For Immediate Release
Opening Reception: 28 October 2010
New York, NY, July 28, 2010- Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery and Bonni Benrubi Gallery are
pleased to present concurrent exhibitions of new work by photographer Abelardo Morell.
The exhibition at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery will feature the most recent additions to Morell’s
celebrated series of camera obscura works. Using this centuries old optical principle in combination
with digital camera work, Morell blacks out windows in rooms while leaving a small hole open, the
aperture, which, in effect, transforms the space into a camera, thus overlaying the world outside
In his most recent series of work from Florence, Rome, Venice and New York, Morell’s consistent
obsession with the passage of time, becomes evident as never before. His use of traditional
techniques transforms the familiar into unique contemporary perspectives. As we watch, a view of
Santa Maria della Salute in Venice is projected like a layer of vague memory or a passing
hallucination on the interior of a Palazzo. In the same fashion, Morell revisits the iconic image of
Times Square, first published by the New York Times over a decade ago, in relationship to a nearby hotel room. Remade in color the marquees are changed for a new millennium, just as the blinding
speed of Morell’s digital capture adjusts our perception of place and time. Thus he makes the
shabby interior of the hotel, serve not so much as a marker in the passage of time, but rather as a
witness to the permanent iconic nature of these cities.
The exhibition at Bonni Benrubi Gallery, entitled Groundwork , presents work from Morell's
innovative tent camera obscura process. Morell continues to push the boundaries of the way we see
with the use of a lightproof tent and periscope that allows the artist to project a view of the nearby
landscape directly onto the ground below. On view will be the first images achieved within this
domed structure: the iconic buttes and craggy outcroppings of the American West projected onto
the sand and pebbles at his feet. Work from Arcadia National Park in Maine is typically Morellian in
impact; the landscapes he captures are a sly nod to other artistic media and eras. The resulting
photographs play on the tropes of impressionistic painting as the projected landscapes are
refracted on the grass and sand below.
In his latest work, Morell continues to push the boundaries of post modernity as he travels to Italy,
positioning his tent on the historic cobblestones of Rome and Florence and entering into the Villa
Medici. In one image, his tent cum camera obscura inhabits the same space and spirit of Brunelleschi
as he famously painted the Florentine Baptistery circa 1425 in the first known demonstration of
optical linear perspective, created with the aid of a pinhole drilled in a mirror. Morell's tent and
traditional camera obscura images of Italy, including that of the Baptistery, serve not, however, as
dry linear truths, but rather fluid juxtapositions imbued with the same sense of discovery, magic and
wonder that powered the Renaissance. Morell again proves that the simple, yet elusive, combination
of serendipity, innovation and humanity offers the greatest wealth of artistic possibilities.
Abelardo Morell received his MFA from Yale University and was a professor at the Massachusetts
College of Art until his retirement this year. His photographs are contained in some of the most
important private and museum collections around the world. He has had eight books of his
photographs published to date, and is currently working on The Island of Rota, in conjunction with
Oliver Sacks and Ted Muhling to be published by the MoMA this year. A major retrospective of his
work jointly organized by the Art Institute of Chicago and the Getty Museum is projected to open in
2013, before traveling to other major venues.
Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery is located at 505 West 24th Street, New York, NY
For further information or to see further images, please visit www.brycewolkowitz.com or call
Amanda Wilkes at (212) 243 8830.