32 Joseph Cornell Paintings

Joseph Cornell

Joseph Cornell (1903-1972) was an American artist and sculptor best known for his innovative boxes, collages, and assemblages. Born and raised in Nyack, New York, Cornell had a deep fascination with collecting and arranging objects from a young age. His intricate and dream-like artworks often featured found objects, old photographs, and ephemera arranged in small glass-fronted boxes. Cornell's work is often associated with the Surrealist and Dada movements, though he preferred to describe his creations as "poetic theaters" or "shadow boxes." He was a reclusive artist who worked primarily in his basement studio in Queens, New York, where he created hundreds of boxes over his lifetime. Today, Cornell is considered one of the most significant American artists of the 20th century, known for his unique approach to art-making and his ability to create captivating and mysterious worlds within his boxes. His work has been exhibited in major museums and galleries around the world, solidifying his legacy as a pioneering figure in the world of assemblage and collage art.

1. Untitled (Dieppe)

Untitled (Dieppe)

The artwork, titled "Untitled (Dieppe)," created by Joseph Cornell in 1958, is an installation piece associated with the Surrealism movement. Enclosed in a wooden box, the artwork features a meticulously arranged composition, including a clock face, metallic loops, and a fragment of text reading "Dieppe," set against an abstract background of layered materials. Cornell's use of everyday objects assembled into a three-dimensional collage exemplifies his signature style and invites a contemplation of memory, time, and the surreal qualities of ordinary items.

2. Cassiopeia 1 (Verso)

Cassiopeia 1 (Verso)

"**Cassiopeia 1 (Verso)**," created in 1960 by Joseph Cornell, is a surrealist installation that showcases two prominent circular compositions adorned with intricate constellations. The circles are set against a background featuring texts and celestial imagery, evoking a dreamy and enigmatic atmosphere. This piece is part of the art movement known as Surrealism, which often delves into the realms of the unconscious and dreams. The use of celestial motifs and the layered construction of the artwork draw the viewer into a contemplative space, reflecting Cornell's fascination with the cosmos and the interplay of the mystical and the mundane.

3. Cassiopeia 1

Cassiopeia 1

"**Cassiopeia 1**," created by **Joseph Cornell** in **1960**, is an installation artwork representative of the **Surrealism** art movement. The artwork is contained within a glass-fronted shadow box, featuring a constellation motif prominently displayed against a dark, celestial background. Various elements, including spherical objects and abstract forms, are carefully arranged within the confined space, evoking a sense of cosmic wonder and intrigue. The juxtaposition of objects within a spatial environment invites viewers to explore themes of astronomy, imagination, and the subconscious, hallmark elements intrinsic to **Surrealism**.

4. Verso Of Cassiopeia #1

Verso Of Cassiopeia #1

"Verso Of Cassiopeia #1," crafted by Joseph Cornell, embodies a meticulous collage aesthetic, featuring two circular depictions of celestial constellations, meticulously rendered with intricate astronomical motifs. The artwork, infused with a sense of vintage mysticism, juxtaposes celestial maps alongside disparate elements such as a serene classical statue and fragmentary textual pieces, evoking a contemplative exploration of the cosmos and classical antiquity. This assemblage illuminates Cornell's distinctive narrative style, merging the realms of science and art into a cohesive visual dialogue.

5. Cassiopeia #1

Cassiopeia #1

"Cassiopeia #1" is an artwork by Joseph Cornell. The artwork is a boxed assemblage that visually captures an abstract celestial scene. This piece, encased in a wooden frame with a glass front, combines various materials and objects, including a small spherical object and star-like markings. Its composition evokes a sense of cosmic mystery and introspection, characteristic of Cornell's unique style of collage and assemblage, which often draws inspiration from astronomy and dream-like narratives.

6. Defense d'Afficher

Defense d'Afficher

The artwork, titled "Défense d'Afficher," was created by Joseph Cornell in 1939 and is associated with the Surrealism art movement. It is an installation piece with dimensions of 8 15/16 x 13 15/16 x 2 1/8 inches. The composition features a juxtaposition of a silhouetted figure against a background framed in red, paired with a three-dimensional representation of a woman in a flowing dress. These elements are set against a stark black background, accompanied by a row of small colored spools at the bottom, creating a visually engaging and thought-provoking assemblage.

