Abelardo Morell / Map of North America / 1996Abelardo Morell
Map of North America

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Creator Name: Morell, Abelardo
Creator Nationality: North American; American
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: 1948
Biography: Abelardo Morell American, b. Cuba, 1948-Havana-born Abe Morell became interested in photography while a student of John McKee at Bowdoin College in Maine (B.A., 1977). Fascinated by the surreal, he initially produced manipulated prints of outlandish scenarios. The work of Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, and Henri Cartier-Bresson, however, showed Morell "that straight photography could pack more surrealism into a picture" than he could achieve through manipulation. Adopting a 35mm straight technique, in 1978 he traveled to Miami and New York to work as a street photographer in the vein of Garry Winogrand and Lee Friedlander, continuing in this format at Yale University (M.F.A., 1981). In the late 1980s, Morell began two series for which he is best known: large-scale black-and-white photographs of interior spaces made with a self-built camera obscura, and still lifes of pictures of the pictures in books. The images provide clever post-modern commentary on the nature of photographic representation by referencing the medium's beginnings while simultaneously celebrating the ephemeral magic of light and shadow. Devoid of human subjects, these psychologically complex interior landscapes allude to the changing spheres of childhood and family, and our understanding of history itself, in contemporary middle-class society. Morell has received fellowships from the Cintas Foundation (1992-93) and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1993-94). He currently chairs the photography department at Massachusetts College of Art and lives in Quincy. A.W.
Gender: M
Creator Birth Place: Havanna, Cuba
Creator Name-CRT: Abelardo Morell
Title: Map of North America
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1996
Creation End Date: 1996
Creation Date: 1996
Object Type: Photographs
Materials and Techniques: gelatin silver print
Dimensions: Sheet: 50.8cm x 60.7cm, Image: 46cm x 57.1cm
Inscriptions: written in pencil on verso: ABELARDO MORELL (signed) MAP OF NORTH AMERICA, 1996"
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1998.117
Credit Line: Judith K. and S. Sterling McMillan III Photography Purchase Fund
Rights: http://www.clemusart.com/museum/disclaim2.html
Context: A map of North America is transformed into an imaginary landscape when it is crumpled, filled with water, and photographed. Rather than manipulating the chemical processes of photography, Morell alters the object and then emphasizes its new, unusual form in a straightforward photograph.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1998.117
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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