Joza Turkalj
1890 – 1943
Female Torso, 1938

Croatian sculptor and medallist, he attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb from 1910 to 1914 (R. Valdec, R. Frangeš-Mihanović), and continued his studies in Vienna (1920–22).
He created several sepulchral and public monuments at the Mirogoj Cemetery and the Maksimir Park Forest in Zagreb. In portraits, such as the Daughter’s Head and the Child’s Head from 1935, as well as the summarily conceived Self-portrait from 1938, his modelling is pure with basic facial features. On sports plaques and medals, he reproduces the characteristic dynamism of the body in a refined and realistic manner, using contrasts of light and shadow, as in the H. A. Š. K. Award Plaque from 1934.
Like other sculptors in the Spring Salon, he sculpted numerous female figures. At first, he created statuettes of young women with poetic reduction (Dancer, 1920, Nude Young Woman Combing Her Hair, 1925), and later bodies of sumptuous women in the spirit of the fourth-decade Realism, based on the model and bodies in motion, such as the Female Torso from 1938.

Text: Tatijana Gareljić, museum consultant of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb

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