Salvatore Zofrea

Salvatore Zofrea

Last updated September 19, 2012


Salvatore was born in Italy in 1947 and migrated with his family to Australia at the age of nine. At fourteen he enrolled at the Julian Ashton Art School where he studied for the next five years. He soon evolved his own highly expressionistic style whose imagery and vigour is steeped in his Calabrian background.

Zofrea works in oils, woodcuts and frescos which he studied in Italy in 1985 through a Churchill Fellowship. His fresco based on Ray Lawler's play "Summer of the Seventeenth Doll" is located in the foyer of the Sydney Opera House. Inspired by artists like Durer, and particularly Paul Gauguin, Zofrea was drawn to the medium of the woodcut and had his first solo exhibition in 1990 with the Odyssey series. His "Capricornia Suite" documents the labours of Italian migrants in the Queensland canefields while his monumental series of woodcuts "Appassionata" documents the story of his life.

Zofrea's great life project however is to paint all one hundred and fifty images from the Book of Psalms. The Quercianella Series is based on Psalm 40 and features scenes from the seaside town of Quercianella in Tuscany.

Salvatore Zofrea's work can be seen at the Australian National Gallery in Canberra, in major state and regional collections, and in the Vatican Museum in Rome. In 1995 the Italian Government awarded him the title of Cavaliere (Knighthood) for his contribution to art in Australia.

Study for a Psalm 1
Pencil and wash.
Acquired by the judge, Robert Juniper, from the 2000 Award.

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