César Trasobares, Untitled (Homage to Joseph Cornell), 1992
Cedar box, wire, tinted gesso, paper, xerography, Christmas ornament, plastic
coral rock, book
Published by Grassfield Press, Miami Beach, Florida, Edition of 30
In 1992 Grassfield Press commissioned César Trasobares to create an homage to Joseph Cornell using a cedar box and a copy of the book, Joseph Cornell: Gifts of Desire, by Dickran Tashjian.
Trasobares covered the cedar box with a wire lid that opens like a gate to the nostalgic garden of Cornell's collage, For Josephine, that is printed on the cover of the book. When the book is removed, the open gate reveals Cornell in his garden in Flushing, New York. In a direct reference to Cornell's assemblages, Trasobares selected an array of evocative objects for display in the box's small compartments.
Trasobares adds a new dimension to the book's central theme of gift-giving by montaging excerpts from the IRS tax rulings regulating gifts of art work. Such social commentary is a common feature of Trasobares' work. He also pays tribute to Cornell as an "Enchanted Wanderer" by scattering airline schedules throughout the lid's montage.
Trasobares (b. 1949, Cuba) lives and works in Miami, Florida. A graduate of Florida Atlantic University, Trasobares has exhibited extensively since 1970, and was included in "Cuba U.S.A.," a traveling exhibition originated at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, in 1991. He is a recipient of artist fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts and Cintas Foundation.
The cedar box was hand-crafted by Luis Baltar, Miami, Florida. Hans Namuth's photograph of Joseph Cornell (1969) was reproduced by permission.