Friday, September 10, 2010

From the Archives - Panorama 4

Photos from "A Dialectic with Joseph Cornell" - Panorama 4

Panorama 4 - A Dialectic with Joseph Cornell

An event for Kern County High School Art Teachers
April 26, 2007 - Bakersfield College - Art Department - 4:30 — 8 pm

Could you use a boost of creativity? Would you like the opportunity to come back to college and "play"?

Panorama 4 - A Dialectic with Joseph Cornell is an opportunity for Kern County visual art teachers to recharge creative batteries, build some assemblage artwork, interact with high school and college colleagues, enjoy dinner with the Dean and the faculty of the BC Art Department, and do it all for free! 

This event will also provide you with the opportunity to tour the BC Art Department (and our recently added digital labs) and reacquaint you with the BC art faculty.

Joseph Cornell, (1903 - 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. He lived in New York City for most of his life, in a wooden frame house on Utopia Parkway in a working-class area of Queens. He lived there with his mother and his brother, Robert, who was afflicted with cerebral palsy.

His most characteristic art work were boxed assemblages created from found objects. These are simple boxes, usually glass-fronted, in which he arranged surprising collections of photographs or Victorian bric-à-brac, in a way that combines the formal austerity of Constructivism with the lively fantasy of Surrealism. Many of his boxes, such as the famous Medici Slot Machine boxes, are interactive and are meant to be handled. Many were created as presents for little girls or for the young actresses and ballerinas whom Cornell adored from a distance. - Wikipedia

Things to consider before building your Cornell-inspired creation:

As with any project, there is a process to get to the final result:
  • research, including exploration and drawing, brainstorming, experimentation with materials
  • gathering objects, choosing and eliminating items and materials, preliminary arrangements
  • building the assemblage, starting with the box, then adding items, textures, paint

According to the authors Joan Sommers and Ascha Drake ("Joseph Cornell Box, Found Objects, Magical Worlds"), Cornell's boxed assemblages can be categorized as:
Consider the type of box which might fit your particular message. Maybe you will find a new direction, and create your own category.

We will have boxes available and many items for you to use in your assemblage. You could also bring some small items, which are meaningful to you, to copy, scan, or photograph.
Items to consider gathering:
  • photos
  • buttons
  • small bottles with lids
  • bottlecaps
  • sand
  • images and text from books
  • postcards
  • calendars
  • engravings
  • patterned paper
  • wallpaper
  • marbled paper
  • printed text
  • press type
  • stamps
  • stencils
  • shells
  • beads
  • sequins
  • fabric
  • tile
  • screws
  • springs
  • clock parts
  • fragments of any of these objects
  • small toys or toy fragments
  • dreams
  • ideas
  • memories
Web links for Joseph Cornell
Smithsonian Retrospective article
NPR 11/03 broadcast
Wikipedia entry for Joseph Cornell
Baseball collage

A few books on Cornell
Joseph Cornell Box, Found Objects, Magical Worlds
Utopia Parkway: The Life And Work Of Joseph Cornell
Dime-Store Alchemy: The Art of Joseph Cornell
Joseph Cornell (Prestel Postcard Books)