Artworks in the Collection

Zora PETROVIĆ
Still-life (1957)


As a part of the permanent exhibition of the Memorial Collection, the painting Still-life originally represented a part of the composition Still-life and Nude which was first donated to the Collection by Pavle Beljanski, who later withdrew the painting, cut it into three parts, thus ending up with three paintings, Blossoms, Nude, and Still-life. He returned Blossoms to the Memorial Collection and it was listed in the catalogue on 12 August 1964 under the title Stilllife. It is possible that he was inspired to do this because of the beauty of the fragment which is reminiscent of an ornament from a Japanese wall-screen, as well as due to the fact that he already possessed several characteristic large nudes by Zora Petrović in his collection. The radical stylization of the motif on this fragment with a tall blossoming branch, which is now situated in the individual section, was done by excluding volume, solidity of form, object mass and spatial depth so that the large blossoms were reduced to mere pale or more intense orange circles, tucked into the dark greenery. Such a solution brings this painting closer to the variant of associative art where the original objects could barely be recognized or to art on the very verge of abstraction. Zora Petrović usually adopted such an approach on parts of interiors or still-lifes since she had a freer view of those motifs and found it easier to decide to experiment. Still, she never took the decisive step which would take her over the imaginary boundary to painting totally separate from reality, namely to abstract painting, although some statements made by her could lead us to assume that she was seriously considering the question.

Zora Petrović