BRUNSWICK, Maine — Last winter seems like a long time ago, and good, record-setting riddance. Who’d want to revisit it? “A Mind of Winter: Photographs by Abelardo Morell” makes an excellent case for doing so. It runs at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art through Sept. 27.
Morell is best known for his camera obscura photographs. Camera obscura is the optical phenomenon whereby light from a pinhole camera projects upside-down images. Morell has memorably turned entire rooms into a form of camera obscura, projecting exterior images on their walls — or, in the case of the Empire State Building, on a bed — and then photographing the results with a film camera. The sense of dislocation is startling: upside down, inside out, unreal reality.
For the full article, please visit The Boston Globe
Abelardo Morell ’71, H’97 spoke at Bowdoin on May 5 about his latest photographic project, completed in Maine during the winter of 2015. Morell is a celebrated photographer whose recent retrospective toured throughout the United States.
To hear the full lecture, please visit Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Back in 1967, Abelardo Morell, a Cuban teenager in his freshman year at Bowdoin College, encountered his first Maine winter.
“It was 20 below, and I remember walking,” Morell says, “and a truck driver stopped and said, ‘What are you doing?’ ”
So when Morell, now a photographer renowned for his virtuosity and experimentation, went up to Bowdoin in January and found little snow on the ground, he was unimpressed.
“Abe said to me ‘Winters are not what they used to be,’ ” recounts Frank H. Goodyear, co-director with his wife, Anne Collins Goodyear, of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. “I joked, ‘Come back in a week or two,’ and lo and behold, the next week that first huge storm came in.”
For the full article, please visit The Boston Globe
Until December 20th, a collection of sixteen large-scale photographs by artist Abelardo Morell will be on view at the Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York. Best know for his work using a camera obscure, Morell combines his multiple styles of photography including still lifes and physically transformed objects to create an intriguingly cohesive exhibition.
For the full feature, please visit Juxtapoz Magazine
In a time when one-after-the-other serial production of bodies of work has become the dominant mode in the art world, Abelardo Morell’s ongoing parallel processing of multiple different lines of photographic thinking is quietly and perhaps defiantly contrarian. While others methodically start and finish each new project, moving forward step by incremental step, Morell is the photographic equivalent of a carnival acrobat with spinning plates on sticks, each one humming along until it slows and needs a quick spark of renewed attention. This show of recent work provides updates on a handful of discrete projects, some of which he’s been successfully working on for decades, others that he’s just begun. Following his photographic career is a little like keeping half a dozen novels on your bedside table and picking them up intermittently to read a few pages; all the stories are moving forward simultaneously, so you have to pay close multi-tasking attention to keep the new developments straight.
For the full review, please visit L'Oeil de la Photographie
Cuban-born photographer Abelardo Morell has long been interested in photographic processes, in particular that of the camera obscura. For the past 20 years, he has transformed rooms into visual theatres on to whose walls the external world is projected. On the surface, however, are the everyday furnishings of these rooms: tables, chairs, beds, carpets, plants, shelves, books and other decorative objects. When his city, New York, and its parks, bridges, and the architecture of the most beautiful cities of the world blend into his private space, it becomes almost hallucinogenic. There might be nothing new to the technique, but it’s still easy to let oneself be carried away by the colorful trompe-l’oeil patterns, especially when an open door seems to invite one into another dimension.
For the full article and more of Abelardo's work, please visit L'Oeil de la Photographie
Abelardo Morell is not your ordinary photographer walking around with a camera going “click!” He is an artificer of photographic images who, in his best-known work, uses a technology that actually predates the invention of photography.
For the full article, please visit The Wall Street Journal
For the full feature and recent works by Abelardo, please visit Musee Magazine
Abelardo Morell gives a lecture about his latest photographic project, completed in Maine during the winter of 2015. His exhibition of new photographs represents his first prolonged engagement in the state since his graduation from Bowdoin in 1977 and his first creative response to winter and the theme of climate change.
Morell is an internationally-known photographer whose recent retrospective toured throughout the United States. Presented in conjunction with A Mind of Winter: Photographs by Abelardo Morell.
