Friday, 21 August 2015

Joseph Cornell, Wanderlust, Royal Academy of Arts

Joseph Cornell may have worked in the basement but he was looking up at the stars, or more precisely, looking up stars, female ones, in magazines; placing them in his magical boxes. He made one of Greta Garbo but destroyed it when he heard she didn't like it. Birds too, feathered ones. Lots of birds. References to France, perhaps under the spell of Parisian art domination at the turn of the century, still. A romantic. An innocent who never ventured abroad. Boxes as toys, shelves for iconography. Objects such as balls and small glasses. A peep show artist, something always just beyond reach behind the glass, in the dark corners (literal and of the imagination). The sense that entering them would be akin to Alice falling down the hole. The mystery of another mind making things. The surface appearance and the world beneath.

Here's the one photo I got away with taking before being told not to by the guard...

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