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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kenna's Ethereal Shots Get Moscow Exposure

For MTKenna's landscapes are renowned worldwide. The French government made him a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2000 for his artistic work.
Michael Kenna is one of the great landscape photographers, and his work can be seen in dozens of museum collections all over the world. Currently, 40 works by Kenna are on display in Moscow at the Pobeda Gallery in the Winzavod Center of Contemporary Art.

All of Kenna's black-and-white prints are bathed in an ethereal, sometimes surreal light, created by using exposures that can last up to 10 hours.

"He is a guru of landscape photography," said Nina Gomiashvili, the owner of the Pobeda Gallery. "There are few photographers like him now. He only uses film, processing and makes all the prints himself."

Most of the photographs -- taken in Japan, France, the United States and Russia -- were printed specially for the exhibition. "He is very interested in Russia and plans to visit Moscow this December," Gomiashvili said.

Kenna's prints of sculptures in St Petersburg are also on display at the gallery. Each year, Kenna travels during the fall, winter and spring, taking pictures before printing them in the summer in the United States, where he currently lives. Many of his photographs are taken at night or in twilight. His pictures have often been compared to Japanese ink printing, a photographic haiku.

For MT
Born in England in 1953, Kenna initially wanted to become a priest but instead studied at the Banbury School of Art before attending the London College of Printing. In 1977, he left England for the United States, where he worked with the legendary photographer Ruth Bernhard in San Francisco.

There are few people in Kenna's prints, but they remain full of thought about humankind, pulling the viewer in to meditate on the subject. All his pictures are 30 by 30 centimeters, so you have to come very close to look at them.

"This format makes it impossible for more than one person to look at each picture," Gomiashvili said.

Kenna often breaks the laws of perspective. You can't always tell where the foreground or the background starts or where it ends, so the viewer feels as if he or she is inside the picture. Today, Kenna's photos are on display in more than 70 museums around the world.

"Our gallery usually shows contemporary artists, but we try not to forget about such classics as Michael Kenna," said Gomiashvili.

Michael Kenna's "Selected Works" runs to Nov. 2 at the Pobeda Gallery at The Winzavod Center of Contemporary Art. 1 4th Syromyatnichesky Pereulok, Bldg. 1. M. Kurskaya. Noon to 8 p.m., closed Mon., tel. 727-02-38