PDN Photo of the Day

Michael Kenna’s Variations on a Theme

Whether he’s photographing the landscape and its human traces in Japan, Italy, China, France, Brazil or the U.S., Michael Kenna finds arrangements of form and light that add up to a particular sense of soulful, minor key serenity. For his 19th solo show at Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, which opens tonight and runs until September 2, Kenna continues in that vein, combining recent images from Japan—many of which were published in his 2015 Prestel book Forms of Japan—with older work from Europe and elsewhere. Asked in an interview what he does during the very long exposures his images sometimes require—sometimes more than 10 hours—Kenna says he sleeps or reads in the grass, or, during nighttime exposures, tracks the rising and setting moon. “I like to see where the stars are. It is a luxury to do nothing for a number of hours, to watch the stars and clouds move, to experience time passing. It is an experience most of us are no longer used to. We fill our days up with gadgets and technology. I’m happy to do nothing for a change.” That sense of peacefulness seems to seep into his pictures, and then out of them.

Related Stories:
Michael Kenna’s Fishnet Meditation
Michael Kenna: Venezia
What Galleries Want: Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago (For PDN subscribers; Log in required)

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