Artworks in the Collection

Ljubica Cuca SOKIĆ
Head of a Young Woman (1946)

Painted at the time of socialist realism the Head of a Young Woman (1946) is a portrait of Vera Solarović, one of the three Solarović sisters, who were friends of Cuca’s cousin. Not long before that, she had lived in France, and at the time she posed Vera was 14 or 15. Cuca Sokić remembers that she chose Vera as her model because she liked her specific appearance. That portrait strays significantly from the usual notions about norms at the time: there is no joy of victory in it, no fervour, no optimistic projection of the future, no joyful sacrifice for the common good, no strictness and precision in its execution. On the contrary, it seems that Cuca Sokić wanted to speak of something else through the portrait of this dignified young lady: her long lush brown hair, tamed by pink ribbons, and her tender white blouse, silk or lace, are the only attributes which complement this portrait. And yet, they are sufficient for us to see that this is a person bearing the mark of a different, long-gone time, which, after all, was just like Cuca Sokić herself did. The elongated oval of this lonely girl’s face, with conspicuously bright eyes and a peaceful look, accentuated and melancholic rings around her eyes, full lips and hands that appear crossed – all this represents a sign of a departure from reality: the reconstruction of bombed towns, factories and bridges, organized work drives and strong collectivity. The portrait, in contrast, is an ode to an individual, an independent and unique person, and these ideas guided Cuca Sokić when she decided to paint figures – especially portraits and self-portraits – giving prominence to the plastic problems of the painting.

Ljubica Cuca Sokić