Joseph Cornell Surrealism

July 1, 2016
Denise McDowell Time to
Joseph Cornell Biography


Utilizing the Surrealist technique of unforeseen juxtaposition, Joseph Cornell's best-known works are glass-fronted cardboard boxes into which he put and arranged Victorian bric-a-brac, old photographs, dime-store trinkets, as well as other discovered elements. Generally described as "shadow cardboard boxes, " the resulting pieces are dream-like miniature tableaux that inspire the audience to see each component in a fresh light. Cornell often used the shadow cardboard boxes to address recurrent themes interesting such as youth, room, and wild birds, and additionally they represented a getaway of types due to their creator, who had been notoriously reclusive. Among the list of earliest samples of assemblage, the shadow containers also helped produce a host of other Modern and Contemporary American art forms, from Installation art to Fluxus bins.

Key A Few Ideas

Cornell's trademark art form could be the shadow box. Infused with a dream-like aura, the shadow containers invite the viewer into Cornell's very own private, magical world. Alternatively called "memory boxes" or "poetic theaters, " the cardboard boxes evoke the memories associated with the items included within, whilst containing parallels with, or articulating reverence for, other art types, such as for example theater, dancing, and movie.

Influenced by Marcel Duchamp's "readymades, " Cornell elevated the discovered object into the center of their oeuvre and embodied a fresh paradigm for the musician as enthusiast and archivist. Usually bought on Cornell's frequent visits to nyc secondhand shops or cut right out from publications, these items comprise the main products of his art; they not just inhabit Cornell's shadow cardboard boxes, they are key to many other areas of his imaginative training, such his famous "dossiers, " of arranged repositories of visual-documentary supply material gathered because of the artist.

Although he was never formally area of the Surrealist action and came to discount the Surrealist label about his own work, Surrealism had been a major impact on Cornell, such as inspiring their embrace of unforeseen juxtapositions. Rejecting Surrealism's violent and erotic aspects, Cornell preferred instead just what he referred to as the "white magic" part of Surrealism embodied by maximum Ernst. Cornell played a major part in America Surrealism; in 1939, their art ended up being famously described by Salvador Dalí as "the sole truly Surrealist work to be located in America."

After Joseph Cornell
After Joseph Cornell
Inside the Joseph Cornell show
Inside the Joseph Cornell show
Rose Hobart (1936) by Joseph Cornell
Rose Hobart (1936) by Joseph Cornell
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