Joseph Cornell (1903 – 1972): An odd-ball, self-taught artist, who I returned to today, because I am bored with the “idea” of painting, but stoked with the “idea” of using my architectural training to manipulate space through mini-light boxes, translucent puppets and interactive art.
Ignorant, as I am, from lack of a formal artistic training, I didn’t know of Joseph Cornell till my husband, a lover of collage, “dumpster diver”, “hoarder of “found” objects” (much to my wifely annoyance!), and a long time fan of Joseph Cornell, with quite a flair of his own for collages – insisted that we go for his Retrospective at the SFMOMA, which ended early this year. I have to admit that being completely unfamiliar with his work, I didn’t really “get” his curious assemblages and boxed art at first sight, except for his large “portraits” of the Russian ballerina, Tamara Toumanova, which was a mre familiar medium.
Today, I am fascinated, more than ever, by this renegade and hugely reclusive artist, who by re-thinking the proverbial box, continues to influence art, design, and illustration.