The other day, I caught a riveting glimpse of Joseph Cornell. I was running errands South of Market in San Francisco and found myself with a pocket of time thirty minutes long. As I drove down Third Street, I said to myself, “If I can find a spot on the street, I am going to SFMOMA to see the Joseph Cornell exhibit.” And sure enough, as luck would have it, there was one empty spot on the same block as the museum. I pulled in, and dug for quarters in my purse, only to get to the meter and realize in less than 15 minutes this parking spot would become a tow-away zone (3-7pm everyday). So I had to act fast and decided to glean what I could from an even shorter visit than I had planned. Once inside, the elevator deposited me on the 3rd floor. The shadowy galleries (lit low to protect the work) revealed a space of dreams. There is such whimsy and reverie in Cornell’s boxes and assemblages. It was painful to rush past them – like skimming a really well-written book. I will have to come back soon to re-read this exhibition before it closes on January 6. But at least those 15 minutes introduced a bit poetry into the midst of prosaic day.
The image above is the cover of the exhibition catalogue, which I have added to my Christmas wish list. Click here to learn more about it, or click here to see a google image search yielding an array of Cornell artworks.