Montclair Art Museum Presents "Abelardo Morell: Projecting Italy" Opening this October


[October 5, 2022, Montclair, NJ]–The Montclair Art Museum (MAM) is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition, Abelardo Morell: Projecting Italy, opening October 15, 2022.

Boston-based and world-renowned photographer Abelardo Morell has been using the camera obscura since the early 1990s, creating a body of work defined by the contemporary use of a technology that predates the camera. By creating a dark room with no light entering other than through a small pinhole, Morell brings the world outside into the room, projected upside down and in reverse on the opposite wall. The result is a complex layering of interior and exterior views. This exhibition highlights twelve tent camera and camera obscura photographs of sites in Italy in honor of the twentieth anniversary of the Center for Italian Culture at Fitchburg State University.

Morell’s exhibition inaugurates a series of shows at MAM that will focus on the creative contributions of contemporary American and Native American photographers. Abelardo Morell: Projecting Italy was originally organized by the Fitchburg Art Museum (FAM) where it was on view last year. The exhibition at FAM was supported in part by a grant from the Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Endowment at the Center for Italian Culture at Fitchburg State University.

Exhibition and FAM Curator Lauren Szumita, notes: “I am so pleased to have the opportunity to feature Abelardo Morell’s stunning photographs at FAM and in the upcoming show at MAM. His work with the camera obscura is surprisingly revolutionary for all its simplicity and his engagement with the photographic past modernizes the story of the camera obscura. Morell’s work reminds us to take in the magnificence of the mundane, and to notice the often-overlooked details of our world.”

Abelardo Morell was born in Havana, Cuba in 1948, and immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1962. Morell received his undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College and his MFA from The Yale University School of Art. He was Professor of Photography at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston from 1983 to 2010. He has received several awards and grants, including a Guggenheim fellowship in 1994, an Infinity Award in Art from the International Center for Photography in 2011, and a Lucie Award for achievement in fine in November 2017. Most recently, his work was included in the exhibition Ansel Adams in Our Time from 2018-2019 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Abelardo Morell: Projecting Italy will be on view in the McMullen West Gallery from October 15, 2022 to February 12, 2023.


Abelardo Morell's photograph titled 'Camera Obscura: View of Florence from Hotel Exelsior."
Abelardo Morell, Camera Obscura: View of Florence from Hotel Excelsior, Italy, 2017, 30 x 40 inches, Archival pigment print.


About the Montclair Art Museum

The Montclair Art Museum boasts a renowned collection of American and Native American art that uniquely highlights art-making in the United States over the last 300 years. Works in MAM's Native American art collection span the period of ca. 1200 C.E. to the present day. The Vance Wall Art Education Center encompasses the Museum’s educational efforts, including award-winning Yard School of Art studio classes, lectures and talks, family events, tours, and the mobile MAM Art Truck. MAM exhibitions and programs serve a wide public of all ages, from families and seniors to artists, educators, and scholars.

Abelardo Morell: Projecting Italy is made possible with generous support from the Lyn and Glenn Reiter Endowed Special Exhibition Fund, the Susan V. Bershad Charitable Fund, Patti and Jimmy Elliott, Tracy Higgins and James Leitner, Christine James and Nick DeToustain, Toni LeQuire-Schott and Newton B. Schott, Jr., and Margo and Frank Walter.

All MAM programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, The Vance Wall Foundation, Partners for Health Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and Museum members.