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An image of Centre of a city by Grace Cossington Smith
Alternate image of Centre of a city by Grace Cossington Smith Alternate image of Centre of a city by Grace Cossington Smith Alternate image of Centre of a city by Grace Cossington Smith
Alternate image of Centre of a city by Grace Cossington Smith

Grace Cossington Smith

(Australia 1892 – 20 Dec 1984)

Title
Centre of a city
Year
(circa 1925)
Media category
Painting
Materials used
oil on canvas on hardboard
Dimensions

82.3 x 70.0 cm board; 98.9 x 86.6 x 5.7 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.l. "G.Cossington Smith 35 (sic)".
Credit
Purchased with funds provided by Susan Rothwell 2002
Accession number
299.2002
Copyright
© Estate of Grace Cossington Smith
Location
20th & 21st c Australian art
Further information

I suddenly liked the subject – the Centre of the City! I liked the going downhill of Moore Street [now Martin Place], the feeling that the Post Office at the bottom was the centre of the city, the people hurrying about. (Then I was interested in outside things, what people did and what was happening ...)

Grace Cossington Smith, 1971

'Centre of a city' was a groundbreaking painting by Grace Cossington Smith, both in terms of its subject and her approach to it. It was painted at a time when Cossington Smith was commuting regularly to art classes in the city from her home at Turramurra on the North Shore. The radiant blue sky and rosy glow of buildings signal her increasing affection for the city, which reached its climax in her paintings of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the late 1920s.

Bibliography (24)

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 2003, Sydney, 2003, 9, 14.

Natasha Bullock, Look, 'Shedding Light, photographs by the great Harold Cazneaux are seen in a new light alongside paintings of the time', pg.13, South Yarra, Aug 2001, 13.

Diana Chase and Valerie Krantz, Grace Cossington Smith: a painter ahead of her time, Melbourne, 1993, 18. Book for primary school students.

Christopher Dawson., The Sydney Morning Herald, 'In the galleries', Sydney, 22 Jun 1972.

Roger Dedman, Art and Australia (Vol. 43, No. 2), 'Market profile: Grace Cossington Smith', pg. 295, Paddington, Dec 2005-Feb 2006, 295 (colour illus.).

Deborah Edwards., Australian Collection Focus: Grace Cossington Smith The Lacquer Room 1935-36, 'Secular light and the curve of the chairs', Sydney, 1999, (colour illus.).

Peter Emmett, Metropolis, Glebe, 1999, (colour illus.). Exhibition guide, brochure format.

Peter Emmett, Sydney: metropolis, suburb, harbour, 'Metropolis', pg. 13-70, Glebe, 2000, 41, 42 (colour illus.).

Deborah Hart, Grace Cossington Smith, 'A room of her own', pg. 11-25, Canberra, 2005, 20-24, 114, 126 (colour illus.), 127-129, 175.

Bruce James, Australian painters of the twentieth century, 'Grace Cossington Smith', pg. 40-51, Roseville, 2000, 43, 44 (colour illus.).

Bruce James, Grace Cossington Smith, Sydney, 1990, 58, 59 (colour illus.), 60. plate no. 20

Macquarie Galleries, Grace Cossington-Smith [sic] (1976), Sydney, 1976. cat.no. 1; titled 'Centre of a city'; dated c.1925; price: $2,750

Macquarie Galleries, Grace Cossington Smith (1972), Sydney, 1972. cat.no. 10; titled 'Centre of a city'; dated 1935; price: $2,000

Jenny McFarlane, Concerning the Spiritual: The influence of the Theosophical Society on Australian Artists 1890-1934, North Melbourne, 2012, 82 (colour illus.), 148. Note: colour plate pages in between pg. 82-83 are unnumbered.

Denise Mimmocchi, Sydney moderns: art for a new world, 'Making Sydney modern: the artistic shaping of the postwar city', pg. 66-85, Sydney, 2013, 74, 81 (colour illus.), 316.

Drusilla Modjeska, Stravinsky's lunch, Sydney, 1999, 258-259, 296-297, between pages 304 and 305 (colour illus.). plate no. 24

Barry Pearce., Foundation Newsletter #2, 'Grace Cossington Smith's "Centre of a city" c1925', Sydney, May 2003.

Annabel Pegus, Look, 'Luminous light: a painting that will speak to future generations', pg. 18, Newtown, Mar 2003, 18 (colour illus.).

Royal Art Society of New South Wales, Royal Art Society of New South Wales 46th Annual Exhibition (1925), Sydney, 1925. cat.no. 161; titled 'Centre of a City'; priced 12 guineas; not paginated

John Slater, Through artists' eyes: Australian suburbs and their cities 1919-1945, 'The city observed to the city experienced', pg. 71-100, Melbourne, 2004, xii, 88 (colour illus.). illus.no. 71

Sotheby's Australia, The Fairfax Corporate Collection of Australian paintings, Armadale, 17 Nov 2002, 12, 13 (colour illus.). lot no. 7

Virginia Spate, Art Monthly Australia, 'Amazing Grace: Thoughts inspired by the Grace Cossington Smith exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra', pg. 22-30, Acton, Aug 2005, 25.

Daniel Thomas, Grace Cossington Smith: a life. From drawings in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 1993, 23-24.

Daniel Thomas, Grace Cossington Smith, 'Introduction', pg. 8, Sydney, 1973, 10, 24 (illus.). cat.no. 17

Exhibition history (10)

Forty-sixth Annual Exhibition of the Royal Art Society of New South Wales (1925), Exhibition Gallery Department of Public Instruction, Sydney, Aug 1925 -

Grace Cossington Smith (1972), Macquarie Galleries, Sydney, 21 Jun 1972–10 Jul 1972

Grace Cossington Smith (1973-74):

Grace Cossington Smith (1976), Macquarie Galleries, Sydney, 03 Mar 1976–15 Mar 1976

Metropolis, Museum of Sydney, Sydney, 18 Dec 1999–02 Apr 2000

The Fairfax Corporate Collection of Australian paintings, Sotheby's Gallery Sydney, Woollahra, 14 Nov 2002–17 Nov 2002

Sydney studios, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney, 14 Aug 2004–26 Sep 2004

Grace Cossington Smith: a retrospective exhibition (2005):

Australian modern masterpieces from the Art Gallery of New South Wales:

Sydney Moderns, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Jul 2013–07 Oct 2013