For over three decades Kenna has been looking at landscapes in ways quite out of the ordinary. His mysterious photographs, often made at dawn or in the dark hours of night, concentrate primarily on the interaction between the ephemeral atmospheric conditions of the natural landscape, and human-made structures and sculptural mass. Kenna is a diurnal and nocturnal photographer, fascinated by times of day when light is at its most pliant. With night time exposures of up to ten hours, his photographs often record details that the human eye is not able to perceive.
Kenna’s intimate, exquisitely crafted black and white prints reflect a sense of refinement, respect for history, and thorough originality. His work has been shown in numerous gallery and museum exhibitions in the Asia, Australia, Europe and The United States, and is included in such permanent collections as The National Gallery, Washington, D.C.; The Patrimoine Photographique, Paris; The Museum of Decorative Arts, Prague; and The Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Over twenty books and catalogs have been published on Kenna’s work, including; Michael Kenna – A Twenty Year Retrospective (Treville, 1994 and Nazraeli Press 2000); The Rouge (Ram, 1995); Le Notre’s Gardens (Ram, 1997); Impossible to Forget (Marval and Nazraeli Press, 2001), Japan (Nazraeli Press and Treville Editions, 2003), and Retrospective Two (Nazraeli Press and Treville Editions, 2004.
In 2000, Kenna was made a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the Ministry of Culture in France.