Atelje Zore Petrović / Zora Petrovic’s studio

Jasmina Čubrilo

Abstract


The big oil on canvas in the studio from 1941, and small, undated, double-sided tempera on the paper of the same name are complex images that define the horizon of Zora Petrović’s art world – different social, art, ideological discourses intertwine on its surfaces. These images reflect overlapping the private and public sphere, different power positions inside this overlapping and within the local art world of that time such as female artist vs. male art collector; female artist vs. male artist, female artist vs. male artist; female artist vs. female model, female artist/worker vs. female (upper) middle class possible amateur. Broad strokes and colour, which, in the sense of matter that Petrović used to cover her canvases, to (almost all) critics manifest the quality of wild expression mostly seen as a “masculine approach” and manly strength, actually, possess the quality of untamed fluidity that breaks down the psychic barriers between the inner and the outer being, as well as the barriers between the self and the other. It would appear that all these critics, by reading this manly method into her work, actually projected their fear of the abject, of the horror of the impure, unsymbolised, as if they to present that surplus in language, to present its inexpressibility, in language after all, and thus make it an integral part of the symbolic network. Also, probably for the same reason, critics found it necessary to describe and rationalise her disorderly studio, the brushes that she did not wash with water, the palettes underneath the layers of dried paint, as a consequence of her total dedication to her sublime task of creating uniquely valuable objects, which prevented her from dealing with such trifling, feminine tasks as keeping her working area orderly and clean. In that way the new signifying network was produced, the one that recognizes Zora’s studio in the metonymic series: studio, the surface of painting, female nude and her real proportions as dominant motif in Zora’s painting, body of the female model, body of the female artist, female desire, postponed, unavailable and approximated sexuality, pure jouissance in Lacanian as well in Kristevian terms.

Keywords


studio, nude, power, beauty, female body, sexuality, desire, abject, jouissance

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25038/am.v0i2.18

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