May 1, 2014

Abelardo Morell: Pictures in Three Museums


Abelardo Morell

Pictures in Three Museums

Philadelphia Museum of Art  / Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts / The Barnes Foundation


Two Views of Philadelphia


May 2–Summer 2014

Public Opening Reception: Friday, May 2, 2014 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm

Members-only artist talk at 5:30 pm

For the PDF version, click here
The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) presents new work by Cuban born, Artist-in-Residence Abelardo Morell who lives and works in Brookline, Massachusetts. Morell is internationally known for imbuing a sense of wonder into his photographs of everyday objects, such as his well-known camera obscura series. Public Opening Reception: Friday, May 2, 2014 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Members-only artist talk by Abelardo Morell at 5:30 pm, at FWM, 1214 Arch Street, Second Floor.Morell created new photographs for Pictures in Three Museums by juxtaposing artworks from the extensive collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA), the Pennsylvania Academy of The Fine Arts (PAFA), and The Barnes Foundation, and transforming these artworks into new forms. As Morell described his inspiration for this series:
I like photographing in museums because of the way gallery spaces can seem to “play with” the content of the pictures hanging in them. In several of these works I combined and altered art and rooms from some or all of the institutions to make a kind of art mash-up creating new and impossible museum installations, art, and architecture.

For Morell’s Two Views of Philadelphia installation, the artist produced a limited-edition camera obscura print for FWM. As Morell described the introduction of color to his camera obscura technique:
A few years ago, in order to push the visual potential of this process, I began to use color film and positioned a lens over the hole in the window plastic in order to add to the overall sharpness and brightness of the incoming image. Now, I often use a prism to make the projection come in right side up. I have also been able to shorten my exposures considerably thanks to digital technology, which in turn makes it possible to capture more momentary light. I love the increased sense of reality that the outdoor has in these new works. The marriage of the outside and the inside is now made up of more equal partners.
Also Opening on Friday, May 2, 2014 FWM, 1214 Arch Street, First Floor
Exhibition of photographs by Philadelphia Photographer Will Brown
Members-only artist talk by Will Brown at 6:00pm
The New Temporary Contemporary, 1222 Arch Street
Exhibitions of work by Philadelphia Photographers David Graham and Ray K. Metzker
The New Temporary Contemporary’s Video Screening Room
Lectures and videos by these Photographers and additional artists
About the Artist
Abelardo Morell
Photographer Abelardo Morell was born in Havana, Cuba in 1948. He immigrated to the United States as a teen in 1962, completing his undergraduate degree at Bowdoin College in 1977 and his MFA in 1981 at the Yale University School of Art. Morell has exhibited his work extensively, and in 2013 the Art Institute of Chicago organized his retrospective, Abelardo Morell: The Universe Next Door, which traveled to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.
Major exhibitions of the artist’s work have been presented at the Yale University Art Gallery (2008); the Detroit Institute of the Arts (2001); the St. Louis Art Museum (2000); the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1999); the Cleveland Museum of Art (1998); and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston (1998). He has exhibited internationally in exhibitions staged at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; The Print Center, Philadelphia; and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Morell’s creative process and experience as an artist was the focus of a 2007 feature length documentary, Shadow of the House.
Morell has received a number of grants and awards, which include a 1992 Cintas Grant, a 1994 Guggenheim Fellowship, and the International Center of Photography’s 2011 Infinity Award in Art. He taught as a professor at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design from 1983 until 2011. Morell lives in Brookline, MA.
About The Fabric Workshop and Museum
The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) is the only museum of its kind, offering internationally renowned artists the resources to create new work in experimental materials. Artists come from all media—including sculpture, installation, video, painting, ceramics, and architecture—and use FWM’s facilities and technical expertise to create works of art that they could not create on their own. Research, construction, and fabrication occur on-site in studios that are open to the public, providing visitors with the opportunity to see works of art from conception to completion. FWM’s permanent collections include not only complete works of art, but also material research, samples, prototypes, and photography and video of artists making and speaking about their work. Access to the creative process provides visitors with a point of entry into understanding challenging works of contemporary art. FWM offers an unparalleled experience to those young and old, including the most significant artists of our time, students, and the general public.
The programs of The Fabric Workshop and Museum are supported by Agnes Gund; Amy Stone, Art Ancora; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; The Arcadia Foundation; The Barra Foundation; Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation; Claneil Foundation; The Dedalus Foundation, Inc.; Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation; E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation; Edna W. Andrade Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation; The Honickman Foundation; Independence Foundation; Institute of Museum and Library Services; The Judith Rothschild Foundation; Knight Foundation; LEF Foundation; LLWW Foundation; Longwood Plantation Foundation, Inc.; Louis N. Cassett Foundation; Mondriaan Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; New Millennium Charitable Foundation; The New York Community Trust; Nimoy Foundation; Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage; The Philadelphia Cultural Fund; PNC Foundation; PNC Arts Alive; Public Funds from the Netherlands Cultural Service; The Quaker Chemical Foundation; Samuel S. Fels Fund; Individual Trustee Discretionary Grant, of the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation; Uplands Family Foundation; and the Board of Directors and Members of The Fabric Workshop and Museum.
For more information, or to request images, please contact Michele Bregande, Assistant to the Directors, at, or 215.561.8888.