Atelje Zore Petrović / Zora Petrovic’s studio

Jasmina Čubrilo


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.


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

Full Text:



Bal, Mieke. “Reading the gaze: The Construction of Gender in ’Rembrandt.’” In Vision and Texutality, edited by Stephen Melville and Bill Readings, 147–173. Durham: Duke University Press, 1995.

Betterton, R. An Intimate Distance, Women, Artists and The Body. New York–London: Routledge, 1996.

Božinović, N. Žensko pitanje u Srbiji u XIX i XX veku. Beograd, 1996.

Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble, London–New York: Routledge, 1999.

Čubrilo, Jasmina. Zora Petrović. Beograd: TOPY, 2011.

Čupić, Simona. Teme i ideje modernog, srpsko slikarstvo 1900–1941. Novi Sad: Galerija Matice srpske, 2008.

Đorđević, Dragoslav. "Zora Petrović u svetlosti biografskih činjenica.” In Zbornik Svetozara Radojčića, 83–103. Beograd: Filozofski fakultet, Odeljenje za istoriju umetnosti, 1969.

Đorđević, Dragoslav. "Svedočenja o Zori Petrović." In Zora Petrović 1894–1962, Retrospektivna izložba slika. Beograd: Muzej savremene umetnosti, 1978.

Habermas, Jirgen. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Cambridge Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1989.

Janković, Olivera. Zora Petrović, Umetnost kao život. Beograd: Galerija SANU, 1995.

Kristeva, Julia. Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art. Oxford, Blackwell, 1980.

Kristeva, Julia. Moći užasa. Ogled o zazornosti. Zagreb: Naprijed, 1989.

Lacan, Jacques. The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Book VII. London–New York: Routldge, 2008.

Nead, L., The Female Nude. Art Obscenity and Sexuality. London–New York: Routledge, 1995.

Nochlin, Linda. “Femmes, art et pouvoir.” Femmes, art et pouvoir, transl. by. O. Bonis, 13–58. Nîmes: Jacqueline Chambon, 1993.

Pollock, G. "Vision & Difference." Feminity, Feminism and the Histories of Art. London–New York: Routledge, 1994.

Kosofsky Sedgwick, Eve. Epistemology of the Closet. Berkley: University of California Press, 1990.

Simeonović, Ivana. "Nedeljko Gvozdenović. Predmet kao podsticaj za slobodnu igru." Likovne sveske br. 9. Beograd: Zavod za udžbenike i nastavna sredstva, Univerzitet umetnosti u Beogradu, 1988.

Spargo, Tamsin. Foucault i Queer teorija. Zagreb, Naklada Jesenski i Turk, 2001.

Protić, Miodrag B. Jugoslovensko slikarstvo 1900–1950. Beograd: BIGZ, 1973.

Trifunović, Lazar. Srpsko slikarstvo 1900–1950. Beograd: Nolit, 1973.

Džagouz, Anamari: Queer teorija: uvod (prev. T. Popović). Beograd: Centar za ženske studije, 2007.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 AM Journal of Art and Media Studies

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

AM Journal of Art and Media Studies ISSN 2217-9666 - printed, ISSN 2406-1654 - online, UDK 7.01:316.774


Publisher: Faculty of Media and Communications, Singidunum University, Belgrade, Serbia

Indexed in: ERIH PLUSEBSCODOAJ, and in The List of Scientific Journals Categorization of Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of Republic of Serbia (M24-2021). Beginning with No. 12 2017, AM is indexed, abstracted and covered in Clarivate Analytics service ESCI.