Michael Kenna was born in 1954 in England and is one of the most famous contemporary landscape photographers. He now lives and works in the USA.
Kenna has set himself the goal to visit and capture remote places around the world. His way of working is deliberate, precise and often involves the use of long exposure times, sometimes lasting for several hours. With his camera and use of long exposure he captures what the eye cannot see; cumulative time. His carefully exposed black and white photographs, taken at dusk or night-time, are notable for their clear, structured compositions. His sense for mood and composition elevate his photography to art. Even pictures or landscapes that we are familiar with become transformed by his photographs into something new and unexpected. The photographic process is very important for the artist so for 20 years Kenna has used a manual Hasselblad camera (square format). He then refines his pictures in the darkroom instead of using digital image manipulation. Usually Kenna enlarges his prints up to a size of 20 x 20 cm. He has chosen this format deliberately, because it challenges the viewer to interact more actively with the picture in order to see minute details.
Michael Kenna’s photographs are published in numerous books; A Twenty Year Retrospective, 2002, Ratcliff Power Station, 2004, Michael Kenna Retrospective Two 2004, Mont-Saint-Michel, 2007, Huanagshan 2010, Michael Kenna Images of the Seventh Day Immagini del settimo giorno 1974-2009, Venice 2010, Shinan 2013.
Fall 2009, a major retrospective of Kenna’s work, was shown at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. In 2010 he had a single exhibition at the Palazzo Magnani in Reggio Emili. His prints are part of important collections such as the V&A, the National Gallery (London) and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
In 2007 Michael Kenna’s photographs were showcased at Bernheimer’s Munich showroom. This was followed by further solo exhibitions in 2010, 2011 and 2014. His work also features in group exhibitions and at art fairs.