For more information about the event, please visit Bowdoin College Museum of Art
In this edition of Conversations, photographers Abelardo Morell and Peter Essick each discuss their personal approach to photographing in National Parks. The two are exploring contemporary versions of early photographic processes in order to reenvision vistas that are so familiar they have become part of public consciousness, Morell using a camera obscura and Essick through a wet-plate collodion process.
For the full conversation, please visit National Geographic.
The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) presents new work by Cuban born, Artist-in-Residence Abelardo Morell who lives and works in Brookline, Massachusetts. Morell is internationally known for imbuing a sense of wonder into his photographs of everyday objects, such as his well-known camera obscura series. For his Pictures in Three Museums exhibition, Morell created a new body of work by photographing artworks from the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA), the Pennsylvania Academy of The Fine Arts (PAFA), and The Barnes Foundation, and transforming these objects through their juxtaposition. Public opening reception Friday, May 2, 2014 from 6:00 to 8:00pm. Members-only artist talk by Abelardo Morell at 5:30pm at FWM, 1214 Arch Street, Second Floor.
For more information about the exhibition, please visit FWM.
It's not easy to find someone whose right brain and left brain are each working overtime. But photographer Abelardo Morell is more than a creative spirit. In a recent talk at the Annenberg Space Skylight Studio, in conjunction with the current show, Morell called himself a "closet scientist" who has invented a new way of seeing and recording images, or rather re-invented a very old way of seeing using new technology. His recent photography has turned rooms into cameras by employing the technique of camera obscura (literally "dark room") and figured out how to take it on the road. The resulting images of the US National Parks, currently part of a sweeping exhibit honoring 125 years of National Geographic photography at the Annenberg Space for Photography, are stunning and totally fresh. In this digital age, where we are bombarded nonstop with images, that is saying something. These photographs will make you stop and look again.
For the full article, please visit LA Observed.
In 1987, the year his son Brady turned two, Abelardo Morell lay down on the nursery floor in order to see the world the way a wriggling baby would. From that vantage point he looked up at a stack of blocks towering over him as if it were a BCE column or stele, and he took a photograph. In 1993 when Brady was six or seven, Morell looked up at a wine glass sitting on the kitchen table, seeing it approximately the way that his son would have then, and saw that the glass full of liquid was acting as a lens. The window beyond it was focused upside down and backwards, bending its frame to the curvature of the glass. So he took another picture. The next year, when he accidentally broke his glasses, snapping the frame in half at the bridge, he set up the two pieces on a table and took a picture of himself focused through the lenses of the broken glasses. In this photograph he sits with his eyes closed, as if dreaming about how the world would look without the usual modern enhancements of vision.
For the full article, please visit Artillery.
Photographer Abelardo Morell is an alchemist who has made magic from the scientific principles of light for over 45 years. A retrospective of his work containing more than a hundred photographs at the High Museum of Art leaves no doubt that he is also a poet.
Abelardo Morell: The Universe Next Door opens with photos of common household objects and domestic interiors that Morell began making after the 1986 birth of his first child. It was a time when he began to look at ordinary reality, his new reality of the family home and a son and, he said as he toured the exhibition with ArtsATL, to “begin to deal with this world, to record it and to meditate on it.” Looking deeply at the intimate and familiar in his life transformed his emotional sense of himself.
For the full review, please visit Arts Atl.
Ivorypress presents the photographic project ToledoContemporánea—curated by Elena Ochoa Foster and the Ivorypress team—which will be part of the exhibition programme celebrating the fourth centennial of El Greco. The project, in collaboration with the Fundación El Greco 2014, offers a contemporary view of the city of Toledo: of its past, present and future realities.
Twelve photographers have created photographic series about the Spanish city: José Manuel Ballester, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Matthieu Gafsou, Dionisio González, Rinko Kawauchi, Marcos López, David Maisel, Abelardo Morell, Vik Muniz, Shirin Neshat, Flore-äel Surun and Massimo Vitali, as well as the special collaboration of Michal Rovner and composer and theater maker Heiner Goebbels.
For the full description and updates, please visit ivorypress.
European Photography 94 on Retro-Photography, featuring Julia Murakami, Hisaji Hara, Erwin Olaf, Neil Krug, Alexandra Polina, Stacey Tyrell, Nathalie Daoust, Jeff Cowen, Elmira Sidyak, Piotr Zbierski, Nettie Edwards, Collin J. Rae, Alison Turner, Yasumasa Yonehara, Andrea Tonellotto, and Abelardo Morell.
