Thursday, October 18, 2007

Joseph Cornell

(this piece is WAY better in person. much more colorful)

i went to see the Joseph Cornell exhibit today at the SF MOMA. wow! the exhibit felt so intimate (partially due to the low lighting, the many small sections/rooms of artwork and the art itself) and magical. i didn't know anything about Cornell before seeing the exhibit, and i didn't take away any brochures or anything. but from what i read at the show, from seeing his works and from
this info online, i feel a tenderness for him. i actually got teary at the show. (this happens to me a lot these days when i go to art exhibits.) it seems like even though he was reclusive, he really loved/was intrigued by people and by the mysteries/strangeness of the world. from the little i read at the show, he would become kind of inspired by/obsessed with various people, learn a bunch about them and collect information/magazine articles, etc., and devote numerous artworks to those people (Emily Dickinson being one of many such). and the fact that his first show was one for children, presented at their height, is very sweet. a lot of his works have to do with him remembering his own childhood as well. in addition to being beautiful, his collages and shadowboxes are so playful—a reminder that creating is a playful activity.

anyhow, if you are in SF, i highly recommend going to see it!

the art also seems very relevant to a lot of art happening nowadays—whimsical, surreal, otherworldly, layered.
(not that i have my finger on the pulse of the art world, but i'm basing this on what i see on blogs/flickr and around town.)


jenifer74 said...

i didn't realize he had work there. i've long admired his pieces - glad to know i get to go see a lot of it soon. thanks!

lisa s said...

i love him.
he makes me teary eyed all the time....

hope you are well shash!

gracia + louise said...

So wishing we could go and explore that exhibition - lucky you! From the site it looks as brilliant as we'd expect. Beautiful!

see you,
g & l

pause said...

I like your description of the Cornell artwork - I was about to write about it on my own blog and you captured much of what touches me about his work - I like the way he learns from others and collects items from everyday and incorporates them into his art. I'm finding that's it's some kind of a metaphor for what I would like to do in life -- when I can put it into words, I'll post it on my blog! (