Lightbulb, 1991

Camera Obscura: Brookline View in Brady's Room, 1992

Camera Obscura: The Empire State Building, 1994

Camera Obscura: Manhattan View Looking South in Large Room, 1996

Book and Camera, In Memory of Fox Talbot, 1999

Camera Obscura: Houses Across the Street in Our Livingroom, Quincy, Massachusetts, 1991

Camera Obscura: Manhattan View Looking West in Empty Room, 1996

Camera Obscura: The Hotel del Coronado in Room, 1998

Camera Obscura: The Eiffel Tower in the Hotel Frantour, 1999

Camera Obscura: The Pantheon in the Hotel des Grands Hommes, 1999

Camera Obscura: The Chrysler Building in Hotel Room, 1999

Camera Obscura: The Brooklyn Bridge in Bedroom, 1999

Camera Obscura: The Tower Bridge in the Tower Hotel, London, England, 2001

Upright Camera Obscura: The Piazzetta San Marco Looking Southeast in Office, Venice, 2007

Camera Obscura: The Philadelphia Museum of Art East Entrance in Gallery with a de Chirico Painting, 2005

Camera Obscura: View of the Manhattan Bridge, April 30th, Morning, 2010

Camera Obscura: View of the Manhattan Bridge, April 30th, Afternoon, 2010

Camera Obscura: View of the Manhattan Bridge, April 30th, Evening, 2010

Camera Obscura: Santa Maria della Salute Inside Palazzo Bedroom, Venice, Italy, 2006

Camera Obscura: Santa Maria della Salute Inside Palazzo Livingroom, Venice, Italy, 2006

Camera Obscura: The Coliseum inside Room #23 at the Hotel Gladiatori, 2007

Camera Obscura: View of Volta del Canal in Palazzo Room Painted with Jungle Motif, Venice, Italy, 2008

Camera Obscura: Garden with Olive Tree Inside Room with Plants, Outside Florence, Italy, 2009

Camera Obscura: View of Landscape Outside Florence Looking East Toward Where Galileo Died in Exile, Italy, 2009

Camera Obscura: 5:04 AM Sunrise Over the Atlantic Ocean, Rockport, Masschusetts, June 17th, 2009

Camera Obscura: View of the Roman Forum in City Hall Office, Italy, 2010

Camera Obscura: View of Central Park Looking North, Spring, 2010

Camera Obscura: View of Times Square in Hotel Room, 2010

Camera Obscura: View of the Highline from 23rd Street Looking North in Room with Books, 2011

Camera Obscura: View Of Midtown Atlanta Looking South In Conference Room, 2013

Camera Obscura: View of Atlanta Looking South Down Peachtree Street in Hotel Room, 2013

Camera Obscura: View of Toledo in Hotel Room, 2013

Camera Obscura: View of Trees in Lucinda Bunnen’s Bedroom, 2013

Camera Obscura: View of Philadelphia from Loews Hotel Room #3013 with Upside Down Bed, April 14th, 2014

Camera Obscura: Night View of Philadelphia from Loews Hotel Room #3013, April 14th, 2014

Camera Obscura: Early Morning View of the East Side of Midtown Manhattan, 2014

Camera Obscura: Late Afternoon View of the East Side of Midtown Manhattan, 2014

Camera Obscura

Biography

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. Morell is the The Lucie Awards 2017 Honoree for Achievement in Fine Art.