london

“Joseph Cornell Karen Kilimnik”

Sprüth Magers | London

What’s the real object of curator Todd Levin’s exhibition “Joseph Cornell Karen Kilimnik”? There are no surprises at the level of individual works; the Cornell boxes and collages typify the artist’s later, sparer, post-1940s style, while almost all the Kilimniks (from 1989 to the present) are familiar from a flurry of solo shows around the world over the past decade. And Levin’s installation—gallery walls painted ultramarine, velvet trimmings, lashings of glitter, all looking way slicker in reproduction than in actuality—is classic Kilimnik too.

Some London reviewers have been busy with the idea that this is a study of the two artists’ fixation on Romantic ballet—its characters, stars, and scenarios. Well, OK, that’s the subject matter of many of the works. The exhibits include Cornell’s late-’50s collage Hommage to the Romantic Ballet (Fanny Cerrito, 1817–1907)—a sculpted cherub presiding

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