Artworks in the Collection

Zora PETROVIĆ
Yearning (1933)


To Zora Petrović, female nudes represented the embodiment of vitality and emotionality, contrary to those artists who painted female nudes as only one of the motifs available to painters. As with some European modernists, the image of the human body enabled Zora to present the psychological states and depict the changes and transience of the physical human existence. She had been interested in this motif from her school days when she would sneak into the senior life drawing evening classes. The composition of her nudes was, as a rule, very simple, since a painting with a more complex organization would not permit the expressive artistic technique she used: fast painting and an energetic handwriting which resulted in the directness and spontaneity of the finished piece. This is how the Yearning was painted, one of Zora Petrović’s early nudes, but already with a discrete narrative structure especially accentuated by the use of visual means. It was painted quickly just like her other paintings in order for the nervous pulsation of her being to contribute to the agility and vitality of the painted figure. What is more, the tide of energetic, sliding brushstrokes, almost imprinted in the dark, brown tones which appear both on the figure and the space in which it is situated, permeated with their agility all the surfaces creating a special, but at the same time erotic and anxious atmosphere. The weight, density and abundance of paste and the artist’s gesture as an expression of the inner rhythms of existence represent a significant part of meaning in this painting. At the same time, these are the characteristics of Zora Petrović’s painting that she never questioned, from the early thirties to the end of her life.

Zora Petrović