To preview the issue, please visit European Photography.
Last week, Paris Photo, the prestigious fine art photography fair now in its 17th year, brought together 136 galleries and 28 booksellers/publishers representing 24 countries under one roof in the exquisite Grand Palais for a celebration of photography from the 19th century to the contemporary. Though there was an overwhelming amount of amazing work, we managed to compile a short list of some of our favorites.
To see the full list of this year's standouts, please visit Feature Shoot.
"Artists, the good ones, tend to re-create the world for us." -Abelardo Morell
For the full article and a video interview with Abe, please visit National Geographic's website.
Converting a room into a huge camera obscura — a centuries-old optical technique that predates the pinhole camera — he took eight-hour exposures of interiors where the outside world was projected onto the walls. The results — as in the Times Square cityscape rich with kinetic detail that he did for The New York Times Magazine — were stunning and surreal. They combined the expanse of the street with the monastic quiet of a small, darkened space.
For the full article please visit The New York Times website.
The Piazzetta San Marco in Venice is projected across the walls and furnishings of an office space overlooking the square. Employing the alchemy of optics, the exterior is married with the interior, and an image of visual surprise and wonder reminiscent of a renaissance painting is created.
For the full article please visit The Financial Times' website.
Given the millions of photographs taken since the invention of the medium more than 150 years ago—with millions more flooding the Internet every day—any possibility of creating genuinely fresh, distinctive, let alone memorable imagery seems impossible. Yet that is what Abelardo Morell has done, steering clear of high-tech razzle-dazzle and delving into the very essence—and continuing mystery—of photography itself.
For the full article please visit Art in America's website.
After three hours of laying completely still, waiting for his film camera’s long exposure to complete its eight-hour run in a darkened room, Abelardo Morell started to have nightmarish hallucinations. He eventually fell asleep, but his restlessness ruined the photo anyway. That’s when he decided some of his photos would work fine without him as a subject.
For the full article please visit Wired's website.
Edwynn Houk Gallery is delighted to announce the exclusive representation of Abelardo Morell (American, b Havana 1948), whose pictures transform and transcend the ordinary and everyday. Morell has been the subject of a major retrospective exhibition, “The Universe Next Door,” which started at the Art Institute of Chicago in June of 2013, toured to the Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and ended at the High Museum in Atlanta in May of 2014. Morell’s first exhibition at Houk Gallery was at the Zürich space in June of 2013.
Always intrigued with optics and how an image is constructed, Morell began his photographic career within the most steadfast of genres, the still life. His pared down images focused resolutely on simple, everyday items: a glass bottle, a page within a book, a child’s toy. In 1991, Morell, wanting to illustrate to his students the basic tenet of photography – light passing through an aperture and its projected image – stumbled upon what proved to be a turning point; Morell realized with his image “Light Bulb,” that any room, any space can be turned into a camera. Renowned for his camera obscura works, Morell has over the years perfected the technique and continues to use what is fundamentally one of the oldest, most primitive ways to make an image.
The passage of time and capturing it in a photograph has long fascinated Morell. In the beginning, his camera obscura photographs required exposures of several hours, but now with digital technology, it is much faster. He is able to show specific times of day in single images, moments can be pinpointed instead of hours passing. Morell deftly balances a philosophical approach with a scientific rigor, and honoring a Modernist tradition, he continues to experiment, creating collages, cliché verre on glass, and for his camera obscura works, adapting a tent so that he can take the images outdoors. The effects of these images hark back to Impressionist painting where famous vistas are juxtaposed with unexpected, nontraditional surfaces, a marriage of two outdoor realities.
Morell lives and works in Boston. He studied at Bowdoin College and holds an MFA from Yale University, and an honorary doctorate from Bowdoin. In 1993, he was the winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship. Until 2009, he was a professor of photography at Massachusetts College of Art. Morell was the subject of a documentary film, “Shadow of the House,” in 2007. There are numerous publications and monographs on his work, including his illustration of Alice in Wonderland and ‘Book of Books,’ with an introduction by author Nicholson Baker. He was the recipient of the International Center of Photography’s Infinity Award in 2011. His work is in numerous private and public collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Fondation Cartier, Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.