Abelrado Morell Now at Krakow Witkin Gallery

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Date(s) - 01/16/2023
12:00 am

Krakow Witkin Gallery



In the Footsteps of van Gogh

Reception: Saturday, January 14, 3-5 PM
Artist talk: Saturday, February 11, 3 PM
(masks welcomed)

Inspired by the great masters, acclaimed photographer Abelardo Morell has revolutionized the ancient camera obscura.
Sebastian Smee, The Washington Post, October 2, 2022

Abelardo Morell
Tent Camera Image: Sunflower Field, Near Arles, France, 2022
Color photograph
Edition of 10
Image size: 30 x 40 inches  (76 x 102 cm)
Frame size: 38 x 48 inches (97 x 123 cm)

Abelardo Morell, describing his most recent work, states:

“In June 2022, I went to Arles, Saint- Remy and other places in the south of France to make pictures where van Gogh painted. In locating myself within his landscape, I hoped that my pictures would contain – and be touched by – some of the spirit and light in his paintings. Clearly, I did not produce any new “van Goghs,” which is a good thing because I didn’t want to make copies!

Happily, what I came up with was my own take on the light and land in Provence and yet, I think, my landscapes, as different as they may be from the painter’s, still evoke something of his vision. I also believe that some of the images I made suggest the look and atmospheres captured by other 19th century French landscape painters who influenced van Gogh.

The patina and strangeness of the surface that appear in several of my images are products of a photographic tool I call “tent /camera.” I designed this device to allow me, in a periscope-like fashion, to project views of a nearby landscape directly onto the very ground where the tent sits. My camera, on top of the tent, captures a ‘visual sandwich’ comprised of the scenery and the details of the ground all at once, in one picture. And it is in this real/surreal melding of optics, photography and art history where my pictures dwell, creating, I hope a middle world – where both the expansive and the particular can reside at the same time.”

detail of
Tent-Camera Image: Tree and Road, La Crau, France, 2022

Morell was born in Havana, Cuba in 1948. He immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1962. Morell received his undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College and his MFA from The Yale University School of Art. He has received honorary degrees from Bowdoin College in 1997 and from Lesley University in 2014.

His publications include a photographic illustration of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1998) by Dutton Children’s Books, A Camera in a Room (1995) by Smithsonian Press, A Book of Books (2002) and Camera Obscura (2004) by Bulfinch Press, and Abelardo Morell (2005), published by Phaidon Press. The Universe Next Door (2013), published by the Art Institute of Chicago. Tent-Camera (2018), published by Nazraeli Press. Flowers for Lisa (2018), published by Abrams Books.

He has received a number of awards and grants, which include a Guggenheim fellowship in 1994 and an Infinity Award in Art from ICP in 2011. In November 2017, he received a Lucie Award for achievement in fine art. His work has been collected and shown in many galleries, institutions and museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Metropolitan Art Museum in New York, Art Institute of Chicago, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Victoria & Albert Museum, and over seventy other museums around the world. A retrospective of his work organized jointly by the Art Institute of Chicago, The Getty in Los Angeles and The High Museum in Atlanta closed in May 2014 after a year of travel. His work is currently included in the exhibition, “The Stillness of Things,” now on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

installation view of
Tent Camera Image: Olive Tree #2, St-Remy de Provence, France, 2022
Tent-Camera Image: Grass Field with Path, Near Arles, France, 2022
Tent-Camera Image: View of Road, Near Arles, France, 2022
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