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Grace Cossington Smith

Grace_Cossington_Smith_Church_interior_c.194142.jpg

Grace Cossington Smith | Australia 1892–1984 | Church interior c.1941–42 (inscr. 1937) | Oil with pencil on pulpboard | 55.2 x 42.2cm | Purchased 2001 with funds raised through The Grace Cossington Smith Queensland | Art Gallery Foundation Appeal | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Grace Cossington Smith Church interior c.1941–42
Grace Cossington Smith
Australia 1892–1984
Church interior c.1941–42 (inscr. 1937)
Oil with pencil on pulpboard
Purchased 2001 with funds raised through The Grace Cossington Smith Queensland
Art Gallery Foundation Appeal
Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Grace Cossington Smith

Church interior c.1941–42 (inscr. 1937)

Grace Cossington Smith played a leading role in the development of early twentieth-century art in Australia. Her striking paintings were potent symbols of modernity. Church interior holds a special place in Cossington Smith’s oeuvre — it is one of a small but important group of works the artist made on religious themes. The painting also encapsulates the artist’s concern with colour.

Made in the early 1940s, the painting obliquely references World War Two and thus has secular, as well as sacred, significance — young men of enlistment age are entirely absent from the congregation.