The Island of Rota
About the Exhibit
Danforth Art is pleased to present an exhibition of the work of photographer Abelardo Morell: The Island of Rota. These works are from the artist’s book The Island of Rota, which was commissioned and produced by the Library Council of Museum of Modern Art in 2010. The series is a compilation of the work of Morell, designer Ted Muehling, and neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks, and explores the unique natural history of an island in Micronesia. Morell responds to Sacks’s text on the plant life flourishing in a geographically isolated space with images that comment on the passage of geological and botanical time. This exhibition unites two themes present in Morell’s work—the sense of time suspended, and the usage of experimental, yet classic, techniques. Morell is known for using pre-photographic techniques to produce images; the works on view are cliché verres, images made by hand in ink and plant matter and then digitally produced as photographs. The resulting imagery is rich in texture—exquisite still life works that combines a heightened feeling of suspended animation with a modernist sensibility.
About the Artist
Photographer Abelardo Morell lives and works in Boston. He studied at Bowdoin College and received an MFA from Yale University. He has taught at Princeton and was a professor of photography at Massachusetts College of Art until 2009. Morell has produced numerous publications, including A Camera in a Room, A Book of Books, Camera Obscura, and a photographic illustration of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. His work is in many private and public collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art. A retrospective of his work will be on view beginning the summer of 2013, organized jointly by the Art Institute of Chicago, the Getty, and the High Museum in Atlanta.