"Cornell/Gris" by Mary Clare McKinley

Cornell/Gris Mary Clare McKinley

Publication date:
06 Feb 2018
Metropolitan Museum of Art
96 pages: 229 x 178mm
56 color illus.

Joseph Cornell first viewed Cubist painter Juan Gris’s The Man at the Café in October 1953. This visual encounter prompted Cornell to create more than a dozen hand-constructed shadow boxes as homages to Gris, each featuring a variation on a motif that echoes formal elements in Gris’s painting.  This unique book explores Cornell’s deep fascination with Gris, uncovering within Cornell's work multiple allusions to Gris’s crucial influence and investigating cross-currents such as the artists’ shared interests in French culture and the ballet.  Birds of a Feather yields a new perspective on Cornell’s famed boxes while also shedding light on Gris’s painting, establishing points of connection between two key figures of the avant-garde who lived a generation apart.

Mary Clare McKinley is guest curator, Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.