Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination


"American artist Joseph Cornell (1903–1972) has been celebrated internationally for his boxes, collages, and films since the 1930s. His mining of far-flung ideas and traditions and elegant integration of woodworking, painting, papering, and drawing define the innovation and visual poetry associated with his work. Above all, he forever altered the concept of the box—from a time-honored functional container into a new art form, the box construction….

His lyrical, often surprising combinations of materials and ideas are usually associated with surrealism, a European art movement that emphasized dreams and poetic dislocation in the 1920s and 1930s. Surrealism, however, was just one of many resources that Cornell called upon as an artist driven by innate curiosity and creativity rather than by theories and formal art training…"

Lynda Roscoe Hartigan
PEM’s Chief Curator and Curator of Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination


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One thought on “Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination

  1. YOW! I saw this exhibit 2wice while it was in SF. WONDERFUL! the book is great too. L.R.H. knows her stuff. I dragged lots of Moleskines with me when I went–my unlined journal, my sketchbook that I use for collage, my first City Notebook–SF–in order to record the whole trip. And of course the pocket lined one as the paper brain. I found the SF notebook to be very useful on both my trips. The maps were invaluable and so was the public transit info. I went scampering around the city my first time there feeling safe and confident, and making notes.

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