For over thirty-five years Michael Kenna has been looking at landscapes in ways quite out of the ordinary. His mysterious photographs, often made at dawn or in the dark hours of night, concentrate primarily on the interaction between the ephemeral atmospheric conditions of the natural landscape, and human-made structures and sculptural mass. Kenna is a diurnal and nocturnal photographer, fascinated by times of day when light is at its most pliant. With night-time exposures of up to ten hours, his photographs often record details that the human eye is not able to perceive.
Kenna works in a traditional, non-digital photographic medium. His intimate, exquisitely hand crafted black and white prints reflect a sense of refinement, respect for history, and thorough originality. His photographs have been shown in over six hundred gallery and museum exhibitions throughout the world, and are included in such permanent collections as The Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; The National Gallery, Washington, D.C.; The Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai; and The Victoria and Albert Museum, London. In 2009 he was honored with a retrospective at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. A Gallery for Fine Photography will host an exhibition of Kenna’s work during PhotoNOLA.
Over fifty monographs and exhibition catalogs have been published on Kenna’s work, including; Michael Kenna – A Twenty Year Retrospective (Treville, 1994 and Nazraeli, 2000); Impossible to Forget (Marval and Nazraeli, 2001); Japan (Nazraeli Press and Treville Editions, 2003); Retrospective Two (Nazraeli, and Treville Editions, 2004); Venezia (Nazraeli, 2007); and Immagini del Settimo Giorno (Skira, 2010)
In 2001, Kenna was made a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the Ministry of Culture in France. Born in Widnes, England in 1953, he currently lives in Seattle, Washington, USA.
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