exposes unusual perspectives
the Rabbit-hole, 1998 (from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
series)" by Abelardo Morell, whose work is on exhibit
at the Bayly Art Museum.
Morell, an artist whose photographs transform everyday objects
and occurrences into mesmerizing, almost magical images, will
visit U.Va. March 1 and 2, in conjunction with an exhibition of
his work at the Bayly
will give a talk on his work March 1 at 5:30 p.m. in Campbell
Hall, room 153. Morell will also be at the museum's First Fridays
reception on March 2, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
"Abelardo Morell and the Camera Eye" is on view through March
25 at the Bayly. His visit is co-sponsored by the museum and the
McIntire Department of Art.
in Havana in 1948, Morell makes familiar subjects -- ordinary
domestic objects and interiors, illustrated books and maps, his
children at play -- extraordinary by revealing the optical phenomena
His approach to the medium is surprisingly traditional: he achieves
his effects through the camera's ability to record unusual perspectives,
discrepancies of scale, reflections of light and shadow and the
passage of time. The exhibition examines three areas of the artist's
"The Camera Obscura," Morell's most ambitious series
to date, involves the optical effects of the "camera obscura,"
the Latin term for a dark chamber or room. Morell actually creates
a room-size camera by covering all windows and doors with dark
plastic and making a single 3/8-inch opening to serve as an aperture.
He then sets up his tripod and large-format camera, opens the
shutter and leaves the room, allowing the inverted scene that
is projected on the opposite wall to register on film over the
course of a long exposure, which ranges from eight hours to two
days. Through these experimentations, Morell has recorded a range
of public and private views, merging the space of the outside
world with the intimacies of the interior realm.
"Books, Maps and Paintings" began during Morell's tenure
as an artist-in-residence at the Boston Athenaeum in 1994-95.
Through his photographic interpretation, the familiar structure
of the book is treated as a sumptuous physical object; he reveals
the surfaces of leather bindings, the reflective quality of inks,
the texture of papers. Similarly, he reworked the narratives of
paintings in photographs he made at the Isabella Stewart Gardner
Museum, also in Boston.
"Domestic Objects and Optical Phenomena" begins with
the birth in 1986 of Morell's son, Brady. Previously, Morell had
worked as a black-and-white street photographer in the tradition
of Robert Frank. With his son, however, he began to explore the
world from a child's perspective. This renewed curiosity led him
to present domestic space from seemingly odd vantage points, noting
discrepancies of scale and the faintly ominous lure of unfamiliar
textures and materials.
Morell received his B.A. from Bowdoin College and an M.F.A. from
Yale University School of Art. He is professor of photography
at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston.
exhibition, organized by the Museum of Photographic Arts in San
Diego, is the first major traveling exhibit to consider the full
extent of the artist's work. It features 60 gelatin silver prints,
on loan courtesy of the Bonni Benrubi Gallery of New York, and
is accompanied by a 60-page soft-cover catalog, including 30 duotones
and an essay by former MoPA curator Diana Gaston. Its presentation
at the Bayly is made possible with support from the University's
Arts Enhancement Fund and Arts$.
Morell's solo exhibitions include the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston,
and the Cleveland Museum of Art, and his work has been featured
in group exhibitions at the DeCordova Museum, Yale University
Art Gallery, Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Aldrich Museum of
Contemporary Art, among others.