Chochola’s 'Torso' explores the fragmented view of the body in a time of uncertainty. The light casts a shadow on most of the body and highlights the newspaper clippings in the background. By surrounding the statuesque torso with scattered periodicals, Chochola subtly diverts the compositional focus away from the figure’s nudity, while redirecting the viewer’s attention to the shadowy light diffused by the contorted figure. The configuration of the dynamic body against the flat newspapers becomes a point of entry into the image and creates a sensation of fleeting light even while looking at the static photograph. Here, the explicit exposure of nudity is juxtaposed with subtle hints of the political climate through the newspaper clippings in the background.

[Abigail Bresler, wall text in "Suppression, Subversion, and the Surreal: The Art of Czechoslovakian Resistance," USC Fisher Museum of Art, March 9 - May 10, 2019.]


  • Title: Torso
  • Creator: Václav Chochola (Czech, 1923 – 2005)
  • Date Created: 1947
  • Physical Location: USC Fisher Museum of Art, Los Angeles, The Dr. Eugene Rogolsky Collection, 2015.13
  • Location Created: Prague, Czech Republic
  • Physical Dimensions: 28.3 x 22.5 cm (11 ⅛ x 8 ⅞ in.)
  • Subject Keywords: Black and white
  • Rights: Václav Chochola / © Archiv B&M Chochola | Photography by Kelly Barrie, Panic Studio LA
  • Medium: Gelatin silver print

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