Montclair Art Museum presents ‘Abelardo Morell: Projecting Italy’

Photo Courtesy of Montclair Art Museum
Abelardo Morell’s ‘Camera Obscura: View of Florence from Hotel Excelsior, Italy’

MONTCLAIR, NJ — The Montclair Art Museum will present “Abelardo Morell: Projecting Italy,” opening Oct. 15 and running through Feb. 12. Montclair Art Museum is located at 3 S. Mountain Ave. in Montclair.

 Boston-based and world-renowned photographer Abelardo Morell has been using the camera obscura since the early 1990s, creating a body of work defined by the contemporary use of a technology that predates the camera. By creating a dark room with no light entering other than through a small pinhole, Morell brings the world outside into the room, projected upside down and in reverse on the opposite wall. The result is a complex layering of interior and exterior views. This exhibition highlights 12 tent camera and camera obscura photographs of sites in Italy in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Center for Italian Culture at Fitchburg State University, located in Fitchburg, Mass.

Morell’s exhibition inaugurates a series of shows at MAM that will focus on the creative contributions of contemporary American and Native American photographers. “Abelardo Morell: Projecting Italy” was originally organized by the Fitchburg Art Museum, where it was on view last year. The exhibition at FAM was supported in part by a grant from the Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Endowment at the Center for Italian Culture at FSU.

Exhibition and FAM curator Lauren Szumita said, “I am so pleased to have the opportunity to feature Abelardo Morell’s stunning photographs at FAM and in the upcoming show at MAM. His work with the camera obscura is surprisingly revolutionary for all its simplicity and his engagement with the photographic past modernizes the story of the camera obscura. Morell’s work reminds us to take in the magnificence of the mundane and to notice the often-overlooked details of our world.”

Morell was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1948, and immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1962. Morell received his undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College and his Master of Fine Arts from the Yale University School of Art. He was a professor of photography at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston from 1983 to 2010. He has received several awards and grants, including a Guggenheim fellowship in 1994, an Infinity Award in Art from the International Center for Photography in 2011, and a Lucie Award for achievement in fine arts in November 2017.