Joseph Cornell

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Joseph Cornell (1903 – 1972) was an American artist, one of the pioneers and most celebrated proponents of assemblage. His most characteristic works assembled found objects within boxed and framed contraptions of many sorts. Collections of photographs or bric a brac, combined the formal austerity of Constructivism with the fantasy of Surrealism. Many of his boxes, such as the “Medici Slot Machine” (1942), are meant to be manipulated by various handles and knobs. Unlike Schwitters, he was fascinated by fragments of once beautiful and precious objects he found on his frequent trips to the bookshops and thrift stores. In addition to creating boxes and flat collages and making short experimental films, Cornell also kept a filing system of over 160 visual "dossiers" on themes that interested him; these served as repositories from which Cornell drew material and inspiration for boxes like his "penny arcade" portrait of Lauren Bacall

Artist images

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Artist external links

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