Archive for joseph cornell

Assemblage – boxing clever art

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY with tags , , on January 27, 2010 by echostains

Too much is just too mind boggling

As you can see from this pic, I love assemblage.  I bought these old print trays and had absolutely no trouble filling them full of tiny bits of ephemera!

what does this section say?

The real art of assemblage (as it is an art form) is when the assembled pieces make a statement or ‘speak’ to the viewer by affecting their sense in some way.  Sometimes there are prompts like printed material, bits of old adverts.  Sometimes nostalgia for one of the objects can cause the viewer to make links over all, so that the piece becomes a statement in itself.

Joseph Cornell boxes clever

Whenever I hear the word  assemblage, the name Joseph Cornell  springs to mind (b. America 1903 -72).  He is linked with the Surrealists and used lots of found objects which he boxed and made art from.

observatory box joseph cornell

Whole poems can be made from the relationships of the assembled pieces – they communicate differently to the idividual.  Some of these relationships may seem incongruous – but a kind of sense can always made (even if this sense cannot be stated in words).  I think it is in our nature to try to make sense of the nonsensical sometimes – even though we sometimes have to accept that life is sometimes – well just random!

By their fruits ye shall know them by Dale Copeland

Another artist who I greatly admire is New Zealand artist Dale Copeland.  I defy anyone not to find poetry in her work.  Some of the pieces are very whimsical, some esorterically puzzling, like the nature of the Sphinx- but all inspirational and thought-provoking.  She must have boxes of found objects in her house!  Perhaps this is what I should be doing with all the little things I can’t bear to part with lol!


Dale Copeland’s fabulous assemblages HERE


Altered art book page 17 continued: Treasured junk

Posted in ART, MY ALTERED ART BOOK PAGES with tags , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2009 by echostains




Continuing page 17 in my Altered art book, I mentioned before that one mans junk is sometimes another man’s treasure.  But how about discarded things coming together, or being delibrately brought together to make art?  Connections being made, alliances, partnerships formed to communicate a message?



One person who does this is New Zealand artist Dale Copeland. I have always admired her assemblages.  She takes the found objects, marries them and makes them sing!  Her pieces are quirky, witty, thought provoking: sometimes they are like little poems or bits of prose. They also leave space for you to provide the punchline. 



I am always affected by looking at these assemblages.  There is always a response to these pieces: they are communicative, sensitive and clever and instinctual.



American artist  and sculpter Joseph Cornell (b. 1903 -1972) created boxed assemblages  from bric a brac.  A surrealist at heart, his assemblages are bits of beautiful nostalgia found in thrift shops: pieces of the past affecting the present (or that moment anyway).



The term ‘assemblage artist’ was first coined by the French artist Jean Dubuffet as a way of defining found objects into 3D  structures.  Others that took this up were Robert Rauchenberg, Kurt Schwitters and Man Ray.

It seems odd to think that the things we disgard or throw away could be valuable after all.  Not in a monetary way, but perhaps in a spiritual way, the way they can teach us something about ourselves.  Sometimes by juxtaposing certain components, something is unlocked, like using the right combination on a safe.