- Contemporary Art at the Gardner
- ExhibitionsCurrent ExhibitionsForthcoming ExhibitionsPast Exhibitions
- Luisa Rabbia: Waterfall
- Carla Fernández: The Barefoot Designer: A Passion for Radical Design and Community
- Sophie Calle: Last Seen
- Hamra Abbas: Wall Hanging I
- Adam Pendleton: Untitled
- Raqs Media Collective: The Great Bare Mat & Constellation
- Stefano Arienti: Wild Carrot
- Luisa Lambri: Portrait
- Magic Moments: The Screen and the Eye–9 Artists 9 Projections
- (TAPESTRY) RADIO ON: New Work by Victoria Morton at the Gardner
- Points of View: 20 Years Artists-in-Residence at the Gardner
- Stefano Arienti: Ailanthus
- Danijel Zezelj: Once
- Taro Shinoda: Lunar Reflections
- Su-Mei Tse: Floating Memories
- Luisa Rabbia: Travels with Isabella, Travel Scrapbooks 1883/2008
- Cliff Evans: Empyrean
- Stefano Arienti: The Asian Shore
- Sculpture and Memory: Works from the Gardner and by Luigi Ontani
- Henrik Håkansson: Cyanopsitta spixii Case Study #001
- Michele Iodice: A Pagan Feast
- Variations On a Theme by Sol Lewitt and Paula Robison
- Danijel Zezelj: Stray Dogs
- Dayanita Singh: Chairs
- Maurizio Cannavacciuolo: TV Dinner
- Elaine Reichek: madamimadam
- Joseph Kosuth: Artist, Curator, Collector
- Nari Ward: Episodes: Bus Park & Forevermore
- Manfred Bischoff
- Ackroyd & Harvey: Presence
- Laura Owens
- Denise Marika: New Works by Denise Marika
- Dorit Cypis: The Body in the Picture
- Artists By 2014
1997, 1998, 2012
Abelardo Morell was born in Havana, Cuba in 1948. He immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1962. Morell received his undergraduate degree in 1977 from Bowdoin College and an MFA from the Yale University School of Art in 1981. In 1997, he received an honorary degree from Bowdoin College.
Morell has received a number of awards and grants, which include a Cintas grant in 1992, a Guggenheim fellowship in 1994, a Rappaport Prize in 2006, and an Alturas Foundation grant in 2009 to photograph the landscape of West Texas. He was the recipient of the International Center of Photography 2011 Infinity Award in Art.
Morell’s work has been collected and shown in many galleries, institutions and museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Art Museum in New York, the Chicago Art Institute, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Houston Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and over seventy other museums in the United States and abroad. A retrospective of his work organized jointly by the Art Institute of Chicago, the Getty and the High Museum in Atlanta will be on view starting in the summer of 2013.
His publications include a photographic illustration of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1998) by Dutton Children’s Books, A Camera in a Room (1995) by Smithsonian Press, A Book of Books (2002) and Camera Obscura (2004) by Bulfinch Press and Abelardo Morell (2005), published by Phaidon Press. Recent publications include a limited edition book by the Museum of Modern Art in New York of his Cliché Verre images, with a text by Oliver Sacks.
He lives with his wife, Lisa McElaney, a filmmaker, and his children Brady and Laura in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Abelardo Morell worked in the Museum galleries periodically for four months making black and white photographs for his fall 1997 show in the special exhibition gallery. His exhibition, which ran from September 18, 1997 to January 3, 1998, was titled Face to Face: Photographs at the Gardner Museum. A catalog containing essays about Morell's work by Jennifer Gross and award winning poet Charles Simic was published in conjunction with the exhibition. The wall text for the show, which was also his exhibition statement read:
"To me these photographs are largely about imaginary conversations among the art and people of this museum.
In some pictures, in order to suggest this interaction, I combined paintings, sculptures and members of the staff through the use of multiple exposure in my camera. Simply put, I exposed only the left half of my film with something from a gallery and later, when I found some interesting counterpart, I exposed that on the right half of the same film.
This "marrying" technique allowed me to create new narratives out of the collection and in a sense this gave me the freedom to see, in a fresh way, the characters so wonderfully alive at the Gardner."
Morell used the carriage house apartment as his studio. As a collection originated with precious books, housed in a structure that is dependent on dramatic contrast between inside and outside, the Gardner was especially receptive to Morell's interest in books and in the co-dependence or co-existence of inside and outside images. While in residence, he explored the relationship between objects and people in the Museum. His paired portraits where two distinct personalities separated by time and space (Tim and Rembrandt, Gardner Museum, for example) share a single frame provoked viewers to reconsider the terms "historical" and "contemporary" as they relate to the Museum's collection.
Morell also gave an Eye of the Beholder lecture and a slide presentation of the photographs he made while in residence, contextualizing the Gardner Museum photographs in a survey of his previous photographs. He elaborated on his sense of the Museum as a living, dynamic collection of art objects, light, and staff.
He completed his residency by sharing his experience of the Museum with students from the Tobin Elementary School and the Lawrence School through the Gardner Museum's School Partnership Program, and came back to the Gardner later that year as a keynote speaker at the Gardner's fourth annual Teacher's Institute, focusing on diversity at the Museum.
Morell's photograph, Tim and Rembrandt, was included in Points of View: 20 Years of Artists-in-Residence at the Gardner, an exhibition celebrating the Museum’s residency program through select works by past participants. This exhibition, which ran from January 19 - August 20, 2012, was created for the debut of the Museum's new wing and renovated spaces.