7. A Swan Lake for Tamara Toumanova

A Swan Lake for Tamara Toumanova

The artwork titled "A Swan Lake for Tamara Toumanova," created by Joseph Cornell in 1946, encompasses photostats on wood, complemented by blue glass and mirrors. Measuring 9 1/2 by 13 by 4 inches, the artwork features a serene blue-toned depiction of a swan surrounded by feathers. The intricate use of mirrors and blue glass enhances the depth and tranquility of the scene, creating a reflective and immersive experience.

8. L'Egypte de Mlle Cleo de Merode cours

L'Egypte de Mlle Cleo de Merode cours

The artwork titled "L'Egypte de Mlle Cleo de Merode cours" was created by the artist Joseph Cornell in 1940 and belongs to the Surrealism movement. The installation measures 4 11/16 x 10 11/16 x 7 1/4 inches. The artwork is a wooden box that opens to reveal an array of small glass bottles with cork stoppers, accompanied by various papers and artifacts. The interior lid of the box displays a marbled background with ornate lettering and imagery evoking a natural history course on Egypt. The meticulous assembly of items within the box exemplifies Cornell's distinctive approach to combining mundane objects into evocative, dreamlike compositions that transcend ordinary reality.

9. Untitled (Window Facade)

Untitled (Window Facade)

The artwork, titled "Untitled (Window Facade)" and created by Joseph Cornell circa 1950, has dimensions of 18 5/8 x 12 3/8 x 3 1/2 inches. This piece exhibits a meticulous construction resembling a window facade, characterized by a grid-like arrangement of white slats framed within a yellow-hued border. The structured composition and use of everyday materials evoke a sense of nostalgia and introspection, hallmark traits of Cornell's oeuvre.

10. A Parrot for Juan Gris

A Parrot for Juan Gris

The artwork, titled "A Parrot for Juan Gris," created by Joseph Cornell in 1953, is a surrealist installation marked by its dimensions of 17 3/4 x 12 3/16 x 4 5/8 inches. The piece features a parrot within a glass-fronted wooden box, surrounded by an assemblage of paper clippings and objects, contributing to a three-dimensional collage effect. The composition exemplifies the dream-like and unconventional qualities characteristic of the Surrealist movement.

11. Grand Hotel Semiramis

Grand Hotel Semiramis

"Grand Hotel Semiramis" is a Surrealist construction artwork created by Joseph Cornell in 1950. Measuring 18 x 11 7/8 x 4 inches, it is classified as an installation piece and is currently held in a private collection in New York. The artwork features an assemblage with a parrot figure, a cage-like structure, and a plaque reading "Grand Hotel Semiramis," embodying Cornell's signature style of poetic juxtaposition and whimsical nostalgia within contained spaces.

12. Habitat Group for a Shooting Gallery

Habitat Group for a Shooting Gallery

"Habitat Group for a Shooting Gallery," created by Joseph Cornell in 1943, exemplifies the Surrealism movement through its peculiar combination of objects and images within an enclosed space. Measuring 15 1/2 by 11 1/8 by 4 1/4 inches, this installation artwork features vintage prints of birds juxtaposed against a backdrop of seemingly random ephemera. The artwork is encased in a glass-fronted wooden box, creating a diorama effect that evokes a sense of curiosity and contemplation. Splotches of vibrant paint and fragments of text interspersed throughout the composition contribute to its dreamlike and whimsical quality.

13. Object (Abeilles)

Object (Abeilles)

"Object (Abeilles)," created by Joseph Cornell in 1940, is a Surrealist installation measuring 9 1/8 x 14 1/8 x 3 7/16 inches. The artwork presents a thought-provoking scene rendered within a wooden box frame, depicting a group of historically dressed figures seemingly engaged in an action scene. The backdrop showcases a serene yet surreal landscape. The installation incorporates text, with the phrase "Les abeilles ont attaqué le bien edele pair" prominently displayed, adding an enigmatic literary element to the visual narrative. The juxtaposition of these elements channels the dream-like and uncanny aesthetic characteristic of the Surrealism movement.

