Milena Lah, From the cycle “The Time of Our Remembrance in Marble and Bronze”, 1973 – 1978

Milena Lah
(1920 – 2003)
From the cycle “The Time of Our Remembrance in Marble and Bronze”, 1973 - 1978
casting, bronze; carving, red marble
72 x 45 x 29 cm

Milena Lah obtained a degree in sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1949 and worked as an associate in sculptor Vanja Radauš’s master workshop until 1950. Between 1951 and 1955, she continued her sculptural training in Rome, Florence, Milan and Paris. She participated in many prestigious international sculpture symposia as an established artist.
Early on, Lah created realistic sculptures, after which she aspired to synthesise form and the symbolic expressiveness of material. Inspired by Croatian art and literature, in her oeuvre she looked to combine traditional forms with contemporary sculptural ideas. She paid special attention to the figures of women and children. In her later series, centring mostly on mythological themes, she combined geometric and figural elements. Her sculptures installed in public space represent a titanic segment of her oeuvre, particularly the many sculptures executed in heavy stone blocks in which she modelled intangible universal states and phenomena with ease and extraordinary power. Having used almost all sculpture techniques and materials, she created a prolific oeuvre which, thanks to the purity of elementary forms, metaphors, associations and interactivity, is rightly considered to be one of the most authentic oeuvres in the history of Croatian sculpture.
In one of the series of sculptures from the cycle The Time of Our Remembrance in Marble and Bronze (Red Gods), a bronze head is combined with a red marble block that suggests the space of probable and improbable human existence and movement. It continues with heads made of crystal glass, freed from solid physical connection with the body, merely resting on various marble pillow forms such as the work Cosmic Organ from the cycle “Milestones” created in 1988.

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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