Šime Vulas
(1932 – 2018)
The Two, 2004
255 x 95 x 35 cm

The prominent Croatian contemporary sculptor Šime Vulas has reinterpreted traditional motifs and reminiscences of the homeland through contemporary methods of reducing the descriptive, fragmenting and rearranging parts into rhythmically articulated compositions in the form of sail totems. His most common motifs are sails and its derivatives such as ships, masts, candles, cities, organs, portals and forts. His sculptures are rendered primarily in wood, which facilitates a morphology in line with his sensibility.
One of Vulas’ few anthropomorphic works, displaying his recognisable tectonics, is the early work Dalmatian Woman (1961) and it correlates with his later work The Two in terms of the design solution of constructing the vertical from several adjoining segments. The pyramidal, elaborate and polished anthropomorphic sculpture The Two is made up of five cylindrical trapezoidal wooden elements with barrel-shaped core plating, divided by two opposite vertical slits with a shallow, irregularly carved shadowy inner surface. The totemic atmosphere of the sculpture points to something mythical and ancient, while the purity of form emphasises the universally understandable symbolism.

Text: Tatijana Gareljić, museum advisor of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art Zagreb, 2022
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art Zagreb, 2022

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