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Abelardo Morell: The Universe Next Doorby Elizabeth Siegel
Synopses & Reviews
Over the past twenty-five years, Abelardo Morell (b. 1948) has earned international praise for his images that use the language of photography to explore visual surprise and wonder. Born in Havana, Cuba, Morell came to the United States as a teenager in 1962 and later studied photography, earning an MFA from Yale University. He gained attention for intimate, black-and-white pictures of domestic objects from a child’s point of view, inspired by the birth of his son in 1986, as well as images in which he turns a room into a giant camera obscura, projecting exterior views onto interior spaces; and photographs of books that revel in their sensory materiality.
In more recent years, he has turned to color, exploring the camera obscura with a painterly delight and innovating a tent camera that projects outdoor scenes onto a textured ground. Across his career, Morell has approached photography with remarkable wit and creativity, examining everyday objects with childlike curiosity. The first in-depth treatment in fifteen years, this handsome and important book examines Morell’s career to the present day, including his earlier works in black-and-white and never before published color photographs from the past decade. An essay by Elizabeth Siegel, along with a recent interview with the artist and an illustrated chronology of his life and works, offers a riveting portrait of this contemporary photographer and his ongoing artistic endeavors.
"Cuban-American photographer Morell (A Book of Books) has developed several photographic techniques, including the use of camera obscura and tent camera, all of which are highlighted in this exhibition catalogue. His 'twenty-five years of work motivated by the belief that camera images are full of wonder and reveal unseen beauty in the everyday world,' writes Siegel, the exhibition's curator, in an opening essay that is both a poetic and biographical overview of the artist's career. Appendices include an interview with Morell, in which he discusses Cuban politics; the ways in which the tent camera technique was inspired by Western films; and his current digital photography equipment. A photo-illustrated, detailed chronology concludes the volume. Over 100 of Morell's photographs are beautifully reproduced on full pages, organized by themes and years. The earliest photos in this collection, dating from 1986, are inspired by the birth of his son; many explore the world from the viewpoint of a toddler, such as the rather intimidatingly tall pyramid of Toy Blocks. Later works examine the textures and contrasts of books and paper. Morell also explores motion; art and architecture, including through the use of camera obscura, color, and the tent camera. Readers from all walks will enjoy browsing through the photographs and learning more about Morell's innovative career. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A riveting retrospective of the imaginative photographs created by contemporary artist Abelardo Morell
Contemporary artist Abelardo Morell and his imaginative photographs are the subject of this riveting retrospective.
About the Author
Elizabeth Siegel is associate curator of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago.
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