TABLE OF CONTENTS

JOSEPH CORNELL: SOAP BUBBLE SET (LUNAR RAINBOW, SPACE OBJECT)

I must have been taken by my parents to see the Joseph Cornell boxes at the Art Institute of Chicago as a little boy. Although I don’t remember seeing anything by Cornell so early in life (we left Chicago when I was six), I do know that when I was very young and I heard the word “art” I thought automatically of something mysterious and beautiful, insistently but obscurely meaningful, contained within a box.

I drew and painted obsessively from around the age of five, and I created rudimentary dioramas in shoe boxes, usually involving my own clay figures, a toy or two, and a picture from a magazine. When my family moved from Chicago to Europe, I was regularly taken to museums and cathedrals and, being a child with a particular relationship to reality, began aspiring to the accomplishments of Raphael and da Vinci, though I did not, at the time, quite know one from the other. My most ambitious

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the April 1999 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.