of one of Canada’s most important contemporary photographers is coming to Ryerson.

Edward Burtynsky has travelled the world to capture how humans “transform nature through industry.”

His 56-image exhibit, “Oil,” is currently on display at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. It will come to the new Ryerson Gallery and research centre in May 2011.

Burtynsky studied photography and art history at Ryerson in the 1970s. The school gave him an honourary doctorate in 2007.

Doina Popescu, the curator responsible for Ryerson’s upcoming exhibition of the Black Star Collection, went there on opening day to discuss its potential future at Ryerson.

“It’s a theme that touches everyone,” Popescu said.

“I’m hoping it will speak to Ryerson students and the Toronto community.” Burtynsky’s work was last showcased at Ryerson in a 1982 exhibit called Landscapes & Greenhouses.

According to Don Snyder, chair of image arts, there have been lectures from photographers including Burtynsky, but having a new gallery in which to display their work is a “great thing for [the university] and Toronto.”

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