Tomorrow night this year’s Infinity Award for art photography will be conferred upon Abelardo Morrell. Morrell is exceedingly popular in this library for his fine books of camera obscura images, and his book of books, among others. They are provocative and inspiring examples of how a well-constructed concept drives an artist to the far reaches of his medium, if he is intrepid enough.
Another thing that inspires the young photographers hereabouts is his intelligent way of managing his legacy. Look at his website.
It is an example I use to demonstrate the value of having all of the critical and bibliographic material together so that the artist provides authoritative information about the context of their own production. It is a library-lover’s way of organizing an artist’s identity.
His latest bibliographic creation is the 2010 publication by MoMA Library Council to benefit their library and archives, The Island of Rota, a collaboration with Oliver Sacks and Ted Muehling.
The writers in his books [including Sacks] are among those I most enjoy reading – Luc Sante, Richard Woodward, and Nicholson Baker.
Morrell is a librarian’s photographer and also a photographer’s photographer, so it is exceedingly fitting that he will be honored by the International Center of Photography [the house that photographers built] at tomorrow evening’s Infinity Awards and ICP’s librarians will be there to cheer.