Joseph Cornell was an American sculptor who worked in the surrealist and assemblage styles. He created sculptures from found objects that he collected over the years. One of his famous works is Untitled (Solar Set), which he created between 1956-58. This box assemblage is a combination of scientific and mystical elements, showcasing Cornell’s unique artistic style.
The artwork features a collection of various items such as seashells, star maps, and glass globes that are used to depict celestial bodies such as stars and planets within the solar system. The centerpiece of this work is an illuminated planetarium-like device that illuminates the entire creation with its enchanting light. The artist repeated one of his famous motifs, Soap Bubble Set, in this artwork which appears on one side of the box.
Cornell’s obsession with collecting found objects is evident in this piece where he transforms what may seem like discarded or forgotten items into something new and awe-inspiring. By integrating these various elements into a cohesive composition, he created an artwork that celebrates the beauty and mystery of the universe through his exquisite craftsmanship.
Addition: It’s important to note that although Untitled (Solar Set) features scientific components in its representation of outer space, it also reflects Cornell’s interest in esotericism and spirituality, particularly interconnectedness between all things.