Jonathan Griffin

Criticism and essays on art and culture

Tag: Joseph Cornell

Betye Saar

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Betye Saar, Palm of Love, 1966 Etching with relief printing 48×66 cm. Courtesy: MoMA, New York

Betye Saar has lived in the same shingle-clad house up a winding lane in Laurel Canyon for nearly 60 years. To reach the front door, on the house’s top story, visitors ascend several flights of steps, passing the kind of thickly planted garden—filled with ornaments and trinkets—that can only be created with decades of care and cultivation.

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Joseph Cornell

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Collage, it could quite reasonably be argued, was the most influential cultural innovation of the 20th Century. When Georges Braques and Pablo Picasso first affixed bits of patterned paper and oil cloth to their paintings, they changed Western ideas about artistry and authorship forever. They opened a door in aesthetics to appropriation – what would also come to be called sampling. Without collage, there would be no Grandmaster Flash, no Public Enemy. Probably no Lady Gaga. There would be no Frank Gehry or Rem Koolhaas, no Vivienne Westwood or Karl Lagerfeld. The Las Vegas Strip and the Dubai skyline would look very different. Read the rest of this entry »