Master's Thesis


This thesis explains the overarching concepts that lie behind and within all the objects and installations I produce. It also examines my role as object maker and installation artist.

My sculpture and installations draw primarily from two schools of thought: as a formal referent, I use the characteristics of the anthropological fetish and ideas from phenomenological philosophy as conceptual grounding. This paper will examine the relationship between contemporary thought relating to the anthropological fetish and the formal characteristics of the objects I create. My sculptural practice is not material specific. My current body of work includes: steel, resin, wood, glass, and numerous found objects. While there is some variety, the visual character of my sculpture typically focuses on a found object as the dominant visual subject matter. I use my smaller sculptures as components in sculptural environments/installations. My installations use these components to illustrate how objects have an extrinsic value in their capability to act as catalysts for memory. Through the examination of one of my prior installations, I will examine the methodologies used and the ideas amplified by the aggregate nature of that installation.

This paper will conclude with an elucidation of the goals in the generation of my thesis exhibition. Here, I will directly link the tactics employed in prior exhibitions of my work with the overarching strategies and goals I have as a sculptor. This section will relate the objects and environments that I have created to date as components of my thesis exhibition to the conceptual/formal framework explained in the first portion of this paper with attention, where applicable, to how the method of creation and/or materials used further emphasize these notions.


Attribute NameValues
Author Thomas A.D. Cornell
Contributor Martina Lopez, Committee Member
Contributor Austin I. Collins, Research Director
Contributor Michael Schreffler, Committee Member
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Art, Art History and Design
Degree Name MFA
Defense Date
  • 2018-04-08

Submission Date 2018-04-08
Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

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