Joseph Cornell’s Cassiopeia #1 is a surrealist artwork created in 1960. The piece consists of a box containing various items and photographs arranged in a scrapbook design, with the verso displaying text whose meaning remains unclear.
Cornell was an American artist and filmmaker who pioneered assemblage art, heavily influenced by the Surrealists. He often drew inspiration from his childhood and its associated fantasy games evident in his work, including Cassiopeia #1.
The central cosmic image in the artwork is surrounded by an image of Taurus, two metal bars, and a white moon-like ball. These items are arranged to explore the subconscious mind and imagination. A related work by Cornell called Cassiopeia #2 also features a similar arrangement of objects within a box.
Despite being relatively small in size, Joseph Cornell’s boxes remain highly distinctive art pieces. Their unique designs lend them well to exploring how arrangements can express different themes while challenging viewers’ perspectives on art.