The first volume of Nadav Kander’s portraiture is being published by Steidl

The British photographer and 2009 Prix Pictet winner has released The Meeting, a book containing over 200 portraits of modern luminaries, including Barack Obama, David Attenborough and Werner Herzog.

11 December 2019

Steidl has published the first-ever volume dedicated to British photographer Nadav Kander’s portraiture, including over 200 images and covering 30 years of his career. The Meeting contains subjects from a diverse mix of backgrounds and professions and contains everyday encounters with regular people alongside shots of world-famous artists, musicians, authors, political leaders and sports icons.

Many people will know Kander for his Prix Pictet-winning series Yangtze – The Long River, which saw him travel the length of China’s Yangtze River, from mouth to source, over the course of several trips spanning three years. But, as this book proves, his portraits are just as remarkable as his epic landscapes and documentary series.

In The Meeting, we find a lot of familiar faces, including President Barack Obama, Sir David Attenborough, David Lynch, Desmond Tutu and Thom Yorke, as well as a portrait of Kander’s own mother standing on her chosen burial plot. Other highlights include the photographer’s series focused on Walthamstow market traders and his 1991 portraits of South African children in colonial school uniform (Kander was raised in South Africa). Speaking about one of these portraits, Schoolgirl (white photographer), Kander is quoted as saying: “She looks back at me, a white photographer. Years later, now I look back and see in her face what I once thought naively was mistrust, as disgust.”

A statement from Kander in a press release about the book also reads: “A picture needs to strike a certain tempo to work for me. It needs to hint at something more you might struggle to make out or understand. Similar to only just being able to see something in dark water, revealing just a little and leaving the viewer frustrated, with no option but to look deeper and into themselves.”

The book features text by the novelist Ian McEwan, as well as words by David Lynch, and a conversation between Kander and David Campany. The Meeting will be published by Steidl this month. An exhibition of photographic portraits by Nadav Kander is on view at Flowers Gallery, London W1, until 21 December.

GalleryNadav Kander: The Meeting. Courtesy Steidl / Flowers Gallery


David Attenborough I, London, England, 2012


David Lynch I, Los Angeles, USA, 2007


Hannah I, Buckinghamshire, England, 1997


Schoolgirl (white photographer), Northern Transvaal (now Limpopo Province), South Africa, 1991


Steidl: Nadav Kander, The Meeting

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Matt Alagiah

Matt joined It’s Nice That as editor in October 2018 and became editor-in-chief in September 2020. He was previously executive editor at Monocle magazine. Drop him a line with ideas and suggestions, or simply to say hello.

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