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The Winter Art Show

May 2024
1min read

One critic said the magazine illustrator Dean Cornwell sought “to create images whose impact would be more lasting than their medium.” Clearly he succeeded in this nightclub scene, commissioned by Cosmopolitan in 1920 to accompany the short story “Find the Woman.” Though the fiction has sunk into obscurity, Cornwall’s illustration retains a syncopated originality. He’s portrayed the era’s fleshy sophistication with a modern appreciation of geometry. A chandeliered radiance balances dark pyramids of celebrants, while the painting’s greenish cast suggests the artificiality of both the lighting and the socialites’ intercourse.

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