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  • <i>Laura and Brady in the Shadow of Our House</i>, 1994

    Laura and Brady in the Shadow of Our House, 1994

    Gelatin silver print
    The Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Abelardo Morell

    Fatherhood was not a distraction from art-making for Morell, but rather became an integral part of it. Inspired by his young children, he began looking more deliberately; he later wrote, "I started making photographs as if I were a child myself." Moving beyond observation, Morell began constructing the scenes for his photographs. Here, marks scrawled into the dirt combine with the cast shadow of his roof to create an imaginary home for his two children. He combines his own form of image-making, photography, with the rudimentary drawing of childhood.

    Abelardo Morell (American, born Cuba, 1948), Paper Self, 2012
    Paper Self, 2012
    Inkjet print
    High Museum of Art, Atlanta, purchase with funds from Lindsay W. Marshall
    in memory of Fray F. Marshall, 2012.209

    Exhibition Overview

    Over the past twenty-five years, Abelardo Morell has gained international renown for works that employ the language of photography to explore visual surprise and wonder.

    Morell has turned his camera on conveyors of cultural meaning—such as family, books, maps, money, and museums – in extensive series that explore the perception of images. He has experimented with techniques including photograms, still-life tableaux, stop-motion studies, camera obscura, and most recently the tent camera – a portable camera obscura that projects the image of a landscape upon the surface of the ground.

    Now, after decades of working exclusively in black and white, Morell has embraced color and returned to old themes and series to view them in a new spectrum. This retrospective of more than one hundred works made from 1986 to the present traces Morell’s innovative career as he continues to mine the essential strangeness and complexity of images.

    Organization & Support
    The exhibition was organized by The Art Institute of Chicago, in association with the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

    This exhibition is made possible by the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

    Additional support provided by Friends of Morell.

    Generous in-kind support for this exhibition is provided by Tru Vue, Inc. and Gemini Moulding, Inc.

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