14. Object (Roses des Vents)

Object (Roses des Vents)

The artwork titled "Object (Roses des Vents)", created by Joseph Cornell in 1953, represents the Surrealism movement and is an installation piece currently housed at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. With dimensions of 2 5/8 x 21 1/4 x 10 3/8 inches, the artwork exhibits a meticulously arranged box. The composition features a map on the inside of the lid and intricately organized compartments filled with various small objects and materials. Each section seems to evoke a sense of curiosity and wonder, characteristic of the surrealistic exploration of the unconscious mind. The balanced yet enigmatic arrangement invites viewers to delve into a whimsical journey through time and space.

15. Tilly Losch

Tilly Losch
  • Artwork Name: Tilly Losch
  • Year: 1935
  • Dimensions: 10 x 9 1/4 x 2 1/8 in.

"Tilly Losch" is an installation artwork by Joseph Cornell, created in 1935 and belonging to the Surrealism art movement. The artwork, measuring 10 x 9 1/4 x 2 1/8 inches, features a whimsical scene enclosed within a box. At its center is a delicate doll figure, dressed in a blue dress adorned with a red flower, seemingly suspended and supported by strings, reminiscent of a marionette or dancer. The backdrop depicts a serene mountainous landscape, enhancing the dreamlike quality typical of Surrealist works.

16. Toward the Blue Peninsula

Toward the Blue Peninsula

"Toward the Blue Peninsula," created by Joseph Cornell in 1952, is an installation artwork embodying the principles of Surrealism. The piece, measuring 10 5/8 x 14 15/16 x 3 15/16 inches, portrays a sense of depth and curiosity with its assemblage of found objects. The composition features a window-like frame looking out to a serene blue sky, bordered by a mesh net and wooden elements that evoke a feeling of entrapment juxtaposed with the idea of escape. This intriguing blend of mystery and expressiveness is characteristic of the Surrealist movement.

17. Untitled (Apollinaris)

Untitled (Apollinaris)

The artwork, titled "Untitled (Apollinaris)," was created by Joseph Cornell in 1954 and is part of the Surrealism movement. It is an installation piece with dimensions measuring 15 15/16 x 9 3/4 x 4 3/8 inches. The artwork features a shallow, glass-fronted box containing various printed materials including hotel names and other text alongside an idyllic illustration of cherubs and birds. The assemblage evokes a sense of nostalgia and poetic juxtapositions, characteristic of Cornell's surrealist aesthetic.

18. Untitled (Bebe Marie)

Untitled (Bebe Marie)

"Untitled (Bebe Marie)", created in 1940 by Joseph Cornell, is a surrealist installation currently housed at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. With dimensions of 23 3/8 x 12 5/16 x 5 1/4 inches, the artwork features a doll encased behind a network of intricately arranged branches, creating a dreamlike and enigmatic composition that epitomizes the surrealist exploration of the uncanny and subconscious.

19. Untitled (Cockatoo and Corks)

Untitled (Cockatoo and Corks)

The artwork, "Untitled (Cockatoo and Corks)" by Joseph Cornell, created in 1948, is a notable example of surrealist installation art. Measuring 14 3/8 x 13 1/2 x 5 5/8 inches and held in a private collection, the piece captures a whimsical composition within a wooden box frame. It features a delicate representation of a cockatoo perched on a branch, surrounded by various corks and compartments, embodying Cornell's distinctive assemblage style which often evokes a sense of dreamlike nostalgia and curiosity.

20. Untitled (Grand Owl Habitat)

Untitled (Grand Owl Habitat)

The artwork titled "Untitled (Grand Owl Habitat)" is a surrealist installation created by Joseph Cornell in 1946. Measuring 24 x 13 1/8 x 4 13/16 inches, the piece prominently features a detailed depiction of an owl set within a structured, grid-like enclosure. The meticulous arrangement and the enigmatic presence of the owl evoke a sense of curiosity and contemplation, characteristic of the Surrealism movement. The dark, earthy tones of the habitat contrast with the striking appearance of the owl, creating a compelling visual narrative.

