1961 Born, Tel Aviv, Israel
1964 – 1985, Johannesburg, South Africa
1985 – present, London, England

I was born in Israel on December 1st 1961. When I was small I always told my friends that my dad lost his left eye because of flying at extreme altitudes testing Mirage fighter jets for the Israeli Air Force. But that’s not true. He flew Boeing 707s for El- Al and lost his eye for medical reasons. Due to this he was grounded in his prime. He was 37 and looking for a job. I was two at the time. My parents decided to go and start again in South Africa, where my grandfather lived. So my earliest memory is throwing up on the flight from Tel Aviv to Johannesburg on my third birthday. I lived there until I had turned 21 and left for England.

I had to wear a school uniform from age six. I had a Dalmatian dog called Dick. I played table tennis and football, but I was better at table tennis. My nickname was Goose because a Scottish football coach put two and two together that “goosey goosey gander” rhymed with Kander, and I supported Liverpool FC because they were the best.

We used to drive down to the coast in a white Austin 1100 until my father “upgraded” to a Peugeot 504 which to my embarrassment had an avocado green paint job (he loved this car until he left South Africa 22 years later). I was ten years old and bought him a mock leather steering-wheel cover with my pocket money. It was received and laced on before we had even left the petrol station. A rare success. He liked it. I tell you all this because on these holidays my father used to photograph his year’s worth of transparency film on his Iconoflex which he had bought on one of his flights to NY. Weeks after returning to Johannesburg we would be treated to a slide show that I remember clearly. I think these slide shows were my first introduction to the possibilities of photography.

When I was 13 I started taking pictures on a Pentax camera that I had bought thanks to my Bar Mitzvah, at which I remember the Rabbi had to ask me to bend down so as to put his hands on my head. I was already six foot. Around then, I began to look deeply at the work of Strand, Stieglitz, Weston and Atget, all of which resonated the feeling that each artist was exploring their respective lives. They made work about both their outer surroundings and their inner landscapes and their art clearly showed their individual and consistent authorship. Weston for instance made portraits that had similarities to his drift wood series of years later, he photographed a toilet bowl that looked like his shells and nudes that looked like his contorted peppers. This subconsciously informed me that nothing should be considered “out of bounds” to my art practice. This has been fundamental to me.

Around the age of 14 I saw a picture in a newspaper. The viewpoint looked into a trench being dug by 5 black men and there out of the hole, cropped at the knees, was a white pair of legs that stood over them. I grew up with this injustice all around me, Apartheid was in everyones bones. The pictures that I took then and into my early 20s, although unaccomplished, have the same sense of quiet and unease that is a part of my practice today.

I saw TV for the first time when we went to Europe on a family holiday when I was 14. South Africa first broadcast TV the next year! I remember how different in all ways the cities were to Johannesburg – the food, the transport and the streets so full of people. The equality. I remember sneaking out of the hotels and walking, probably only a block or two, just to feel alone, anonymous and on an even footing with all the people around me. And I remember visiting a lot of galleries because my sister Tamar, who was well on her way to being the artist she is today, took every opportunity. From then on, I wanted to return to Europe.

I hated school with dedication. A shame, but true. I wasn’t hugging and saying tearful goodbyes on the final day. I just left and I have never returned. Having a very bad accident on my motorbike that I had had since I was 15 (a Triumph 650 Tiger), was a hinge event. Prior to this I had been a practising hard man and going nowhere. Working on the machines during the day and riding in groups at night was my life. After the accident when I was 17, I never rode again and my focus shifted back to photography. South Africa forced its white male citizens to partake in National Service, and I somehow ensured I was drafted into the Air force and then into a darkroom where I printed aerial pictures for two years. It was there that I became certain I wanted to become a lens-based artist. A Photographer back then. I met Nicole Verity at about this time. I knew immediately she was my choice in life, she was less sure.

The day after I cleared out of the Air force I started working for Harry De Zitter, and a few months later, soon after my 21st birthday, I left for England. At the end of 1985 I was back in South Africa and met up with Nicole again. She joined me in England in 1986. We squatted in a block of flats two streets away from where we later bought a house. We married in the wilds of Africa in 1991.

We live in London with our 3 kids, Oren, Ella and Talia.

