Sofija Naletilić Penavuša, All My Animals, 1988

Sofija Naletilić Penavuša
(1913 – 1994)
All My Animals, 1988
wood, paint
76.5 x 140 x 137.5 cm

Sofija Naletilić was a self-taught naïve sculptor from Herzegovina. Since 1977, she sculpted biblical scenes, historical and legendary figures and many animals (turtles, frogs, birds, cats, dogs, horses, etc.). The fantasy of her sculptures is emphasised by the playful outlines of the wood and the frequent use of bright colours. During her artistic career, she created several thousand wooden sculptures.
First and foremost, she was a skilled animalist. The largest category in Sofija Naletilić Penavuša’s oeuvre, also the most valuable, is her “bestiary” – sculptures of simplified and stylised animals shaped and painted with a dose of mysticism and dream visions.
The very shape of the wood provides form to her later works, and she creates an increasing number of large-scale animal compositions with metaphorical and symbolic meaning, such as the wooden sculpture All My Animals, derived from a single block of wood, while heads sprout from it with wild energy that is further heightened by vibrant brilliant colour.

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

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