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Untitled

Date: n.d.
Dimensions:
4 1/2 x 4 1/4 in. (11.4 x 10.8 cm.)
Medium: fiberboard panel with a photo attached
Credit Line: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Gift of the Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation
Copyright: © The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation / VAGA, New York
Object Number: 2005.19.10
Label Text:Stylistically, this collage is similar to work Cornell exhibited during the early 1930s at the Julian Levy Gallery. Small and spare, these collages were Cornell's tentative first steps as an artist. Several include quotations from the French author Raymond Radiguet. However, since Cornell revisited themes and imagery throughout his career, and in the 1960s altered pieces began decades earlier, it is often difficult to date his work.

The stars play a major role in Cornell's visual language. The animals in the upper portion of the collage may allude to the constellations Ursa Major, Canis Major, and Columba. As a boy, Cornell confided to his sister that astronomy class filled him with terror about the vast empty universe.

By pairing seemingly unrelated images and text, Cornell explored the irrational juxtapositions used by Surrealists. He may have identified with Radiguet who, like Cornell, had been on the fringes of the Surrealist movement.