Male Torso, 1934
bronze / casting
84 x 29 x 21.5 cm
Croatian academic Vanja Radauš (1906–1975) was educated in Zagreb and Paris. During the period from 1932 to 1934, he was a member of the socially engaged Earth Association of Artists, which operated from 1929 to 1935 when the association’s activities were banned by the authorities. He worked as a teacher at the School of Crafts and the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. Vanja Radauš was a distinctive artistic personality. His specific sculpture was characterized by pronounced expressiveness and surrealistic motifs of a bizarre imaginative world.
Radauš’s Male Torso from 1934 was created as a counterpart to the Female Torso from the same year, both housed in the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb. These are expressive nudes, charged with dramatic intensity emphasised by a painfully contorted posture and body tension. The strangeness and surreal impression are further intensified by intentionally distorted representations of the human figure (the headlessness and absence of arms in the male figure, as well as the identical incision below the shoulder in the female figure, unnaturally twisted body axes, and the heads thrown backward and sideways).
Text: Phd Ivana Rončević Elezović, museum consultant of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Robertina Tomić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb