ABELARDO MORELL (Born 1948)

ABELARDO MORELL (Born 1948)
Renowned for his appropriation of defunct photographic processes, Abelardo Morell is one of the most innovative photographers working today. Producing images that connect the antique beginnings of photography to the modern environment, Morell uses a variety of unusual methods tintypes, glass negatives, wet plate collodian, cyanotypes, cliché verre and, most famously, the camera obscura.
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CAMERA OBSCURA: MANHATTAN VIEW LOOKING SOUTH IN LARGE ROOM, 1996 by ABELARDO MORELL (Born 1948) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

CAMERA OBSCURA: MANHATTAN VIEW LOOKING SOUTH IN LARGE ROOM, 1996

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UPRIGHT CAMERA OBSCURA: THE PIAZZETTA SAN MARCO LOOKING SOUTHEAST IN OFFICE, VENICE, 2007 by ABELARDO MORELL (Born 1948) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

UPRIGHT CAMERA OBSCURA: THE PIAZZETTA SAN MARCO LOOKING SOUTHEAST IN OFFICE, VENICE, 2007

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CAMERA OBSCURA: VIEW OF VOLTA DEL CANAL IN PALAZZO ROOM PAINTED WITH JUNGLE MOTIF, VENICE, ITALY, 2008 by ABELARDO MORELL (Born 1948) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

CAMERA OBSCURA: VIEW OF VOLTA DEL CANAL IN PALAZZO ROOM PAINTED WITH JUNGLE MOTIF, VENICE, ITALY, 2008

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CAMERA OBSCURA: VIEW OF THE MANHATTAN BRIDGE, APRIL 30TH, MORNING, 2010 by ABELARDO MORELL (Born 1948) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

CAMERA OBSCURA: VIEW OF THE MANHATTAN BRIDGE, APRIL 30TH, MORNING, 2010

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BLURRY UPRIGHT CAMERA OBSCURA: SANTA MARIA DELLA SALUTE WITH SCAFFOLDING IN PALAZZO BEDROOM, VENICE, 2007 by ABELARDO MORELL (Born 1948) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

BLURRY UPRIGHT CAMERA OBSCURA: SANTA MARIA DELLA SALUTE WITH SCAFFOLDING IN PALAZZO BEDROOM, VENICE, 2007

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FLOWERS - FOR LISA #2, 2015 by ABELARDO MORELL (Born 1948) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

FLOWERS - FOR LISA #2, 2015

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FLOWERS - FOR LISA, 2014 by ABELARDO MORELL (Born 1948) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

FLOWERS - FOR LISA, 2014

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COMPOSITE PICTURE OF FLOWER PAINTING, PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART, 2014 by ABELARDO MORELL (Born 1948) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

COMPOSITE PICTURE OF FLOWER PAINTING, PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART, 2014

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CAMERA OBSCURA: EARLY MORNING VIEW OF THE EAST SIDE OF MIDTOWN MANHATTAN, 2014 by ABELARDO MORELL (Born 1948) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

CAMERA OBSCURA: EARLY MORNING VIEW OF THE EAST SIDE OF MIDTOWN MANHATTAN, 2014

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CAMERA OBSCURA: VIEW OF SAINT LAZARE TRAIN STATION, PARIS, 2015 by ABELARDO MORELL (Born 1948) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

CAMERA OBSCURA: VIEW OF SAINT LAZARE TRAIN STATION, PARIS, 2015

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CAMERA OBSCURA: THE PANTHEON IN THE HOTEL DES GRANDS HOMMES, 1999 by ABELARDO MORELL (Born 1948) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

CAMERA OBSCURA: THE PANTHEON IN THE HOTEL DES GRANDS HOMMES, 1999

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CAMERA OBSCURA: THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE IN BEDROOM, 1999 by ABELARDO MORELL (Born 1948) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

CAMERA OBSCURA: THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE IN BEDROOM, 1999

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CAMERA OBSCURA: THE EIFFEL TOWER IN THE HOTEL FRANTOUR, 1999 by ABELARDO MORELL (Born 1948) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

CAMERA OBSCURA: THE EIFFEL TOWER IN THE HOTEL FRANTOUR, 1999

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CAMERA OBSCURA: GARDEN WITH OLIVE TREE INSIDE ROOM WITH PLANTS, OUTSIDE FLORENCE, ITALY, 2009 by ABELARDO MORELL (Born 1948) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

CAMERA OBSCURA: GARDEN WITH OLIVE TREE INSIDE ROOM WITH PLANTS, OUTSIDE FLORENCE, ITALY, 2009

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TENT-CAMERA IMAGE ON GROUND: ROOFTOP VIEW OF THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE, BROOKLYN SIDE, 2011 by ABELARDO MORELL (Born 1948) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

TENT-CAMERA IMAGE ON GROUND: ROOFTOP VIEW OF THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE, BROOKLYN SIDE, 2011

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TENT-CAMERA IMAGE ON GROUND: VIEW OF THE YOSEMITE VALLEY FROM TUNNEL VIEW, YOSEMITE, NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA, 2012 by ABELARDO MORELL (Born 1948) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

TENT-CAMERA IMAGE ON GROUND: VIEW OF THE YOSEMITE VALLEY FROM TUNNEL VIEW, YOSEMITE, NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA, 2012

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CAMERA OBSCURA: 5:04 AM SUNRISE OVER THE ATLANTIC OCEAN, ROCKPORT, MASSACHUSETTS, JUNE 17TH, 2009 by ABELARDO MORELL (Born 1948) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

CAMERA OBSCURA: 5:04 AM SUNRISE OVER THE ATLANTIC OCEAN, ROCKPORT, MASSACHUSETTS, JUNE 17TH, 2009

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CAMERA OBSCURA: CENTRAL PARK LOOKING NORTHWEST IN OFFICE, 1999 by ABELARDO MORELL (Born 1948) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

CAMERA OBSCURA: CENTRAL PARK LOOKING NORTHWEST IN OFFICE, 1999

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$7 MILLION, 2006 by ABELARDO MORELL (Born 1948) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

$7 MILLION, 2006

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NADELMAN / HOPPER, YALE UNIVERSITY ART GALLERY, 2008 by ABELARDO MORELL (Born 1948) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

NADELMAN / HOPPER, YALE UNIVERSITY ART GALLERY, 2008

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Early Years

Abelardo Morell was born in Havana, Cuba on 17 September 1948. When he was 14 years old, he fled with his family to America, where they settled in New York. Speaking no English when he arrived in New York, Morell earned enough working as a pharmacy delivery boy to buy a box Brownie camera. Overwhelmed by the scale of the city that became his new home, Morell photographed his family as they took to life in America. He graduated in 1977 with a BA in Fine Art from Bowdoin College, Maine, and went on to gain an MA in Fine Art from Yale University School of Art in 1981.

Camera Obscura

The internationally renowned and critically respected photographer has not settled for the easy life. In our image- saturated, media-conglomerated age, Morell has rejected the technology at the fingertips of photographers and taken instead what he refers to as the "natural" method, prohibiting composite Photoshop images that have spread beyond advertising and become de rigour in the heady world of fine art photography. "If it comes too easy," Morell says, "it might be suspect".

His earliest photographic projects were taken in his darkened living room, in 1991. Using a Camera Obscura technique, Morell produced black and white images of interiors that reflect a view of their outdoor surroundings. Allowing a small ray of light to shine into the unlit room from outside, he then captures the reflection on his large-format camera, often exposing the film for up to 8 hours. His interest in this traditional technique of photograph making comes from seeing the weird and yet natural marriage of the inside and outside.' From the interior spaces of his own home, he went on to create many more of these Camera Obscura images in rooms all over the world. Carrying heavy equipment up mountains, into deserts and onto New York rooftops, he has travelled the world to photograph famous landmarks with a piquant curiosity. The Eiffel Tower, San Marco Square, the Manhattan Bridge and Yosemite are all immediately familiar and yet eerily altered.

In 1995 the first collection of these pictures were published in a book, 'A Camera in a Room'. Other early works focus on household objects, that he examines with extreme close ups, showing the viewer a familiar object at an unusual angle. While his style has remained unchanged, in his various projects he has photographed books, maps, people and works of art. Morell's recent images evolve from his early subject matter, which he now photographs in colour.

Morell has used tintypes, glass negatives, wet plate collodian, cyanotypes and cliché verre all rejuvenating out-dated techniques to force us to look from unseen perspectives and to marvel in the mundane. "I love the period of the invention of photography,' he says. "Especially the work of Fox Talbot. The idea that photography grew as the product of optics, chemistry, philosophy and curiosity has been an inspiration to me in my work with the camera obscura, tent-camera, photograms and cliché verre pictures. I don't want to be those inventors but I want to drink from where they drank. I'm ultimately interested in making contemporary works but as something reworked from the past."

Exhibitions and Awards

He has received the Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography in New York. He is also a professor of art at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston.

Morell's work has been exhibited in some of the most renowned galleries and museums in the world, including, The Victoria & Albert museum, London, The Whitney museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

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