"Joseph Cornell (December 24, 1903 December 29, 1972) was an American artist and sculptor, one of the pioneers and most celebrated exponents of assemblage. Influenced by the Surrealists, he was also an avant-garde experimental filmmaker. (Wikipedia, 2009)"
To view my first article with Joseph Cornell's magical collages, click here.
While there, note the three books at Amazon.com by and about the artist in the advertisement at the bottom of the article.
I hope no one is offended by any of the following images, some of which may seem to disparage women. Taken all together, they seem to me to idolize women if distortion there be; and judging from Cornell's corpus of works at Artnet's Artist Works Catalogues, I believe that what may seem to be "disparaging" was simply the artist's outrage at the condition of many women he loved or knew about.
'Artists who work with found materials are frequently described as making something out of nothing. This characterization is based on the estimation that the salvaged materials are ordinary, their value transitory or forgotten, and their existence ephemeral until the artist has intervened and provided them with a new reality or reason for being. Cornell's interest in the ordinary and fleeting was so elevated that he named it the "metaphysique d'ephemera," suggesting that literal things can create an elaborate and subtle form of magic. - Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, Joseph Cornell: Shadowplay... Eterniday, p. 23'
Untitled (circa 1931)
The words in single quotation marks and the images are all presented courtesy of Artnet's Artist Works Catalogues. See here.