Joseph Cornell was an American visual artist and filmmaker who is known for his unique and highly influential assemblage style. His work combined found objects, photographs, and other elements to create intricate and enigmatic pieces of art that drew from Surrealism, Dada, Abstract Expressionism, Pop, and even Minimalism. One of his notable works is Untitled (Apollinaris), an installation piece he created around 1954.
Untitled (Apollinaris) exemplifies Cornell’s signature assemblage style. The piece features a wooden box frame with various compartments containing diverse objects such as seashells, marbles, a bird’s nest, paper ephemera like tickets & advertisements etc., carefully arranged to create multiple layers of meaning. The contents are meticulously arranged around a central image of the moon that has been cut out from a magazine illustration. The items surrounding the moon resemble stars in the night sky or fragments of memories from dreams or reality.
Cornell’s shadow boxes are also worth mentioning as one of his most famous artworks. They epitomize the level of detail & delicacy he put into all his pieces to captivate viewers’ visual imagination thoroughly.Two other types Cornell was well-known for were collages and movies that not only demonstrated his meticulousness but also displayed how potent found objects could be in crafting enchanting stories; film personality collages like Rose Hobart being prime examples.