Photographs: Do Not Bend Gallery
December 1, 2012 through February 16, 2013
On December 1, 2012 Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery will host an opening reception of photographs by one of the most internationally acclaimed photographers of our time, Michael Kenna (b. 1953, Widnes, Lancashire, England). This will be Kenna’s third solo show at PDNB Gallery. The photographs featured in this exhibition come from all corners of the globe including China, South Korea, Thailand, Italy, Venice, Paris, New York, San Francisco and Brazil.
Michael Kenna’s black and white photographs are powerful and alluring. His imagery transports you to iconic and placid landscapes where you can gaze in solitude. Because Kenna makes such long exposures, often minutes or sometimes hours long, the landscape presents itself as something that cannot be seen with the naked eye, abstracting reality. This is a trademark of his work for which he has become legendary.
Many themes reoccur in his work such as iconic architecture, serene seascapes, and seductive landscapes. There is no human presence in any of his photographs. Images of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge reveal Kenna’s influence of the Modernist photographers, Karl Struss and Charles Sheeler. An isolated grouping of moors or a distant isle often interrupts his seascapes. Some critics might agree that his photographs of Asia are his best, starting with his work in Japan in 2001. (PDNB Gallery exhibited his Japan photographs in 2003). This is the time that Kenna found that the Asian landscape best matched his own aesthetic. Since then his photographic journeys included repeated travels to Japan, as well as China, Korea and other Eastern countries.
In Kenna’s photographs of the Huangshan Mountains in China’s Anhui province, he masterfully records the exquisite, Zen-like mystical peaks that have been an inspiration for Chinese master painters for centuries.
Michael Kenna’s passion for the arts led him to the Banbury School of Art where he studied painting and photography. Later he attended the London College of Printing and began working as a Photographer.
When he moved to the United States he settled in San Francisco where he had the good fortune to work with the legendary photographer, Ruth Bernhard.
He began exhibiting internationally and became widely acclaimed. Kenna is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters from the Ministry of Culture, France. A major retrospective of Kenna’s work was presented at the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Paris, in 2009. Museums that have acquired his photographs include the Art Institute of Chicago, IL, the Amon Carter Museum, TX, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, San Francisco MOMA, CA, and the Kushiro Art Museum, Japan.
Michael Kenna has had over 30 artist monographs published in the United States, Europe and Asia. PDNB Gallery will be offering a limited amount of beautiful signed copies of some of his most recent books.