My dad Jacob lived in the US until he died a few years ago. My mum Jenny still lives there and is a poet who until recently produced poetry programs which aired on radio daily. She also makes dolls that often look just like her and really are wonderful. My sister Tamar also lives in America. She is represented by a number of galleries across the States. She is married to Jamas Brooke who is a ceramicist.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

Nadav Kander: The Thread, Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, USA


Portraits, Flowers Gallery, London


128 Portraits, Willy Brandt Haus, Berlin


The World Photography Organisation, Somerset House, London


Dark Line - The Thames Estuary, Flowers Gallery, New York


Dark Line - The Thames Estuary, Flowers Gallery, London


Dust, Flowers Gallery, New York


Dust, Torch Gallery, Amsterdam

Dust, Les Rencontres d’Arles, France

Dust, Flowers Gallery, London

Nadav Kander – 49 Works, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore

Yangtze – The Long River, Haggerty Museum, USA

Curves of Moon and Rivers of Blue, Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong


Bodies. 6 Women, 1 Man, Flowers Gallery, London, UK


Yangtze – The Long River, Edwynn Houk Gallery, Zurich

Yangtze – The Long River, Flowers Gallery, New York

Bodies. 6 Women, 1 Man, Festival Images, Vevey, Switzerland


Yangtze – The Long River, Forum Fur Fotografie, Cologne, Germany

Selected Portraits 1999 – 2011, The Lowry, Manchester, UK

Inner Condition, Obama’s People and Other Portraits, Centro Andaluz de la Fotografia, Almeria, Spain

Yangtze – The Long River, Camera Work Gallery, Berlin, Germany


Yangtze – The Long River, M97 Gallery, Shanghai, China

Yangtze – The Long River, Flowers Gallery, London, UK

Selected, Camera Work Gallery, Berlin, Germany

Obama’s People, Kunsthallen Nikolaj, Copenhagen, Denmark


Obama’s People, Flowers Gallery, London, UK

Obama’s People, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, UK


Yangtze: From East to West, Flowers Gallery, London, UK


Keep Your Distance, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France


Beauty’s Nothing, Acte 2 Gallery, Paris, France


Night, Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, UK

Beauty’s Nothing, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, USA

Beauty’s Nothing, Fahey Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, USA


Untitled,Peter Fetterman Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

Selected Group Exhibitions

Civilization: The Way We Live Now, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK


Civilization: vivere, sopravvivere, Buon Vivere, Musei San Domenico, Forlì, Italy


Life Through A Royal Lens, Kensington Palace, London, UK


Canova: Innocence and Sin, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto, Italy


Closer, Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong, China


Fotografia. Nuove Produzioni 2020 per la Collezione Roma, Mattatoio, Rome, Italy


Estuary 2021, Southend-on-Sea, UK


Civilization: The Collective Life, Musée des Civilisations de I'Europe et de la Méditerranée (MUCEM), Marseille, France


Civilization: The Collective Life, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, New Zealand


Mariner, John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton, England


Mariner, The Andrew Brownsword Gallery, University of Bath, England


Mariner, The Levinsky Gallery, University of Plymouth, England


Civilization: The Collective Life, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia


Civilization: The Collective Life, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing


Flowers Contemporary II, Flowers Gallery, London


Civilization: The Collective Life, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea


Civilization, Flowers Gallery, London


Powerful Tides: 400 years of Chatham and the sea, Historical Dockyard, Chatham


Looking Good: The Male Gaze From Van Dyck to Lucian Freud, Scottish National Portrait Gallery


Proof of Life / Lebenszeichen, Weserburg Museum, Germany


Britain In Focus: A Photographic History, National Media Museum, UK


Prix Pictet Laureates, Mouravieff-Apostol House & Museum, Moscow


Grace of Intention: Photography, Architecture and the Monument, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago

Harmony and Transition: Reflecting Chinese Landscapes, Marta Herford, Germany

Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age, Museo ICO, Madrid

Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age, The Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design, Stockholm


Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age, Barbican, London, UK


Under My Skin: Contemporary Nudes curated by Mona Kuhn, Flowers Gallery, New York, USA

Landmark: Fields of Photography, Somerset House, London, UK

World Press Photo Awards, Royal Festival Hall, London, UK

The Holocaust, The Weiner Library, London, UK


Architekturfotografie – Made in China, Museum fur Angewandte Kunst Koln (MAKK), Cologne, Germany

