LA JOLLA, CA.- The Joseph Bellows Gallery
announces its exhibition of new and classic photographs by world renowned photographer Michael Kenna; with a special exhibition of work from Japan in our Atrium gallery.
"The word idyllic comes to mind about these pictures; a pastoral charm. There is no irony or telling contradictions explored through them, but rather they are about the links between romance and reality. The pictures convey the aura of intense melancholy; a character. Inherent in them is the paradox of seeing and photography." - Peter C. Bunnell, McAlpin Professor of the History of Photography and Modern Art Emeritus at Princeton University
Since 1976, Michael Kenna (b. 1953, Widnes, Lancashire, England), has primarily concentrated on the uninhabited landscape to create minimalist compositions, resolved within a square format. Traces of human activity in his images produce a fascinating and haunting atmosphere. He uses long exposures taken either at night or at the beginning or end of the day, to enhance the texture and mood of his subjects. The skillful balance between light and dark shades, which is a strong indication of his signature style, contributes to his surreal and quite personal vision of the world. Kenna notes that photography is not about copying the world; rather, the subject goes through the filter of an individual human mind and emerges in a changed state. Kennas photographs suggest contemplation, and allow the viewer to daydream. He feels that his work is much closer to haiku poetry than full-length prose. Kenna does not try to deliver any message with his photographs; they are reminiscences of a free, lonely traveller; disclosing a very personal vision of the world through his exquisite compositions.
Kenna's photographs are in many museum collections including The Chicago Art Institute, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Denver Art Museum, The Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and The Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. In 2000, Kenna received the award of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Government.