6/26/2022 - 2/12/2023
Organizing institution: The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia
In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the passing of Joseph Cornell (1903-1972), one of America’s most important and enigmatic artists, The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia has organized an exhibition of his work. Joseph Cornell: Enclosing Infinity, on view Jun. 26, 2022-Feb. 12, 2023, is curated by Matthew McLendon, the Museum’s J. Sanford Miller Family director. The intimate, focused exhibition will feature six boxes from The Fralin’s collection, inviting visitors to enter Cornell’s world of fantasy.
Cornell worked in collage and film, though he is best known for his signature shadow box constructions—small worlds unto themselves made of the bric-a-brac he collected as he wandered through New York City’s dime stores, used book merchants and purveyors of back copies of newspapers and magazines. The Fralin is home to several important Cornell box constructions. While frequently linked to Surrealism, Cornell did not create his constructions through automatic or stream-of-consciousness practices. Instead, he employed meticulous planning. This deliberate process led to major groupings of some of his works, including the Soap Bubble, Sand Tray, Games and Juan Gris series, all represented in The Fralin’s collection.