Artworks in the Collection

Mexican Woman (1920)

Simultaneously with the Portrait of a Friend, a programmatic piece of Serbian constructivist sculpture, Stojanović sculpted his first figurine, the Mexican Woman. Having only spent a year in Antoine Bourdelle’s studio and tirelessly frequenting, like other foreign artists, Parisian galleries and museums, Stojanović mastered the current tendencies in contemporary realist expression. This was a striving towards a synthetic form, without a naturalist imitation of the model, achieved through archaic generalization, the domination of the volume and the firm architecture of the sculpture, mastered through his drawing skills. And while the Portrait of a Friend with its synthetic expression which is more indicative of generality is “more of a plastic fantasy than a portrait of a specific person”, as noted by Momčilo Stevanović, the Mexican Woman, created by the application of the same principles of modelling, represents a transposition of the artist’s individuality, his experience of reality channeled into sculpting forms. Constructive and firm in its basis, of compact and united forms, the poetic directness of the figurine was achieved due to the exterior linear stylization of the clothes, which cover the nude woman’s body of archaic beauty like a transparent membrane. “The artist must feel everything,” Bourdelle taught Stojanović, and Todor Manojlović correctly recognized the artist’s refined sensibility when writing about his solo exhibition in the Art Pavilion (1934), where the Mexican Woman was among the exhibits: “Stojanović is searching for his style and his beauty […] in his passionate and quivering sensuality which experiences forms so intimately and intensely […], and which then skillfully condenses those experiences, those realizations into vibrant, voluptuous and wry plastic figures.”

Sreten Stojanović