21. Untitled (Hotel du Cygne)

Untitled (Hotel du Cygne)

The artwork, titled "Untitled (Hotel du Cygne)", was created by Joseph Cornell in 1955 and belongs to the Surrealism art movement. As an installation piece, it measures 19 3/16 x 12 3/4 x 4 1/2 inches. The piece features a dark, shadow-box frame presenting a collage of vintage advertisements and illustrations. Dominated by a blue and white palette, it includes textual elements, evoking a nostalgic and dreamlike ambience that is characteristic of Cornell's surrealist approach. The juxtaposition of images and text invites viewers into a whimsical, almost enigmatic space reminiscent of a bygone era.

22. Untitled (Medici Boy)

Untitled (Medici Boy)

The artwork, "Untitled (Medici Boy)," created by Joseph Cornell in 1952, is a notable piece within the Surrealist movement. This installation measures 13 15/16 x 11 3/16 x 3 7/8 inches and is part of the Estate of Joseph Cornell. The composition features a central portrait of a young boy from the Medici family, framed within a shadow box that includes various compartments and grid patterns, evoking a sense of mystery and nostalgia. The meticulous arrangement of images and found objects in the artwork reflects Cornell's unique ability to transform everyday materials into poetic and dreamlike assemblages.

23. Untitled (Medici Prince)

Untitled (Medici Prince)

The artwork, titled "Untitled (Medici Prince)" and created by Joseph Cornell in 1952, is an installation piece associated with the Surrealism art movement. Measuring 15 1/2 x 11 1/2 x 5 inches, the piece exhibits Cornell's signature style, incorporating elements such as a subdued portrait and an assemblage of intricate grids, patterns, and miniature photographs. The central figure, depicted in a monochrome blue hue, is juxtaposed with a variety of visual motifs, evoking a sense of mystery and historical contemplation that epitomizes the ethos of Surrealism.

24. Untitled (Medici Princess)

Untitled (Medici Princess)

The artwork, titled "Untitled (Medici Princess)" and created in 1948 by Joseph Cornell, is a surrealist installation currently held in a private collection. Measuring 17 5/8 x 11 1/8 x 4 3/8 inches, this piece exemplifies Cornell's signature assemblage technique. The central focus is an archival image of a noble princess, likely from the Medici lineage, set within a wooden shadow box frame. The image is flanked by meticulously arranged compartments containing miniature artifacts, photographs, maps, and various symbolic objects that evoke a sense of nostalgia and historical reverie, inviting viewers to explore the layers of time and memory embedded within the artwork.

25. Untitled (Paul and Virginia)

Untitled (Paul and Virginia)

The artwork, "Untitled (Paul and Virginia)" by Joseph Cornell, created in 1948, is an installation piece that reflects the Surrealism movement. Measuring 12 1/2 x 9 15/16 x 4 3/8 inches, the artwork is a conceptual assemblage featuring a collage of text and images on its left panel that seems to narrate a story. The right side of the piece contains various three-dimensional elements, including blue blocks and a central compartment with a small circular window revealing a serene scene inside. This intricate construction invites viewers to explore its multifaceted layers and ponder the connections between its disparate components.

26. Untitled (Penny Arcade Portrait of Lauren Bacall)

Untitled (Penny Arcade Portrait of Lauren Bacall)

The artwork, an installation titled "Untitled (Penny Arcade Portrait of Lauren Bacall)" by Joseph Cornell, created in 1946, is a testament to the Surrealism movement. Measuring 20 1/2 x 16 x 3 1/2 inches, the piece intertwines various elements to create a complex, layered portrait of Lauren Bacall. Encased within a wooden frame, the focal point features multiple photographic fragments of Bacall arranged amidst a backdrop of dark hues and reflective surfaces, evoking an enigmatic and contemplative ambiance. This composition, both meticulous and thought-provoking, resonates with the surrealist ethos of exploring the unconscious mind and the dreamlike state.

