Figure. 1964.

Oil on hardboard, measures 57 x 34 cm. Signed on the painting and on the back. Work in excellent condition.

The frontality and stasis of the female figure refers us to an ancient painting without going as far as primitivism or erudite reference... her hair is collected and covered by a cap, emphasizing the oval shape of the face, which is almost a mask . She shows the palm of one hand, while the other, raised, holds a rod. Everything becomes metaphysical in the symbolic world of Dučmelić. The perfect vertical lines manifest the search for formal perfection, not without unreality. Her dress, tight and short, displays a geometric texture of various colors. The geometry of the suit is repeated in the box in the upper right corner, which, together with the stick that the hand holds, forms a kind of banner or banner. In turn, the shape of this grid refers to the profile of her own head, like a strange reflection. As Rafael Squirru describes in the catalog for the 2001 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, “All his work is marked by mystery. Impeccable in his pictorial and drawing skills, his images seem to evoke lost worlds and undoubtedly remembered by his rich subconscious. It is a painting of great refinement where faces, brief figures of human beings or animals, suggest destinations as wonderful as that of Zdravko Ducmelic himself”. In his hieratic figures the timeless idea of art and the sacred persists.

Zdravko Dučmelić (Croatia, 1923- Buenos Aires, 1989), surrealist and symbolist painter of Croatian origin naturalized Argentine since 1958. He attended the Zagreb School, completing his studies in Rome and at the San Fernando Academy in Madrid. He arrived in our country after the war, in 1949, and settled in Mendoza, where he directed the art school of the National University of Cuyo. In 1982 he won the Santa Fe Government Acquisition Award at the LIX Santa Fe Annual Salon. He exhibited his paintings and drawings in Buenos Aires, Panama, London, Tokyo, Lima, Zagreb, Havana, Santiago de Chile, Ottawa, Beijing and Mexico. A self-portrait of his is in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. He illustrated Eleven faces and a poem by Alberto Girri and Laberintos by Jorge Luis Borges, in the De Arte Gaglianone edition of 1983, to whom he was united by admiration and friendship.


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