A Parrot for Juan Gris by Joseph Cornell

A Parrot for Juan Gris - Joseph Cornell - 1953

Artwork Information

TitleA Parrot for Juan Gris
ArtistJoseph Cornell
Dimensions17 3/4 x 12 3/16 x 4 5/8 in.
Art MovementSurrealism

About A Parrot for Juan Gris

The artwork titled “A Parrot for Juan Gris” is a creation by the artist Joseph Cornell from the year 1953, encapsulating the essence of the Surrealist movement. This installation piece, with its dimensions measuring 17 3/4 x 12 3/16 x 4 5/8 inches, presents a compelling visual narrative within the confines of an intimate space.

At the center of the artwork, an avian figure resembling a parrot is positioned prominently, constructed from what appears to be paper or lightweight material with a white hue ornamented with patches of color. This parrot is set against a backdrop composed of various pieces of printed paper, including what looks like pages from a newspaper or a journal, specifically bearing the title “L’ECONOMISTE”. This layering of printed materials lends the artwork an eclectic texture and a palimpsestic quality, reflecting the diverse elements that coalesce in Cornell’s signature assemblage style.

There is an intriguing blend of printed texts, graphics, and the central representation of the parrot, which comes together in a carefully curated box. Subtle embellishments, such as a spherical object at the bottom and what appears to be a wine glass stem, create a sense of depth and dimensionality. The enclosing wooden box frames the composition, offering both a physical boundary and a conceptual entry point into Cornell’s world.

Cornell’s work is often marked by a sense of nostalgia and a fascination with the ephemeral. In this particular installation, there is a dialogue created between the tangible elements and the intangible thoughts they may evoke, resonating with the Surrealist’s desire to explore the unconscious and the dream-like realms of experience.

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