Born in Havana, Cuba in 1948.
The connexion between “images” and “projection” is the key of Abelardo Morell’s works. He is interested in the historical photographic techniques: tintype, glass negative, collodion process, and other mediums. This technique gives to his images a pictorical effect.
Cámara oscura serie explores the technique of the origin of photography; a projection of an open space in the wall of a room, with everyday objects (chairs, tables, a wardrobe…) each image is almost a recreation of those constructions that “used to capture” the exterior image to a dark room, where everything appears inverted. This projection tries to create a vertical effect and the paradox of seeing enormous spaces in small rooms.
The domestic environment is covered with a huge image bigger than the dimensions of the room. Daily elements are a part of this projection and leave its mark through shadows and reflections. The colossal disproportion of the content and the structure becomes beauty, both paradigms create an hypothetical ambivalence of experimental fate.
He moved to the United States with his parents in 1962. He lives with his wife, the filmmaker Lisa McElaney, and his children Brady and Laura in Brookline, Massachusetts.
He has received a number of awards and grants, which include a Cintas grant in 1992, a Guggenheim fellowship in 1994, a Rappaport Prize in 2006 and an Alturas Foundation grant in 2009 to photograph the landscape of West Texas. He received by the International Center of Photography the 2011 Infinity award in Art.
His work has been shown and is part of the collection of many galleries, institutions and museums, including the MoMA, The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Art Museum in New York, The Chicago Art Institute, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Houston Museum of Art, The Boston Museum of Fine Art, and The Victoria & Albert Museum in England. A retrospective of his work has been organized with the Art Institute of Chicago, The Getty and The High Museum in Atlanta.
His publications include photographic illustrations 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. Recent publications include a limited edition book by MoMA of his 'Cliché Verre' images with a text by Oliver Sacks.
The filmmaker Allie Humenuk has directed 'Shadow of the House', an in-depth documentary about Morell’s work and experience as an artist.
TF Editores, Madrid (Spain); Phaidon Press, London (UK); 2005.
Retrospective artist monograph.
Introduction by Richard Woodward.
English/Spanish/French publication; 105 photographs spanning 30 years; 140 pages; 28,5 x 30 cm; hardcover.
Bulfinch Press, New York (USA), 2004.
Introduction by Luc Sante.
English; 112 pages; 28,5 x 31 cm; hardcover.
A Book of Books.
Bulfinch Press, New York (USA), 2002.
Introduction by Nicholson Baker.
English; 108 pages; 30,5 x 30,5 cm; hardcover.
Abelardo Morell and the Camera Eye.
Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA (USA), 1999.
Essay by Diana Gaston.
English; 60 pages; 30 x 22 cm; paperback.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
Dutton Children's Books, New York (USA), 1998.
By Lewis Carroll, Photo-Illustrations by Abelardo Morell.
Introduction by Leonard S. Marcus.
English; 128 pages; 22,5 x 27,5 cm; hardcover.
Abelardo Morell: Face to Face.
Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, Boston MA (USA),1998.
Essays by Charles Simic and Jennifer Gross.
English; 64 pages; 30 x 24,5 cm; paperback.
A Camera in a Room: Photographs by Abelardo Morell.
Smithsonian "Photographers at Work" Series, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. (USA), 1995.
Interview and Essay by Richard B. Woodward.
English; 60 pages; 25 x 21 cm; paperback.