Gallery 13 is pleased to present Michael Kenna’s first European exhibition dedicated to his new book “Tree” published by Skira.
The protagonists of this exhibition will undoubtedly be the trees that have always fascinated Kenna and are a recurring element, almost an obsession in his work.
For almost fifty years, Michael Kenna, an artist enjoying worldwide success, heir to the English aesthetic and photographic tradition, has been producing an impressive œuvre of silver gelatin black and white photographic prints which he makes himself in his own darkroom. He has devoted the great majority of his work to the landscape.
Often taken at dawn or in the middle of the night, his photographs focus mainly on the interdependence between natural landscapes
and those where human beings have left their mark.
This great traveller has always been fascinated by natural architecture and the structural power of trees in the landscape. The often wintry character of his settings reveals the exceptional beauty of his subjects, the balance of forms, the harmonious and geometric development of branches and trunks.
“I like to get to know trees intimately,” he says. “I spend a lot of time walking around them trying to become acquainted with them. In fact, it’s as though I talk to them.” For several minutes, even hours, he waits and ascertains the truth about the specimen that attracts him.
Lying on the grass, with the lens pointed at his model, Kenna gradually comes to grips with the giants he is observing. Thanks to very long exposure times, which can last up to ten hours, his images reveal elements that the human eye is usually unaware of or unable to perceive.
How can we fail to understand Michael Kenna’s passion for trees?
Didn’t the poet Philippe Jaccottet say that it is thanks to them that “the sky takes root”? An unusual species, they live simultaneously in the earth and the sky, in the air and the light, as well as in the humus.
Trees are also great artists who never stop growing, developing and sculpting themselves. They chisel their shapes, are simultaneously linked to the long passage of time and are in perpetual regeneration. Some trees may be several centuries old and others only a few weeks. They are thus connected to immortality and confront us with human limits.
Covering the volume and the exhibition is the beautiful photograph taken in South Korea where the image is bisected by a in the diagonal from which rises this lone tree that defies gravity and seems poised ready to slide over the slope.
Meet Michael Kenna
Conversation with the artist and copy signing of his new book TREES by Skira Editore
TUESDAY, MARCH 14, 2023
18:00 – 20:00
Critic Sandro Parmiggiani will present Kenna’s work in a conversation with the artist at the Gallery13 venue.
Michael Kenna meet the public by signing copies of his new book.
It is posible to reserve a copy of the book in advance or purchase it directly at the exhibition hall along with “Confessionals” and “Po River”
Works in exhibition
As is the case with all great artists’ work, Kenna’s photographs present us with an immediately recognisable universe. By capturing intense and fragile moments, he shares with us his particular and poetic vision of the world. As if by a synaesthetic effect, his images of trees are permeated with a particular mystery and an absolute silence that lend them an emphatic and universal character. Moreover, the absence of any human presence lends his works a disquieting aura of timelessness, heightened by the mists and the dream-like halo that often surrounds them.
The time of trees is not the time of humankind; Michael Kenna emphasises their perennity as much as our finiteness. The exaltation of the beauty of these majestic lords, the sublimation of their pictorial complexity is an incitement to contemplation as much as an invitation to find our rightful place in the universe.
Via Roma 34/b, Reggio Emilia
Tuesday 10:00-13:00, 16:00 – 19:30
Mercoledì 10:00-13:00, 16:00 – 19:30
Thursday 10:00-13:00, afternoon closed
Friday 10:00-13:00, 16:00 – 19:30
Saturday 10:00-13:00, 16:00 – 19:30
Sunday Opening hours:
Outside opening hours by appointment only
Tel. +39 3402397567