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Michael Kenna, Frozen Fountain, Belle Isle, Detroit, Michigan, USA (1994)

Michael Kenna, Frozen Fountain, Belle Isle, Detroit, Michigan, USA (1994), sepia-toned gelatin silver print [Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma WA, Oct 6-Mar 24] Courtesy of the artist and G. Gibson Gallery

Memories and Meditations: A Retrospective
of Michael Kenna’s Photography

Tacoma Art Museum
Tacoma WA – Oct 6, 2012-Mar 24, 2013

Michael Kenna, Ratcliffe Power Station, Study 40, Nottinghamshire, England (2003)

Michael Kenna, Ratcliffe Power Station, Study 40, Nottinghamshire, England (2003), sepia-toned gelatin silver print [Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma WA, Oct 6-Mar 24] Courtesy of the artist and G. Gibson Gallery

Michael Kenna is one of the most well-known photographers in Seattle. The British-born artist has travelled extensively throughout the world to capture his sensitive imagery. This first US retrospective in close to 20 years chronicles Kenna’s internationally recognized projects from places like China, Japan and Easter Island, while also presenting a small selection of earlier works from the 1970s and ‘80s.

Kenna’s classic images infuse a poetic stillness into various landscapes and architectural subjects. His refined style of rich contrast and smooth grey tones is achieved with traditional, non-digital handcrafted printing. Light and dark are often distilled into essential elements, causing one to look further into stark compositions to gain perspective about subject or locale. Although many of Kenna’s images seem stark or sombre, it is this quietude that makes his pieces so evocative.

Kenna often revisits the same locale several times over many years to further his spiritual connection to the landscape, capturing the essence of slow subtle change that is an undeniable part of life. Close to 100 black and white photographs will be shown in this two-part exhibition. Part one mostly encompasses Kenna’s work from Asia, as well as some architectural scenes from Europe. Part two, beginning in mid-January, 2013, features other European scenes, including a series documenting the concentration camps of World War II.

Allyn Cantor

Michael Kenna, Quixote’s Giants, Study 1, Campo de Criptana, Spain (1996)

Michael Kenna, Quixote’s Giants, Study 1, Campo de Criptana, Spain (1996), sepia-toned gelatin silver print [Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma WA, Oct 6-Mar 24] Courtesy of the artist and G. Gibson Gallery, Seattle


 Sun, Nov 4, 2012