Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell

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MFA Publications, 2004 - Art - 426 pages
15 Reviews
Legends about Joseph Cornell abound - as the shy hermit, the devoted family caretaker, the artistic innocent - but never before 'Utopia Parkway' has he been presented for what he was - a brilliant artist whose stature has now reached monumental proportions. Cornell was haunted by dreams and visions, yet the site of his imaginings couldn't have been more ordinary - a small house he shared with his mother and invalid brother in Queens, New York. In its cluttered basement, he spent his nights arranging photographs, cut-outs, and other humble disjecta into some of the most romantic works to exist in three dimensions. Cornell was no recluse, however - admired by successive generations of vanguard artists, he formed friendships with figures as diverse as Duchamp, de Kooning, and Warhol, and had romantically charged encounters with Susan Sontag and Yoko Ono - not to mention unrequited crushes on countless shop girls and waitresses. All this he recorded compulsively in a diary that, along with his shadow boxes, forms one of the oddest and most affecting records ever made of a life.

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Review: Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell

User Review  - Peter - Goodreads

Very careful, contemplative, well written biography of a quiet American artist who associated with various artistic movements but was never really a part of any of them. Insightful comments on the mid-century New York art scene. Melancholic and beautiful. Read full review

Review: Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell

User Review  - Barbara Boles - Goodreads

Lots of interesting detail about his life, family, collecting and art making, but I came away thinking I wouldn't have wanted to meet him. Perhaps the art is more charming if one knows less? Read full review

Contents

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About the author (2004)

Solomon writes about art for The New York Times.

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