Joseph Cornell

Wanderlust

4 July — 27 September 2015

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★★★★

"Spellbinding"

The Telegraph

"I don’t think this exhibition’s achievement can be overstated."

New Statesman

From a basement in New York, Joseph Cornell channelled his limitless imagination into some of the most original art of the 20th century. Step into his beguiling world at this landmark exhibition.

Cornell hardly ventured beyond New York State, yet the notion of travel was central to his art. His imaginary voyages began as he searched Manhattan’s antique bookshops and dime stores, collecting a vast archive of paper ephemera and small objects to make his signature glass-fronted ‘shadow boxes’.

These miniature masterpieces transform everyday objects into spellbinding treasures. Together they reveal his fascination with subjects from astronomy and cinema to literature and ornithology and especially his love of European culture, from the Romantic ballet to Renaissance Italy.

Wanderlust brings together 80 of Cornell’s most remarkable boxes, assemblages, collages and films, some never before seen outside the USA. Entirely self-taught, the independence of Cornell’s creative voice won the admiration of artists from Marcel Duchamp and the Surrealists, to Robert Motherwell and the Abstract Expressionists, with echoes of his work felt in Pop and Minimalist art.

Wanderlust is a long overdue celebration of an incomparable artist, a man the New York Times called “a poet of light; an architect of memory-fractured rooms and a connoisseur of stars, celestial and otherwise.”

Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust is organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London in collaboration with the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

4 July — 27 September 2015

Saturday – Thursday 10am – 6pm
Friday 10am – 10pm

The Sackler Wing, Burlington House

£11.50 (without donation £10). Concessions available. Friends of the RA and under 16s go free.

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