Joseph Cornell/Marcel Duchamp... In Resonance
is a beautiful catalog of works by both of the artists, accompanied by eight essays that explore their work and their relationship. These essays include marvelous anecdotes and information about both the personal and artistic lives of the artists and how deeply they influenced one another. Joseph Cornell (1903-1972) was a somewhat reclusive American artist from Queens, New York, who was known for his small theatrical box constructions. Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) was born in France and was an integral part of the avant-garde art world--he is often called the father of contemporary art. The focus of the book revolves around the "Duchamp Dossier," a varied collection of objects from Duchamp that Cornell collected. "There's no way of knowing whether the dossier was made in collaboration with Duchamp or whether Duchamp knew of it at all, although it seems likely that he may have suspected it existed. It contained various things that Duchamp had clearly given to Cornell." The complete contents of the dossier are reproduced in this volume at 60 percent of their actual size.
What is so fascinating about the dossier is that it is something of a physical map of the interactions between Cornell and Duchamp. Along with the photo reproductions there is a complete and extremely detailed inventory of the dossier, including such information as the text of letters and type of postage. Also in the book is a comprehensive chronology of the lives of both artists. The book, a hefty 344 pages, includes 126 color plates and 320 halftone images. --Jennifer Cohen
From Library Journal
The expatriate Frenchman Duchamp was cerebral and urbane, while the sheltered Cornell is often portrayed as a poet. Yet they had a real and lasting friendship that sprang from an admiration for each other's work. One record remains of this largely private friendship: the "Duchamp Dossier," a box kept by Cornell and filled with scraps of paper and other fragmentary momentos. That "work" is reproduced here in painstaking detail, its contents spread over 50 pages; in addition, two other large sections of plates present dozens of works by each artist in very fine reproductions. Between these visual gems, five well-researched essays and a chronolgy explore the relationship and its meanings without forcing connections. Accompanying a show moving from the Philadelphia Museum of Art to Houston's Menil Collection, this catalog sheds new light on two major figures in 20th-century art. For all collections in academic and public libraries interested in 20th-century art.?Douglas McClemont, New York
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.