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Salvatore Zofrea, Various Works of Art

Salvatore Zofrea: Various works

Salvatore Zofrea

The Artist

Salvatore Zofrea was born in Borgia in the Calabrian region of Italy in 1946. The youngest and  eighth surviving child, he emigrated with his family Australia in 1956, initially settling in Sydney. Zofrea is known to have studied art at the Julian Ashton School between 1961 and 1966. In 1972, Zofrea bought a property in Kurrajong, two hours north of Sydney where the rolling landscape inspired his work. Much of Zofrea's art for which he is particularly known is inspired by the bible and in particular the Psalms of the King James version of the Bible. According to the artist profile (Issue 44, 2018), Zofrea had a near death experience in his late twenties. His long road to recovery was complicated with the death of his mother and his mentor, Henry Justelius in 1976. At the suggestion of a friend, Zofrea read the Psalms and gained the strength to bear his pain. Such was Zofrea's resolve following this, he set himself the challenge of painting all 150 Psalms. The artisit's suffering, his spirit of sacrifice  and generosity are deeply reflected in the allegorical and material world of interior and exterior spaces, all of which honour the Psalms healing powers.

With the exception of a brief period of study in Europe in 1971, a studiio residency in Paris in 1982 and a tour to Italy to study fresco in 1986, Zofrea has worked in Sydney and Kurrajong during his career. During this time, Zofrea has exhibited in over a hundred exhibitions and was a finalist in the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Art Prizes in thirty-eight occasions and won the Sulman Art Prize three times. His paintings are in many public and private collections including the Art Gallery of NSW, National Gallery of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria and in the Vatican Collection.

Girl with Poppies by Salvatore Zofrea Flowers by Salvatore Zofrea

The Works of Art

Flowers, Woman knitting and  the Girl with Poppies must be three of the most vibrant works of art held in the University of Canberra's Art Collection. Those works of art were produced relatively early in Salvatore's career in 1971. These works are both painted with oil on canvas and were also early acquisitions to the University of Canberra's Art Collection. A suggestion of Zofrea's talent for figurative work can be seen with the girl with poppies on the left, since Zofrea's work included Archibald Prize finalist works. The use of bright and bold colours and interior light on the face are common aspects to his works. In a more recent example similar traits can be seen. In the portrait of  Gladys  Berejiklian the artist's style has matured somewhat but the traits are there.

Gladys Berejiklian by Salavatore Zofrea


Australian Galleries entry for Salvatore Zofrea:

Artist profiles:

National Gallery of Australia:

ABC News: