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Park Perspective, Marly

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Michael Kenna, British, b. 1953
Park Perspective, Marly, 1996
Gelatin silver print on paper
8 x 8 in. (20.3 x 20.3 cm)

Object Type: Photography
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Purchase, Scripps Collectors' Circle
Accession Number: 2015.2.16

Michael Kenna is a British landscape photographer. This image is from his work in France, specifically from his images of French gardens. It is representative of Kenna’s remarkably skillful use of the photographic medium in black-and-white. In his book, "Le Notre’s Gardens," Professor Haskell writes of Kenna’s work: “Through novel perspectives and unusual juxtapositions, his images convey the elements of surprise at play in these precincts. Wonder inhabits the very recesses of the images; mystery is lurking at their edges.”

Taylor Carr-Howard, Scripps College ’17


Michael Kenna often relies on the subtleties of suggestion to carry the weight of his images. Here, Marly’s pool is seen through 4 large trees; the pool emerges before the viewer with a quiet stillness. The trees’ obstruction of the scene gives the impression of accidental discovery, eliciting the mystery that characterizes Kenna’s work. Hints at Marly’s previous grandeur are strewn throughout the image—the pool itself evokes memories of its once renowned water features. In his book "Le Nôtre’s Gardens," Scripps College Professor Eric Haskell writes that the conical yew trees also call to mind the once “intricate succession of arcaded topiary tunnels.”
Laura Woods, SCR ’18

signed, dated and numbered in pencil on recto; signed, dated, titled and numbered in pencil with artist's stamp on verso

gelatin silver print on paper

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