HOLGA and Recent Prints
Kenna, who is now in his fifth decade of photographing, works on multiple long-term projects simultaneously. Although the prints on display are all recent, this exhibition acts as a cross section of his work as the negatives span various decades. As a result, HOLGA and Recent Prints offers a fascinating look at Kenna’s methods and subjects over time, both of which have proved remarkably consistent despite changes in technology and shifting aesthetic trends. Kenna travels extensively (locations in China, France, Italy, Washington, and California, to name a few, are represented in this show) and has kept his gaze steadfastly fixed on the world around him, translating and interpreting what he sees while keeping his images minimal. “I imagine what could be, rather than what we actually see,” he explains. “I enjoy places that have mystery and atmosphere, perhaps a patina of age, a suggestion rather than a description, a question or two.” He concurrently endeavors to “escape previsualization,” or “the predictability of knowing how something will appear when photographed.” The resulting compositions are peaceful and contemplative, and foreground graphic forms and abstraction — elements that are heightened by his analog process and a creative approach that involves the making of silver black-and-white prints in a traditional darkroom.