Michael Kenna

Thursday, March 16th 2023

Michael Kenna (born 1953) is a British photographer known for his minimalist, black-and-white landscape photographs. He has produced over 70 monographs and has been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide, including the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, the Shanghai Museum of Fine Art, and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.

Kenna was born in Widnes, Lancashire, England, and studied photography at the London College of Printing. After graduation, he worked as a commercial photographer for several years before turning to fine art photography in the mid-1970s.

Kenna's work is characterized by a simple, understated aesthetic, with a focus on capturing the essence of the landscape through careful composition and use of natural light. His photographs often feature stark, minimalist compositions, with a particular emphasis on capturing the beauty of natural forms and textures.

One of Kenna's most notable series is his work on Japan, which he has visited and photographed extensively over the past three decades. His images of Japanese temples, gardens, and landscapes are imbued with a sense of stillness and serenity, capturing the quiet beauty of the natural world.

Kenna has received numerous awards and accolades for his work, including the International Photography Awards' Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020. His photographs are held in the collections of many major museums and galleries, including the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris.

Some of Kenna's most important works include "Boarding School, Bavaria" (1987), "Mont St. Michel, France" (1990), "Kussharo Lake Tree, Hokkaido, Japan" (2003), and "Red Maple, Study 1, Hokkaido, Japan" (2014). These images showcase Kenna's unique vision and minimalist approach, and continue to inspire and influence photographers around the world.