Michael Kenna ‘Images of the Seventh Day’ Book Review

Michael Kenna is one of the most influential and well know photographers, I have been looking forward to getting a retrospective book of his work, having missed out on an exhibition of his work in London in 2012.

This is one of the first Photography Retrospective Books I have, and have been looking forward to getting stuck into this for a while, I am hoping to build a library of similar books, as these are great for pouring over on a winters night with a glass of wine. I make no apologies or wish to hide the fact that Kenna is my all time favorite photographers, I can remember, as a student at Uni, being knocked out by a series of Power Station Shots, featured in one of the Sunday supplements that my lecturer brought in to show me, the long exposure of the images giving what many would consider a mundane subject (cooling towers?) into something of amazing grace and beauty. I am a massive fan of black and white Fine Art Photography (Kenna uses only this medium), I was hoping to visit a retrospective of his work, in London, just before Christmas, but I’m afraid I didn’t have the time, so had to console myself with this. I guess we can all view images of websites (such as this even!), and Michael Kenna has his own website, with many gallery’s featuring his work, but I think there is no substitute for being able to pour over images on a page, hence me buying this stunning book.

This book is a retrospective of Michael Kenna’s work from the very early days in the 1970’s, right through to 2009, and gives a broad retrospective of the diversity and quality of Kenna’s work. The first thing I would say, is the quality of reproduction of the images is stunning, the shots are featured in retrospective order, and many images command their own page, and each are beautifully presented. As already mentioned the Radcliffe Power Station images are here, together with stunning work taken in New York, Paris, China, Vietnam, Japan, Yeman and many, many other locations, each image stunning reproduced, I can totally recommend this amazing book.

The only (minor) niggle I would have is the English translation from the Italian text, witch (it has to be said) is a bit poor (the front and rear section of the book give a fairly wide ranging overview of Michael Kenna, and his photographic journey and work), this is quite difficult to follow. However this is more than made up for by the images, witch are wonderful, and stunningly produced and presented, if you are a fan of photography, you must buy this, a delight from start to finish.

Hardback 272 Pages/Produced by Skira Books/Author Sandro Permiggaini

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