Joseph Cornell, Hotel de la Mer (Hotel Goldene Sonne), 1950-51.
“It’s not all sweetness and light. There’s darkness in Cornell. But also, what’s interesting historically, this was made in 1950-1951, we are talking about the peak of Abstract Expressionism, when Jackson Pollack was making his very vigorous paintings and really radically changing the entire art scene. de Kooning, Motherwell, all of these guys (yes, and they were all guys) were putting a stamp on art that took decades for people to get away from. And people still haven’t gotten away from it. And here was Cornell, doing something radically different, much more in the tradition of Surrealism, Duchamp, as you say, but so intensely personal, working in the realm of what some could argue is really the major art form of the twentieth century, which is collage.”
Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University