Abelardo Morell

Bernard Toale Gallery

With this presentation of twenty-five gelatin-silver prints made between 1987 and 2003, Abelardo Morell celebrated a long romance with the history, science, and magic of photomechanical reproduction. The widely admired Cuban-born artist uses a large-format 4 x 5 camera and 8 x 10 negatives to produce elegant black-and-white photographs of books, maps, tabletop still lifes, and currency, as well as camera obscura works. Their wizardry lies in a marriage of skillful composition and conceptual rigor.

Some of Morell’s most striking photos are of books—rare or recent, damaged or untouched—in extreme close-up or in juxtaposition with one another. The photos exhibited here (which were reproduced in his recent monograph, A Book of Books) reveal new ways of looking at the printed page. Detail of Book Damaged by Water, 2001—the largest and most dramatic work in the exhibition—is a photo of a massive

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