American artist Joseph Cornell was a pioneer of assemblage art, creating curious worlds in his boxes of found objects. In 1940, he created “Object (Abeilles),” which translates to “Object (Bees)” in English. This box features a glass front with a landscape of flowers and bees painted on it. Inside, there are several small compartments filled with various items such as dried flowers, paper cutouts of birds and bees, a butterfly wing, and tiny jars filled with honey-colored liquids.
Cornell’s use of unexpected juxtaposition is evident in this piece as he combines natural elements like flowers and bees with man-made objects like the small glass jars. The box creates a feeling of nostalgia for childhood moments spent exploring nature and collecting treasures.
“Object (Abeilles)” is an excellent example of Cornell’s signature style that merges art forms such as literature, poetry, sculpture, cinema and more into one poetic imagery medium. The intricate details found in this piece reflect the artist’s deep fascination with the natural world.