Exhibition of the week: Sebastião Salgado: Genesis, Natural History Museum, London SW7
Boyd Tonkin is Senior Writer and a columnist at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Literary Editor at The Independent, and before that Social Policy Editor and then Books Editor at the New Statesman magazine. He has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes and has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize. In 2001, he re-founded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for literature in translation, and serves on its judging panel every year.
Friday 19 April 2013
Visionary photographer-traveller Sebastião Salgado's Genesis delivers an outsize achievement wrapped in a thumping paradox.
The Brazilian master's eight-year project entailed 32 long-distance trips into the forests, cold lands and deserts where the unspoiled 46 per cent of our Earth survives beyond the ruinous attentions of humankind, or else in harmony with its indigenous peoples.
Yet this sumptuous homage to flora and fauna comes framed in the artistic conventions of humanity at its most sophisticated. Showcasing his virtuoso coupling of radical vision with classical form, it ranks with the finest of Salgado's work in its grandeur and sublimity.
020 7942 5000; nhm.ac.uk to 8 September
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