Michael Kenna’s sixth solo exhibition at the gallery, Venezia, marks the premiere presentation of Kenna’s photographs of Venice, Italy. The exhibition coincides with the publication of Michael Kenna: Venezia, available March 2010 from Nazraeli Press. With photographs spanning nearly 30 years, the exhibition reflects the quintessentially patient, quiet method of looking for which Kenna has become legendary.
Without a doubt one of the most magical cities ever to exist, Venice has captured the imagination of artists for hundreds of years. From Vivaldi to Canaletto, Shakespeare to Calvino, this almost mythical city has inspired some of Western culture’s greatest works of art. With the photographs in the exhibition Venezia, Kenna adds his own distinctive interpretation of this great city. His photographs simultaneously capture the decadence and decay of the palazzos and esplanades that line the canals. Gondolas rise and fall with the tide, the brackish water eating away at the mooring posts that punctuate many of the images. Kenna’s long exposures, some times lasting several hours during the darkest hours of the night, smooth over the surfaces of the canals, further emphasizing their street-like function in this floating city. With typically meticulous prints, Kenna distills Venice to its iconic, elemental characteristics of water and light.
Michael Kenna is one of the most accomplished photographers working today. In 2009 the Bibliothèque Nationale de France hosted a major retrospective of his work, which will travel to the Palazzo Magnani Museum in Reggio Emilia, Italy in Spring, 2010. Kenna’s prints are included in many public collections including the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Shanghai Art Museum; the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; the Museum of Decorative Arts, Prague; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Born in Widnes, England in 1953, Kenna currently lives and works in Seattle, Washington.