168
168
Joseph Cornell
DOVECOTE: APPARENT PLACES OF THE STARS,
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 75,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
168
Joseph Cornell
DOVECOTE: APPARENT PLACES OF THE STARS,
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 75,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

A Private View: Property from the Country Home of Christopher Cone and Stanley J. Seeger

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London

Joseph Cornell
1903 - 1972
DOVECOTE: APPARENT PLACES OF THE STARS,
signed on the reverse
wood construction
37.5 by 24 by 10.5cm., 14¾ by 9½ by 4 1/8 in.
Executed circa 1954-56.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Collection of Julian and Jean Levy, New England
Tajan, Paris, 6 October 2004, lot 103

Exhibited

Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, Joseph Cornell, 1982

Literature

Calvin Tokins, The Collectors: A Reflection of Surrealism. The Julian Levy Collection in New England’, Architectural Digest: The International Magazine of Fine Interior Design, vol. 38, no. 8, August 1981, p. 72, illustrated

Catalogue Note

Joseph Cornell was the one of the most unique and original artists of the 20th century; the original master of the assemblage and an unlikely inheritor of the Surrealist tradition. He was entirely self-taught and worked in a style totally unlike any other artist of his generation. However, through the careful creation of his beguiling boxes, and the slow development of his dreamlike brand of conceptualism, he grew into an overwhelmingly influential figure in the New York art world whose work was acquired by all of the most important museums in America. Most of his works consist of found objects purposefully arranged within small boxes. Purely through these exercises in juxtaposition, the artist was able to conjure all manner of moods and pictorial effects, creating works that seemed dreamlike, uncanny, obscure, and enticing.

The Dovecote works are distinct within Cornell’s oeuvre, notable for their minimalist aura of absence. Formally based on the birdhouses after which they are named, they represent the continuation of an ornithological theme within Cornell’s praxis. In the late 1940s, he had created the hugely popular Aviaries – glass-fronted boxes with reproductions of parrots and cockatoos inside. The Dovecotes are at once their sequitur and their antithesis: blank white where the Aviaries are filled with colourful images, sombre in tone where the Aviaries were jarring and loud. As exemplified by the present work, the Dovecotes represent Joseph Cornell at his most rarefied and elegant. Although Cornell barely ever left New York, he was obsessed by European culture and European sensibilities. Thus, it is entirely fitting that works such as the present came to have an impact on such European visionaries as Jan Schoonhoven, Enrico Castellani, and Piero Manzoni. Cornell was a pioneer of the objet d’art in the post-war period and the present work demonstrates the extraordinary prescience of his style.

A Private View: Property from the Country Home of Christopher Cone and Stanley J. Seeger

|
London