A poetic journey in a wooden box: "Joseph Cornell Wanderlust" Exhibition

Imagination is not something that can be easily portrayed or can be felt, but American artist Joseph Cornell is able to create a variety of surreal theaters through clever hands, allowing viewers to be small. In the wooden box, looking at the imagination and flying through the glass, it is like the epitome of a certain journey. But it is hard to imagine that these objects with European sentiments were collected in the United States--because he never left the United States, and his life and his mother and the physically challenged brother lived in New York, in a small The basement slowly pieced together his universe.

 

Text / Polysh Contributing Editor Weng Haoyuan Eric Hao-Yuan Weng

 

Imagination is not something that can be easily portrayed or can be felt, but American artist Joseph Cornell is able to create a variety of surreal theaters through clever hands, allowing viewers to be small. In the wooden box, looking at the imagination and flying through the glass, it is like the epitome of a certain journey. But it's hard to imagine that these things with European sentiments were collected in the United States—because he never left the United States, and lived with his mother and his physically challenged brother in New York, in a small basement. Slowly piece together his universe.

 

Joseph Cornell Habitat Group for a Shooting Gallery, 1943 Mixed media, 39.4 x 28.3 x 10.8 cm Purchased with funds from the Coffin Fine Arts Trust; Nathan Emory Coffin Collection of the Des Moines Art Center, 1975.27 Photo Collection of the Des Moines Art Center (c) The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation/VAGA, NY/DACS, London 2015
Habitat Group for a Shooting Gallery, 1943, Joseph Cornell. Mixed media, 39.4 x 28.3 x 10.8 cm. Purchased with funds from the Coffin Fine Arts Trust; Nathan Emory Coffin Collection of the Des Moines Art Center, 1975.27. Photo Collection of the Des Moines Art Center. © The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation/VAGA, NY/DACS, London 2015. Image Courtesy of Royal Academy of Arts

Royal Academy of Arts, held this summer for Cornell"Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust"The exhibition collected a total of 80 works and pieced together the most complete exhibition in Europe in the past 35 years. He specializes in a wide variety of items, such as Victorian antiques, sealed cans, paper parrots, ceramic toys, etc., through subtle combinations and clever design, so that these items are not only Put it there, but occupy some space, create a different stereo, and a visual feast of fluidity. Each item that is placed, indirectly, builds a unique world and listens to each other's stories by virtue of different emotional connections with individuals.

 

一些他喜歡使用的素材
Some materials that Joseph Cornell likes to use. Image Source: The Joseph Cornell Box.
Joseph Cornell, Untitled (Tilly Losch), c. 1935-38 Box Construction, 25.4 x 23.5 x 5.4 cm Collection of Robert Lehrman, courtesy of Aimee and Robert Lehrman Photo The Robert Lehrman Art Trust, courtesy of Aimee and Robert Lehrman. Photography: Quicksilver Photographers, LLC (c) The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation/VAGA, NY/DACS, London 2015
Untitled (Tilly Losch), c. 1935-38, Joseph Cornell. Box Construction, 25.4 x 23.5 x 5.4 cm. Collection of Robert Lehrman, courtesy of Aimee and Robert Lehrman. Photo The Robert Lehrman Art Trust, courtesy of Aimee and Robert Lehrman Photography: Quicksilver Photographers, LLC © The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation/VAGA, NY/DACS, London 2015. Image Courtesy of Royal Academy of Arts.
Joseph Cornell, Pharmacy, 1943 Box construction, 38.7 x 30.5 x 7.9 cm Collection of Paul Schärer Photo Dominique Uldry (c) The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation/VAGA, NY/DACS, London 2015
Pharmacy, 1943, Joseph Cornell. Box construction, 38.7 x 30.5 x 7.9 cm. Collection of Paul Schärer. Photo Dominique Uldry. © The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation/VAGA, NY/DACS, London 2015. Image Courtesy of Royal Academy of Arts.

Using special or everyday objects, collages or combinations of works of art, today's contemporary art is still one of the most popular creative techniques, such as the many famous works by British artist Damien Hirst, which has been somewhat influenced. It can be seen that 6 or 70 years ago, Cornell had combined the things he had picked up with the ready-made objects, combined with the surrealistic expressions that prevailed at the time, and various kinds of collages, which influenced many artists of later generations. Its influence is enormous, and it is even considered to be the only surrealist artist in the history of the United States, praised by Dadaist master Du Xiang - although Cornell does not want to be labeled, indirectly let his works Surrealism is somewhat related. Throughout his works, he can also find many of his creative techniques, and also lead to the later abstract expressionism, pop art and minimalist art, which is almost the epitome of the art trend in the first half of the 20th century.

 

Joseph Cornell Object (Soap Bubble Set), 1941 Box construction, 46.4 x 31.4 x 9.5 cm The Robert Lehrman Art Trust, Courtesy of Aimee and Robert Lehrman (c) The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation/VAGA, NY/DACS, London 2015
Object (Soap Bubble Set), 1941, Joseph Cornell. Box construction, 46.4 x 31.4 x 9.5 cm. The Robert Lehrman Art Trust, Courtesy of Aimee and Robert Lehrman. © The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation/VAGA, NY/DACS, London 2015. Image Courtesy of Royal Academy of Arts.

However, the most surprising thing is that Cornell has not received professional art training. He spent the rest of his time working to create his own work. Later, he was influenced by the Great Depression and then completely invested in art. Also because he rarely interacts with commercial galleries, although he and many artists at the time are friends and exhibits together, it is not easy to find his work. Because his works are mostly composed of long-lasting objects, the works are quite fragile and the delivery is not easy, which makes the exhibition in RA quite rare. Don't miss out on friends who are interested, until September 27th.

 

Joseph Cornell Naples, 1942 Box construction, 28.6 x 17.1 x 12.1 cm The Robert Lehrman Art Trust, Courtesy of Aimee and Robert Lehrman (c) The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation/VAGA, NY/DACS, London 2015
Naples, 1942, Joseph Cornell. Box construction, 28.6 x 17.1 x 12.1 cm. The Robert Lehrman Art Trust, Courtesy of Aimee and Robert Lehrman. © The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation/VAGA, NY/DACS, London 2015. Image Courtesy Of Royal Academy of Arts.
Joseph Cornell, Palace, 1943 Box construction: Glass-paned, stained wood box with photomechanical reproduction, mirror, spray-painted twigs, wood and shaved bark, 26.7 x 50.5 x 13 cm The Menil Collection, Houston Photo The Menil Collection, Houston. Photography: Hickey-Robertson (c) The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation/VAGA, NY/DACS, London 2015
Palace, 1943, Joseph Cornell. Box construction: Glass-paned, stained wood box with photomechanical reproduction, mirror, spray-painted twigs, wood and shaved bark, 26.7 x 50.5 x 13 cm. The Menil Collection, Houston. Photo The Menil Collection , Houston. Photography: Hickey-Robertson. © The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation/VAGA, NY/DACS, London 2015. Image Courtesy of Royal Academy of Arts.

 

"Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust" Exhibition
Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD
Exhibition period: 2015/07/04 to 2015/09/27
Opening hours: Sat-Thu: 10:00-18:00/ Fri: 10:00-10:00
For more information, please visit the Royal Academy of Arts website.

 

Images Courtesy of Royal Academy of Arts & The Joseph Cornell Box.

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