Spotlight: Zoran Antonio Music (Slovakian; 1909-2005), Motif Dalmate (Dalmatian Coast Horses, Dalmatia, Croatia), 1967

Zoran Antonio Music (Slovakian; 1909-2005), Motif Dalmate (Dalmatian Coast Horses, Dalmatia, Croatia), 1967. Color aquatint, 7 ¾ x 11 inches, Franco Collection, Auburn University at Montgomery.

Catalogue entry by Nyaradzai Mahachi

Music was born in Bukovica, Austia-Hungary  and was associated with the Contemporary and Post war Slovenian art. He painted landscapes, still lifes, self-portraits, the veduta of Venice, and horror scenes inspired by his irrepressible trauma from the concentration camp in Dachau he was deported to in 1944. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb from 1930-1935 and was a well-travelled person. Music was a Slovenian painter, graphic artist and printmaking artist ​and one of the only painters of Slovene descent who managed to establish himself in the circles of the elite of Italy and France, particularly Paris – where he lived most of his life. His work is in collections such as the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Galleria d’Arte moderna in Bologna to mention a few.

Motif Dalmate is a series of color etching by Zoran Antonio Music that share a common subject of horses or earth-toned landscapes. Dalmatia is one four regions in Croatia, which is a place with beautiful landscapes and teams of horses. This is an etching that depicts a grey sky rendered into a fading grey that turns into a dirty white with light swooshes of grey marks in the middle. At the bottom of the landscape composition is a field and a team of grazing horses. The black and purple horses stand out most, while the green one is camouflaged within the bushes behind the others. This conveys a sense of horses grazing. Music used an analogous color scheme. The color choices create an atmosphere of peace and serenity. This is also due to the calm and organized composition of the etching. This makes it calming to look at for the viewer, as the colors have a comforting effect that juxtaposes the grey sky and the grey border. This overall calming effect might be explained by the artist’s biography and experience living in the horrific setting of a concentration camp. Perhaps the work presents the peace that the artist needed.


“Zoran Music,”

“Zoran Music,”

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