Friday, 21 August 2015

Joseph Cornell at the Royal Academy of Arts

Wanderlust is an exhibition currently showing at the Royal Academy of Arts showcasing Joseph Cornell's finest work. Cornell was an artist and sculptor who was greatly influenced by the Surrealists. His limitless imagination resulted in some of the most original art of the 20th century.

Cornell's most characteristic art works were glass-fronted boxed assemblages created from found objects, sourced from places such as Manhattan's antique bookshops, junk shops and dime stores. He was fascinated by the fragments of once beautiful and precious objects, relying on the Surrealist technique of irrational juxtaposition and on the evocation of nostalgia for his appeal. These boxed assemblages reflected his various interests, the series included: The Soap Bubble Sets, the Medici Slot Machine series, the Pink Palace series, the Hotel series, among others.

In the late 1930s Cornell began his Aviary series, one he would work on until his death. His aviary series of boxes depicted colourful cut out birds mounted on wood, they were often starkly juxtaposed with hotel paraphernalia, foreign newspaper clippings, European advertisements, theatre and dance programmes.
Untitled (Cockatoo and Corks) c. 1948
Untitled (The Hotel Eden) c. 1945
Habitat Group for a Shooting Gallery 1943
Untitled (Pharmacy) 1943

At Alfies we have objects that we think Cornell would have gladly added to his collection to create a surreal masterpiece. Here's what we found...

Italina Murano perfume bottle c1950, offered by Travers Antiques

Morphine apothecary’s bottle, offered by Atomiuim

A selection of vintage hotel cocktail stirrers. Offered by Renato

A corner of Paola & Iaia's shop

Victorian Massi livestock rotating numbers branding tool iron stamp, offered by Eclectic Antiques & Contemporary

1960s Valve Television Set, offered by Eclectic Antiques & Contemporary

Joseph Cornell Wanderlust
The Royal Academy of Arts
4 July — 27 September
Saturday – Thursday 10am – 6pm
Friday 10am – 10pm

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