Birds of a Feather

Joseph Cor­nell’s Homage to Juan Gris se­ries now on ex­hi­bi­tion at the Met

American Fine Art Magazine - - Museum Preview: New York, Ny -

It’s Oc­to­ber 22, 1953, and Joseph Cor­nell writes in his jour­nal: “Juan/gr is/ja­nis Yes­ter­day” On one of many gallery strolls through the streets of Mid­town Man­hat­tan, Cor­nell came across Gris’ cu­bist master­piece The Man at the

Café at the Sid­ney Ja­nis Gallery on East 57th Street and was struck by the work the Span­ish painter had com­pleted nearly 40 years prior.

Later in his jour­nals, Cor­nell would write how he was taken by

Gris’ de­pic­tion of “a man read­ing a news­pa­per at a café ta­ble cov­ered al­most com­pletely by his read­ing ma­te­rial.”the brief in­ter­ac­tion in­spired Cor­nell to cre­ate 18 boxes over the next 13 years ded­i­cated to Gris, whom he re­ferred to as a “warm fra­ter­nal spirit.”

“Com­pleted over a pe­riod of 13 years, Cor­nell’s se­ries of Gris shadow boxes is more ex­ten­sive in num­ber than any other that the artist openly ded­i­cated to one of his ad­mired lu­mi­nar­ies of stage, screen, lit­er­a­ture, or the vis­ual arts,” says the Met, where Birds of A Feather: Joseph Cor­nell’s

Homage to Juan Gris opened Jan­uary 23 and will be up through mid-april.

The ex­hi­bi­tion brings to­gether a dozen of Cor­nell’s Gris-in­spired pieces along with the orig­i­nal cu­bist

Juan Gris (1887-1927), The Man at the Café, 1914. Oil and newsprint col­lage on can­vas, 39 x 28¼ in. The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Mu­seum of Art. Promised Gift from the Leonard A. Lauder Cu­bist Col­lec­tion. Cour­tesy The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Mu­seum of Art.

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