Critique: Grace Cossington-Smith ‘Interior with Wardrobe Mirror’, 1951

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Critique: Grace Cossington-Smith ‘Interior with Wardrobe Mirror’, 1951 “Art does not reproduce the visible; it makes it visible.” Artists produce artworks not only to define what is seen, but also to express feelings, emotions, moods and atmospheres, therefore expressing more than the visible. Through analysis of Grace Cossington-Smith’s artwork “Interior with Wardrobe Mirror”, it becomes evident that artworks express more than just the visible, physical elements. Cossington-Smith’s oil painting “Interior with Wardrobe Mirror” portrays an interior of a bedroom with the focal point being the wardrobe mirror reflecting the outside scene. The composition of the work plays an important role in enhancing the mood and atmosphere of the work, so as the observer is not only drawn to the physical objects in the room, but is drawn to soak up the atmosphere of the room. Cossington-Smith has balanced the work through the placement of the central focal point. Upon first observation, the focal point of the artwork is the wardrobe mirror. This focal point moves the attention of the observer from the interior of the room to the exterior surroundings. The mirror is the door of a wardrobe filled with blankets and clothing, spilling from the shelves. The background of the room contains a bookshelf, a chair covered with a throw rug and a woven rug lining the floor. The combination of these elements create a feeling of warmth and comfort within the space of the interior. The artists application of a warm colour scheme, filled with tones of yellow’s, brown’s and rich reds, adds to this feeling of comfort. Using a block painting technique, the artist develops warmth which adds texture and enhances the relaxed atmosphere of the interior. The employment of this technique, Cossington-Smith directs the viewer to optically blend colours to define the shapes in the room.

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