The imperfect pearl: The worldly view of Sebastiao Salgado

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[From the Sundaram Tagore Gallery website]

For his second solo exhibition at Sundaram Tagore Chelsea, world-renowned photographer Sebastião Salgado presents a selection of stunning monochromatic photographs from his landmark series Kuwait. The artist will be in the gallery for the exhibition opening Thursday, March 30.

Shot in 1991 as the Gulf War drew to a close, the images in this show chronicle the raging oil well fires ignited by Saddam Hussein’s forces as they retreated from Kuwait. This exhibition of stunning photographs, curated by Lélia Wanick Salgado, lays bare the devastating environmental consequences of war.

Considered one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in history, this event began when Saddam Hussein, recognizing the war was over, ordered his retreating military forces to ignite some 700 oil wells and a number of oil-filled low-lying areas in an attempt to destroy the region’s most sought-after natural resource. It took nearly eight months and the Herculean efforts of firefighters from around the world to contain the towering infernos. As their efforts progressed, Sebastião Salgado, on assignment from The New York Times Magazine, traveled to Kuwait to document the disaster firsthand.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSebastiao Salgado
Subtitle of host publicationKuwait
EditorsLeila Wanick Salgado
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherSundaram Tagore Gallery
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2017
EventSebastiao Salgado: Kuwait - Sundaram Tagore Gallery Chelsea, New York, United States
Duration: 30 Mar 201729 Apr 2017


ExhibitionSebastiao Salgado
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York
Internet address


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