Untitled (Homage to Blériot)

A work made of box construction.
Art © The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

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  • A work made of box construction.

Date:

1956

Artist:

Joseph Cornell
American, 1903–1972

About this artwork

This box is an example of Cornell‘s ability to convey ideas and associations by minimal means. A construction of thin pieces of wood is delicately balanced from the center of the metal spring coil, on which it bounces freely. The arrangement hints at the wings and propeller of a biplane, thus relating to the title, which in earlier exhibitions was listed simply as Bleriot. Louis Bleriot (1872-1936) was a pioneering French aviator, the first to fly across the English Channel in 1909. The strongly marked wood grain, stained pale blue, of the inner wall of the box evokes both the waves of the sea, over which early planes flew low, as well as perhaps clouds in the sky. Cornell papered the back of the box with a French newspaper, L’Economiste francais (June 15, 1893). Given the subject of this box, the choice of paper backing—always an integral part of a box’s construction for the artist—seems not entirely fortuitous. Another, closely related box, referred to as Bleriot # 2, has been dated around 1956 (estate of Joseph Cornell; New York 1980–82, no. 115, ill.). It differs from this one primarily in the relationship of the components within the box.

— Entry, Dawn Ades, Surrealist Art: The Lindy and Edwin Bergman Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago, 1997, p. 84.

On View

Modern Art, Gallery 397

Artist

Joseph Cornell

Title

Untitled (Homage to Blériot)

Origin

United States

Date

1956

Medium

Box construction

Inscriptions

Signed on back, lower right, on piece of newsprint: Joseph Cornell

Dimensions

18 1/2 × 11 1/4 × 4 3/4 in.

Credit Line

Lindy and Edwin Bergman Joseph Cornell Collection

Reference Number

1982.1853

Copyright

Art © The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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