The World in London, The Photographersí Gallery, London UK

Road to 2012, National Portrait Gallery, London UK

Uncommon Ground, Flowers Gallery, London UK

Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London UK

Darmstadter Tag der Fotografie, Darmstadt, Germany

Hollywood In Style, Camerawork Gallery, Berlin

Photography Selection, Flowers Gallery, London, UK


Metropolis, Noorderlicht Photo Festival 2011, The Netherlands

Body Gestures, Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Israel

Coal + Ice, Three Shadows Space Gallery, Beijing

Infinite Balance: Artists and the Enviroment, Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego

Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London UK

Comedians at the National Portrait Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK

Photography, Flowers Gallery, London, UK


Prix Pictet Laureates, Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland

Earth Prix Pictet, Moscow House of Photography, Russia

Earth Prix Pictet, Caprice Horn Gallery, Berlin, Germany

Earth Prix Pictet, Empty Quarter Gallery, Dubai

Obama’s People – Nadav Kander / The Family – Richard Avedon, The Kennedys, Berlin, Germany

A Positive View, Somerset House, London, UK

Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London UK

Earth Prix Pictet, Thessalonki Museum of Photography, Thessaloniki Greece


Earth: Yangtze, The Long River, Prix Pictet Awards, Purdy Hicks,Gallery London, UK - Touring to Passage de Retz Gallery, Paris, France

Melt Down, Flowers Gallery, London UK

Ecotone, Centre National de L’audiovisual, Luxembourgh

Dystopia, Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco, USA


Photo of the Month, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK


Lianzhou International Photo Festival, Lianzhou, China

Food and Shelter, Pékin Fine Arts, Beijing, China


The Photographic Portrait Prize 2007, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK


Shanghai 8th Annual Photography Festival, Shanghai Art Museum, China


Photographic Portrait Prize, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK

Adieu, Ariel Meyerowitz Gallery, New York, USA


Dreamweavers, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, USA

Schweppes Photographic Portrait Prize, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK


Enchanted Evening, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, USA


H20, Western Gallery, Bellingham, Washington, USA

Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, UK

My Cup of Tea, Proud Galleries, London UK

DACS Exhibition CISAC 2002 World Congress Queen Elizabeth Exhibition II Congress Centre, Westminster, London UK

Signs That We Exist, Leeds Metropolitan Art Gallery, Leeds, UK

John Kobal Photographic Portrait Award 2001, National Portrait Gallery, London UK


Beauty’s Nothing, Fahey Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

John Kobal, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK


A Positive View, The Old Truman Brewery, London, UK


The Photographer’s Gallery, London, UK


Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, UK


A Positive View, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK

Source de Vie Exhibition, Paris, France

The Royal Photographic Society, Bath, UK

Selected Awards

Outstanding Contribution to Photography, Sony World Photography Awards


Cannes Lions (Gold), Christies 'Da Vinci' Film


Honorary Fellowship, The Royal Photographic Society


World Press Photo Awards – Staged Portraits Single, 3rd prize


World Press Photo Awards – Staged Portraits Single, 1st prize


International Photography Awards, Editorial and Advertising


Prix Pictet Earth, Winner

7th Annual Lucie Awards, International Photographer of the Year


Lianzhou International Photo Festival, Silver Photographer of the Year


The Royal Photographic Society ‘Terence Donovan’ Award

National Portrait Prize, Shortlisted


Fujifilm Award Winner

Selected Public Collections

National Portrait Gallery, London, England

The Franks – Suss Collection

Pictet & Cie’s Art Collection

Statoil Collection, Norway

Société Générale, Paris, France

Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Australia

National Galleries of Scotland

Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, USA

Marta Herford Museum Of Art, Architecture, Design, Germany

Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, USA

Collezione di Fotografia di Roma, Italy

New York Public Library, New York, USA

Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England

Miniature Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Netherlands


The Meeting, Steidl, Gottingen, Germany

Dark Line - The Thames Estuary, Flowers Gallery, London, UK

Dust, 2014, Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern, Germany

Bodies. 6 Women, 1 Man, 2013, Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern, Germany

Stern FOTOGRAPHIE Portfolio NO.69, 2012 teNeues Publishing, Germany

Yangtze – The Long River, 2010, Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern, Germany

Obama’s People, 2009, Flowers Gallery, London, UK

Night, 2003, UK

Beauty’s Nothing, 2001, Arena Editions, USA