Joseph Cornell: Master of Bricolage

Has there ever been a more masterful artist of found objects? Sometimes considered a surrealist, Cornell was sympathetic, but his temperament didn't lend itself to sensationalism. He favored elegance. Each day Cornell scoured the streets of NYC for objects, then meticulously gathered and cataloged them at his home in Queens, so that he could always reach for the perfect piece. Birds and maps and doll heads and jars were among the core elements of his vocabulary. I just saw an article that observed that collage art was the precursor to sampling, which revolutionized music when it burst out of the Bronx in the 80s.


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