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Abelardo Morell The Universe Next Door    Oct 29 - Dec 11, 2010


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 inside.

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.

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