Archives for posts with tag: Joseph Cornell

Third and final installment of my conversation with David Cook…

London Eyeball

Jasper Johns Target with Four Faces 1955 Jasper Johns: Target with Four Faces 1955

On 5th September 2015, Richard Guest and I visited the Joseph Cornell exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. We continued to talk about the show via email for a number of weeks. This is the final part of that electronic conversation – you can read part two here.

Richard: It’s a fine line. But I think Cornell is so involved with the process he discovered that the work comes across as warm, genuine and generous. He’s working hard at making poetic images. The evidence is in the work. Everything is considered.  To me, Toward the Blue Peninsula: for Emily Dickinson, c. 1953 looks like an embryonic Louise Bourgouis work. I wonder how much of an influence Cornell was on her. There are other works that remind me of other artists. Planet Set, Tête Etoilée, Giuditta Pasta (dédicace) 1950 is strongly reminiscent of Jasper…

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Part two of my conversation with David Cook…

London Eyeball

Joseph Cornell, Untitled (Tilly Losch), c. 1935-38 Joseph Cornell, Untitled (Tilly Losch), c. 1935-38

On 5th September 2015, Richard Guest and I visited the Joseph Cornell exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. We continued to talk about the show via email for a number of weeks. This is the second part of that electronic conversation – you can read part one here.

Richard: Except in a broad sense, I don’t see autobiography in Cornell’s work. He did not travel much outside Flushing, New York – he was a carer for his brother and mother, and a lot of biogs refer to his reclusiveness. So, I think a lot of the boxes are products of isolation – they spring from a yearning to escape the day-to-day routine. Although some titles refer to specific events or people, I don’t think Cornell had any connection with many of them beyond fantasy. For example, I Googled Tilly Losch – she was also known as…

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London Eyeball

On 5th September 2015, Richard Guest and I visited the Joseph Cornell exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. We continued to talk about the show via email for a number of weeks. Here is the result of that electronic conversation.

Joseph Cornell: Naples, 1942 Joseph Cornell: Naples, 1942

David: This show was a show that we were both very keen to see, and I don’t think either of us was disappointed. I wouldn’t say that I loved every piece, but the ones that caught my eye were intriguing, atmospheric and formally perfect. You would need to look at them for a very long time to really appreciate all their qualities.

You had a much better idea of his work than I did before we went – I was eager to go based on his reputation. And Cornell’s reputation is very strong among contemporary art audiences …I am curious about why that is. He is…

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Utopia Parkway (I), 2012

Utopia Parkway (II), 2012

Utopia Parkway (III), 2012

These shots were taken at various locations in Central London, UK.

Utopia Parkway is a biography of the artist Joseph Cornell by Deborah Solomon. It was published in 1997. The title is also the name of the road Cornell lived on.

The book is a fascinating mixed bag – Solomon is meticulous in laying out the facts about Cornell’s life and working practices on the one hand and irritatingly speculative about the man’s psychological motivations on the other. I’d definitely read it again, because Cornell is such an interesting character and artist, who inhabited an historical intersection where Surrealism, Pop and Hollywood met (the actor Tony Curtis was an early, and avid, American collector and supporter of Cornell’s work). Get it in the Pimlico edition if you can – it’s very nicely designed.

And here’s the first paragraph:

Why does anyone grow up to be an artist? There are many different routes to the artistic life, but in most cases a person turns to art for an almost disappointingly logical reason: he realises in his youth that he possesses a talent for drawing. At some point he sits down with a pencil and a sheet of paper and discovers an ability to bring people and objects to life; he lays claim to a gift that sets him apart from other children.

In our house, the book can be found: sitting room, right-hand bookshelves, third shelf down.

This post is dedicated to Terry in trying times. Thanks for sending me to the bookshelf in search of ideas, Terry.

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A quick advert for Cheryl Moore’s Unbound Boxes Limping Gods, which is now on issue 50. If you like great fiction and fine illustrations, it’s well worth a look.

Thanks to John and Deanne, who infected me with the titling bug. Super thanks to Deanne for  tag ideas etc (and for bitter-sweet and brilliant posts every day). And also to Richard at CK Ponderings for being a cool collaborator. A round-up of our last 5 collaborations will be published tomorrow on Richard’s blog. Please check it out!