Posts Tagged 'kenro izu'

Last Chance to See Sacred Places – Upcoming Photography@DIA

To all the Detroit Sacred Places members and others interested in photography here in Detroit and at the DIA, Kenro Izu Sacred Places will close on Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008. If you haven’t seen the exhibition, the coming week may be your last chance. 

I hope you will join us for the next exhibition of photography, In the Company of Artists, which will open Wednesday, November 19, 2008. The exhibition features portraits of artists from the nineteenth century through the present day. All works are from the DIA’s permanent collection with a supplement of nineteenth century material from Novi area collectors Leonard and Jean Walle.

Diane Arbus, Love-In, Central Park, New York City, 1969, by Garry Winogrand, © The Estate of Garry Winogrand, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco.

In conjunction with this exhibition, The Forum for Prints, Drawings and Photographs will be sponsoring a lecture by photographer Ari Marcopoulos, who will speak in lecture hall at the DIA at 7PM on Thursday, January 22, 2009 with a book signing and reception following for members of the FPDP. 

Jeff Koons, 1987, by Ari Marcopouls

Jeff Koons, 1987, by Ari Marcopoulos,© Ari Marcopoulos courtesy The Project.



If you are interesting in learning more about the FPDP, an auxiliary group dedicated to supporting acquisitions and programs related to works on paper, please visit our website

I look forward to seeing our flickr community at upcoming DIA events! Thanks again for your support.

Nancy Barr


Speaking of Art WAAM 1600 7/20@5P with Amelia Chau & Nancy Barr

On Sunday, July 20 from 5 to 6 p.m. Amelia Chau and I will talk with Edwin Hoffman, host of his program “Speaking of Art” (WAAM 1600 broadcasting from Ann Arbor) about the exhibition Kenro Izu Sacred Places and our “Detroit’s Sacred Places” photo contest.

The Artist and the Exhibition

Preparing and presenting an exhibition at the DIA involves months of planning with a team of museum professionals who strive to make the experience of viewing art pleasurable and informative for a wide range of museum visitors. When I sat down to discuss the exhibition Kenro Izu Sacred Places with co-curator Amelia Chau, interpretive educator Madeleine Winslow, and designer Everett Kaiser in January 2008, we saw the photographs as powerful representations of many ancient sacred sites – the great pyramids of Cairo, the temples of Angkor Wat, Cambodia, and the ruins of Petra, among other places. We developed a strategy to express the meaning of the work in very clear terms by installing the work by geographical regions, using wall texts to describe the importance and sacredness of each site, and also including maps for those of us who are geographically challenged so-to-speak.

We agreed that Kenro has a very successful method of evoking “the sacred” and expressing a particular sense of a place in his photographs through formal means, and the exhibition clearly demonstrates this. Kenro creates dramatic compositions, and waits for the right lighting conditions to express the “spirit” or essence of a place. He pays particular attention to texture of the materials  used to build the structures and monuments including stone, volcanic ash, and mud brick as well as qualities of the natural landscape. His choice of photograph printing, the platinum palladium process, accentuates these details as the process yields fine detail in a photographic print.

Interestingly, we also agreed how seamless the process could look to the to our visitors, in other words, they may be thinking that Kenro very easily snapped a beautiful picture without much effort, but in actuality, he often makes arduous journeys through remote parts of the world, climbing mountains, hiking through jungles, and camping outdoors in all types of weather conditions to create his photographs. His camera alone weighs nearly 300 pounds! And his large negatives measure 14 x 18 inches, so he is limited to the amount of film he can bring to a particular site. Exposure of each negative must be carefully calculated. The negatives are then brought back to his U.S. studio for processing and printing. All in all, a painstaking process, but not without its rewards.

Kenro Izu@The DIA

Sacred Places, an exhibition of 56 stunning black-and-white platinum prints by Kenro Izu, opened yesterday at the DIA in the newly refurbished Albert and Peggy de Salle Gallery of Photography. Visitors to the museum are falling under the spell of these beautiful photographs often from ancient and remote areas in Asia, the Middle East in addition to views of Stonehenge and Easter Island.

I was fortunate to spend a day at Kenro’s studio in upstate New York earlier this year with Amelia Chau, my DIA colleague and co-curator of Sacred Places. Kenro has been photographing sacred sites throughout the world for over 10 years and published a book this year with recent work he made while traveling through the country of Bhutan, where he photographed in monasteries and villages. To hear the artist speak of his work is always a pleasure and a privilege, and I would encourage readers to attend his lecture (free with museum admission) in the DIA’s Lecture Hall on Sunday, September 14, 2008 at 2PM.

Detroit’s Sacred Places

In conjunction with the exhibition Kenro Izu: Sacred Places , the Detroit Institute of Arts is organizing an online photo contest that invites DIA visitors, the online community, and the general public to submit photos that capture their interpretation of sacred Detroit. Exhibition curators Nancy Barr and Amelia Chau, as well as Kyohei Abe, professor of photography at the College for Creative Studies, will use this space to review and comment on a selection of the submissions. The winner of the contest will receive prizes, including a signed copy of Kenro Izu: Light over Sacred Places of Asia, two front-row seats to Izu’s lecture on September 14, 2008, and admission for two to the post-lecture strolling supper.

Join the conversation!
Photo submissions open July 9 and run through September 3.

Contest Rules

Detroit’s Sacred Places Flickr Group

This contest also celebrates the reopening of the Albert and Peggy de Salle Gallery of Photography at the DIA.


Blog Header Image:
Kenro Izu, born Japan; Borobudur (detail), Java, 1996; platinum palladium print on watercolor paper. © Kenro Izu. Courtesy of the Howard Greenberg Gallery

Flickr Photos

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