Flowers for Lisa: A Delirium of Photographic Invention

Abrams. 2018. 144p. photos. notes. ISBN 9781419732331. $75. PHOTOG
The artist’s process—and the relationships that motivate the individual art maker—are at the very heart of every art practice. What started out for Cuban-born American photographer Morell (b. 1948) as a single image created for his wife’s birthday became an extended series that explores the myriad possibilities of the flower still-life genre. This subtitle accurately conveys the riotous colors and wild forms in the 76 beautifully printed color still-lifes included here. A Q&A interview of the artist conducted by journalist and author Lawrence Weschler (New York Inst. for the Humanities, New York Univ.) explores Morell’s career-long fascination with issues of perception and photography. Morell’s psychotherapist wife, Lisa McElaney, contributes a perceptive essay both about the artworks and her relationship with the artist.
VERDICT Using collage, multiple exposure, mixed media, and making reference to art traditions classic and modern, Morell’s images are a delight for both fans of the genre and for those interested in how this singular contemporary artist pursues his craft.
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