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Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell

Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell

by Deborah Solomon
Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell

Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell

by Deborah Solomon




Deborah Solomon’s definitive biography of Joseph Cornell, one of America’s most moving and unusual twentieth-century artists, now reissued twenty years later with updated and extensively revised text 

Few artists ever led a stranger life than Joseph Cornell, the self-taught American genius prized for his enigmatic shadow boxes, who stands at the intersection of Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, and Pop Art. Legends about Cornell abound—the shy hermit, the devoted family caretaker, the artistic innocent—but never before has he been presented for what he was: a brilliant, relentlessly serious artist whose stature has now reached monumental proportions.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590517147
Publisher: Other Press, LLC
Publication date: 10/13/2015
Pages: 592
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Deborah Solomon is a nationally acclaimed art critic, journalist, and biographer. She writes primarily for the New York Times, and her weekly column, “Questions For,” ran in the New York Times Magazine from 2003 to 2011. Her art reviews appear regularly on WNYC Radio. Solomon was educated at Cornell University and received a master’s degree from the Columbia University School of Journalism. She lives in New York City with her family.

Read an Excerpt

On a typical afternoon, Joseph Cornell might stop in at his local Bickford's restaurant for a cup of tea and a slice of cherry pie. One can see him now, a thin, wraithlike man at his own table, bent over a book while enjoying his snack. He reads intently, absorbed in a biography of Chopin or Goethe or some other formidable figure, pausing only to scribble a note on his paper napkin or to gaze with birdlike keenness at a waitress. Cornell was a great reader of biographies; his library included dozens of books on poets, musicians, and scientists, among others, and they attest at least partly to the difficulty he had in sustaining friendships. He fared better with the deceased. He loved to immerse himself in the lives of the illustrious dead, with whom his identification was intense, and who became his most valued coffee-shop companions as they sprang to life inside his bony box of a head.

Excerpted from "Utopia Parkway"
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Copyright © 2015 Deborah Solomon.
Excerpted by permission of Other Press.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

Preface to the 2015 Edition xv

Introduction xix

1 "Combination Ticket Entitles Bearer To…": 1903-17 1

2 Dreaming of Houdini: 1917-21 25

3 Life of a Salesman: 1921-28 41

4 The Julien Levy Gallery: 1929-32 65

5 The Persistent Memory of Salvador Dalí: 1933-36 93

6 Introducing the Neo-Romantics: 1937-39 121

7 A Night at the Ballet: 1940-41 141

8 Voices from Abroad: 1942 169

9 Bebe Marie, or Visual Possession: 1943-44 199

10 The Hugo Gallery: 1945-49 221

11 The Aviaries: 1949 241

12 The Egan Years: 1950-53 265

13 The Birds: 1954-55 289

14 The Stable Gallery; 1956-57 307

15 Breakfast at Bickford's: 1958-59 329

16 Pop Goes the Art World: 1960-63 349

17 The Life and Death of Joyce Hunter: 1964 373

18 Goodbye, Robert: 1965 391

19 Goodbye, Mrs. Cornell: 1966 419

20 The Guggenheim Show: 1967 431

21 "Bathrobe Journeying": 1968-71 449

22 "Sunshine Breaking Through…": 1972 479

Notes 495

Index 539

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