In South Louisiana, we know a thing or two about water. We are not only surrounded by it, the air we breathe is often permeated with it, so our relationship with water is intimate. Yet, intimate relationships often have elements of surprise, and while Edward Burtinsky's photographs, which occupy two floors of gallery space at the Contemporary Arts Center, are often too spectacular to be truly intimate, they do pack a tsunami of surprise. His sweeping amphibious landscapes, whether all natural or shaped by human intervention, can be startlingly graphical, and if the latter day proliferation of large scale photographs has already shown us how painterly such images can be, many of Burtinsky's works bear a striking resemblance to abstract canvases.
Water: Large-Scale Aerial Photographs by Edward Burtynsky, through Jan. 19, Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp St., 528.3805; Water: Large-Scale Aerial Photographs by Edward Burtynsky, through Nov. 23, Arthur Roger Gallery, 432 Julia St. 522-1999.