Soshana’s artistic saga
It was the essence of Soshana’s work which secured her a place in the turbulent 20th century history of art. She belongs to the group of authors who directly correspond to the sources of contemporary artistic flow. She made her first appearance on the world’s art scene as a very young artist, in her early twenties, but with an unusual maturity – there was no sign of beginner’s insecurities or incompleteness. Quite the opposite, the strength of her stance and determination left no room for doubt that it was nothing less that an authentic artistic energy. As early as the 1950s, Soshana began a unique dialogue with the poetics of the leading artists of the post-war Europe, using her original yet flexible expression. Her many personal friendships with artists who gave weight and significance to the art of the last century form a part of her creative act. Simultaneously, the dialogue extended beyond Europe, towards the worlds Soshana frequented with insatiable curiosity and openness in search of new spiritual and philosophical values to incorporate into her creative energy. Finally, there exists an internal dialogue in her work, a dialogue between her works created in different periods.
Soshana’s art is monolithic and divergent. The distinctive feature of her art is her stroke, authentic, energetic and expressive, the stroke which asks questions and answers them unremittingly. From an abstract chaos which transforms the drama of the atomic bomb explosion into an artistic expression, it finds its deeper meaning and spiritual foothold in contact with eastern calligraphy, in order to, as a wholly personal confession, speak about existential sentiments of alienation and solitude in a dynamic and strident contemporary civilization. At times it touches upon the symbolic, in order to flourish in odes to joys of living or dolorously resonate with the tone of contemporary tragedy and suffering.
Soshana lived in Gaugin's studio on Montparnasse, the very one he had turned into the center of Parisian social life and dwelt in before he decide to leave Europe forever. Symbolically, this space connected two artists of similar sensibilities. They both longed for freedom. However, such freedom does not exonerate one from responsibility but represents a commitment. It is the freedom of recluses, those who life barred from belonging to a particular place and who are able to make every place their own.
Soshana’s trip around the world doesn’t last 80 days but 80 years, as Ulli Sturm humorously noticed. Those 80 years witnessed the unfolding of an artistic saga of a woman whose way of living transcended the realms of the mundane. Long before the proclamation of the idea of gender equality, Soshana crossed the line of the expected and forever remained independent and her own.
Dragana Kovacic, MA
Advisor in The National Museum in Belgrade