Portrait of the artist © Joseph Cornell Study Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Portrait of the artist © Joseph Cornell Study Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum

The US-American artist Joseph Cornell (1903-1972), who lived a reclusive life in New York State, is known for his sculptural assemblages and experimental films, which secured him a place in the canon of 20th century art. As self-taught artist, Cornell created collages using photographs and found objects – ephemeral and everyday objects that he gathered together, classified and arranged according to his own personal criteria, which were then transformed into box assemblages. Cornell classified the objects he collected with the help of dossiers he kept on a broad variety of subjects, which served as inspiration for his work. Cornell was also inspired by contemporary artists including Max Ernst and Rene Magritte: as a result, his work has been associated with the Surrealist movement, though the artist avoided categorising his own style.

Cornell’s artistic career took off following his solo show at the Charles Eagan Gallery in 1949. His work was met with enthusiasm, and his box assemblages came to define his oeuvre. His work is represented in numerous private and public collections, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. Joseph Cornell died in 1972 in New York.



Solo exhibitions
Navigating the Imagination

Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, USA

Joseph Cornell

Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York, USA

Andromeda Hotel - The Art of Joseph Cornell

Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, New York, USA

Eleven Collages by Joseph Cornell

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California, USA

The Spirit of Joseph Cornell

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, USA

Joseph Cornell: Box Construction and Collages

L&M Arts, New York, USA

Joseph Cornell - Box Constructions and Collages

Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Joseph Cornell

Fundación Juan March, Madrid, Spain

Joseph Cornell

Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, UK

Group exhibitions
Nouvelles Impressions de Raymond Roussel

Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France


Barbara Mathes Gallery, New York, USA

Midnight Party

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Fragments 1915 - 2011: Modern and Contemporary Collage

ACA Galleries, New York, USA

The Unfinished Film

Gladstone Gallery, New York, USA

Surrealism: The Poetry of Dreams

Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia

Welten in der Schachtel: Mary Bauermeister und die experimentelle Kunst der 1960er Jahre

Wilhelm Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen, Germany

Museums in Miniature: Works by Marcel Duchamp and Joseph Cornell

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA

Karsten Greve, 20 ans à Paris

Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris, France

COMING OF AGE. Arte americana dal 1850 al 1950

Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy

Selections from the Collection of Helga & Walther Lauffs

Hauser & Wirth, Zurich

Lights, Camera, Action: Artists’ Films for the Cinema

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA

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