Untitled (1942) by Joseph Cornell

Untitled - Joseph Cornell - 1942

Artwork Information

ArtistJoseph Cornell
Dimensions13 1/8 x 10 x 3 1/2 in.
Art MovementSurrealism
Current LocationPrivate collection, New York

About Untitled

The artwork titled “Untitled,” created by the artist Joseph Cornell in 1942, is an embodiment of the Surrealist movement. Its dimensions are 13 1/8 x 10 x 3 1/2 inches, and the genre of the artwork is classified as an installation. This piece is part of a private collection located in New York. The artwork explores the realm of the subconscious through an assemblage of found objects and images within a box, a typical medium for Cornell, who often utilized such encased spaces to construct his enigmatic tableaux.

Upon examining the artwork closely, one is immediately drawn to the intricate layering of objects and images that collectively evoke a sense of mystery and nostalgia. The background appears to be layered with printed material that might suggest a celestial chart or a page from an old textbook. In the foreground, realistic imagery of birds, seemingly cut from audubon-style illustrations, are perched upon a network of wooden dowels and twigs. These birds appear frozen in mid-movement, adding a sense of vitality juxtaposed against the static elements within the box.

The inclusion of what resemble vintage cork bottle stoppers, painted spheres, and a variety of geometric shapes creates a rich landscape of texture and form. These items could represent an assortment of memories or symbolic references, inviting the viewer to navigate the piece both visually and intellectually. Cornell’s work is known for its poetic association with memory and childhood, and this particular untitled artwork emphasizes such a narrative through its dreamlike composition.

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