27. Untitled (Pharmacy)

Untitled (Pharmacy)

The artwork, titled "Untitled (Pharmacy)" and created by Joseph Cornell in 1943, belongs to the Surrealism art movement and is classified as an installation. Measuring 15 1/4 x 12 x 3 1/8 inches, the artwork features an arrangement of glass jars housed within a wooden frame. Each jar contains various small objects, including butterfly wings, photographs, and other intriguing items, evoking a sense of curiosity and exploration that is characteristic of Surrealist art. The meticulously organized display creates a visual narrative that invites viewers to delve into the subconscious and interpret the symbolic meanings behind the assembled artifacts.

28. Untitled (Pink Palace)

Untitled (Pink Palace)

"Untitled (Pink Palace)", a 1948 surrealist installation by Joseph Cornell, measures 10 x 16 7/16 x 3 3/4 inches and is housed in the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco. The artwork features a meticulously crafted representation of a grand palace, providing a dreamlike and fantastical essence emblematic of Surrealism. The palace stands starkly against a dark, star-speckled background, framed by abstract textures that evoke an ethereal forest, creating a striking contrast and inviting viewers into an imaginative and mysterious realm.

29. Untitled (Soap Bubble Set)

Untitled (Soap Bubble Set)

The artwork titled "Untitled (Soap Bubble Set)" by Joseph Cornell, created in 1936, is a quintessential example of Surrealism and installation art. Measuring 15 3/4 by 14 1/4 by 5 7/16 inches, the installation is a meticulously crafted assemblage presented within a shadow box frame. Central to the composition is a vintage map of the moon, labeled "Carte Géographique de la Lune," providing a celestial backdrop. Surrounding this are three cylindrical containers, a glass containing an egg, and a sculpted head on a pedestal, alongside various objects including bubble pipes. The arrangement of eclectic items generates a dream-like narrative, evocative of Cornell's preoccupation with themes of nostalgia, astronomy, and the surreal.

30. Untitled (Solar Set)

Untitled (Solar Set)

The artwork titled "Untitled (Solar Set)" by Joseph Cornell, created in 1958, belongs to the Surrealism art movement and measures 11 1/2 x 16 1/4 x 3 5/8 inches. This installation is part of the Donald Karshan Collection in New York. The artwork features an intricate assemblage of elements placed within a wooden box frame, including scientific charts, glass vessels, and spherical objects. The composition evokes themes of astronomy and cosmic order, manifesting Cornell's fascination with the intersection of art and science. The precise arrangement of objects and the interplay of light and shadow contribute to the dreamlike and contemplative quality characteristic of Surrealist works.

31. Untitled (The Hotel Eden)

Untitled (The Hotel Eden)

"Untitled (The Hotel Eden)" is a 1945 installation artwork by Joseph Cornell, created in the surrealism art movement and currently housed in the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. The artwork measures 15 1/8 x 15 3/4 x 4 3/4 inches and encapsulates a distinct surrealist aesthetic. It features a wooden box structure containing various objects, including a colorful parrot, a cracked sign evoking the name "The Hotel Eden", a wooden egg, and a small spiral motif. Each element is meticulously arranged to create an evocative tableau that invites viewers into a dreamlike, mysterious narrative.

32. Untitled

  • Artwork Name: Untitled
  • Year: 1942
  • Dimensions: 13 1/8 x 10 x 3 1/2 in.

The artwork, titled "Untitled" and created by Joseph Cornell in 1942, is a Surrealist installation piece measuring 13 1/8 x 10 x 3 1/2 inches. Currently housed in a private collection in New York, the artwork exemplifies Cornell's distinctive style. Encased within a box, the piece features meticulously arranged elements, including illustrations of birds perched on branches, interspersed with numerical and diagrammatic notations. This collage of natural and abstract forms evoke a dreamlike curiosity, consistent with the core tenets of the Surrealist art movement.

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