Paul and Virginia, 1946

Joseph Cornell (December 24, 1903 – December 29, 1972) was an American artist and film maker, one of the pioneers and most celebrated exponents of assemblage. Influenced by the Surrealists, he was also an avant-garde experimental filmmaker. He was largely self-taught in his artistic efforts, and improvised his own original style incorporating cast-off and discarded artifacts. He lived most of his life in relative physical isolation, cared for his parents and his disabled brother at home, but remained aware of and in contact with other contemporary artists.

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