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Podcast: Joseph Cornell, Surrealism and time

Published 11 September 2015

Listen to a discussion exploring Joseph Cornell’s relationship with Surrealism, his engagement with the concept of time and the ongoing dialogue in his work between the ephemeral and the eternal.

  • Catch up on this event from the RA, in which art historian Professor Dawn Ades discusses Joseph Cornell’s relationship with surrealism – one of the most influential movements of the 20th century. She explains how the collages of Max Ernst influenced him to find his own voice in the assemblage of diverse materials, found objects and images, which prompted a plethora of imaginative and imaginary narratives and associations.

    Ades also compares the constructions by Cornell that contain kinetic elements with other works by Surrealist artists that incorporate movement, and therefore the notion of duration. Duration is one aspect of our experience of time. Considering his sand fountains, collage-books and other unclassifiable constructions, this talk will address Cornell’s preoccupation with the workings of time as a fundamental theme in his work.