The Critical

Praise to the stone

Being an artist – sculptor means being continuator of those passionate creators, that are dedicated to the processing of materia. The oldest of materials that are being used and processed by human is stone. It is the materia primus, at least as old as the Earth, in fact older, since according to the legend raw stones fall from the sky and do return there. Rough stone is therefore not just the passive substance and there are myths that it is alive and it gives life. A tight bond is supposed to exist between the stone and the soul. The legend of Prometheus says that the stones preserve human sweat. The most authentic expression of attitude towards this material was Michelangelo’s ability to see a sculpture in a rock before carving it. Rough stone is a symbol of freedom, whereas the processed stone desacralizes god’s work. The artist himself becomes the creator: when he excavates the statue, he creates a new life. Today the sculptors do not use just the stone; they knead, model, compose…, “sculpture is everything that an artist or sculptor names or determines as a sculpture” (Alen Ozbolt). Material is more or less a means of momentary inspiration and is inferior to the sculptors’ poetics. But those, who are challenged by the stone, are undoubtedly special artists. They grow a passion for the stone that was recognised in Michelangelo and they see processing the stone as their sacred mission. One of those is Albino Stulin. In his megaliths we first notice the accentuated movement upwards. He had chosen those kind of stone form to begin with. Than he has most gently interfered with the texture of a natural stone. He has adapted to the vein and natural colouring of the stone. This has leaded him to the delicate work with the chisel; even when there is a mechanical treatment, it is almost caressing, so it does not alter the inner language of the stone. Stulin has only added or took as much as was truly necessary. With cutting, stinging and polishing he wanted to evoke the stone’s true tone, tone of true forms. He did not ruin the sensual power of the material, sculptor’s lyric poetics and sensitivity have been adjusted to it. We can easily imagine how the sculptor talks with the stone blocks as he processes them. Intimate figuration of Albino Stulin’s abstract forms evoke our faith in life, the stones speak their ancient mantras and give us shelter. Their dynamic ascent to the sky acts as an optimistic thought or meditative encouragement. But most of all, Stulin’s stone statues appear as vivid, warm bodies.

Milena Zlater


We live in a time of fast changes. They are too fast for a well thought out metamorphosis of society that would respect our heritage and the laws of nature and be more responsible to self, our contemporaries and descendants. The emphasis on collecting material goods is replacing those values that maintain the essential equilibrium in humans and on which good relationships and spiritual growth are based. Among the left-out values are culture and art and this reflects in a lower quality of life, disrespect of human rights and the decomposition of artistic creativity.
In these difficult times any cultural initiative is a treasure, especially in discriminated environments, exposed to various pressures. We are particularly happy to see artists and cultural values spring up in remote areas, as they are a concrete proof of the artists' need to preserve cultural life.
Sculptor ALBINO STULIN is one of those selfless artists that remain creative in spite of the poor working conditions. Using different materials, especially rock and wood, he aims to satisfy his artistic unrest. In the lap of pristine nature and rural idyll that fuel the fantasy, sculptor Stulin manages to portray figures from old stories, face mythological creatures or identify with the simple man of his area and sing him praise. There is nothing better he could do for his native soil than to raise permanent monuments of beauty with his artistic enthusiasm and talent.
If one’s creative force and path are as strong as with Albino Stulin, who struggles to exceed the superficiality of our existence, live and act by the rules of the universe, his art will progress, because the path he chooses is the right path. For this reason success is not a question.

Janez Lenassi


The heartbeat of stone

At 40, one could easily call sculptor Albino Stulin a young man. Too young, perhaps, to have acheived the wisdom and individual style associated with more mature work. Yet from what he has so far produced, we can already see evidence of some very interesting constant themes in his work.
Albino Stulin was born in Cividale del Friuli. hilt grew up in the Slavic area near San Pietro al Natisone. Stulin remains deeply affected by the peasant culture; we see this clearly in his worn. even though his technique has been refined in his studies at the Istituto d'Arte di Udine and the Academia di Venezia.
There have been other influences on Stulin's work, for example the work of Slovene sculptor Janez Lenassi, as well as various sculpture "symposiums" in Slovenia and Friuli. These influences have not always had positive effects on the value of Stulin's work. Let me explain: there is a certain culture surrounding the symposiums, above all the culture of the "Forma Viva" (Live Form), which tends to value the intrinsic beauty of the material, the "soul and spirit" of the stone, with a minimum of human intervention. Often the end result of this choice is a kind of avoidance, or diminishing, of a true confrontation with the material. This view sees this kind of sculpture as an "animation," when fact it is not truly animated.
In spite of this tendency for sculptors to listen to the "sound" of the stone, Stulin has not forgotten the necessity to animate the material himself. He still however pays close attention to the "For-ma Viva" and sensitizes his work to the ancient voice of the stone.
He may start figuratively, perhaps from a human figure -- the "statue" -- which is then distilled into the tension of "standing," or "curving," or perhaps sketches out a reference to a gesture. The rock then submits to the intention of the figure without. Suffering from the aggression Lion of a literal torus.
In other cases, the inspiration for his, work is not the human form, but a more obsure, naturalistic one. The block of stone, still very much a part of the quarry from which it came, becomes animated with creases, waves sinuosity -­qualities inherent in the stone, brought forth to the surface of the material with Stulin's expert lightness of hand and refined technique. These in fact are the works which have affected me most, and through which I have been able to recognize an artistic sensitivity in full development.
Often, this young sculptor illustrates the theme of dualism -- a beautiful thing, because it is the basis of the world in which we live. And this fundamental perception is most effectively manifested where it is most simply suggested. The expression would be weakened were he to choose d more didactic approach, underlining and restating the theme by using other materials, colors, or the influence of extraneous models, well known or otherwise. This same weakness of expression can often occur "in gruppo", that is in group shows, where although an individual and unique idea is worthy of interest, it is burdened by the limits of a pre- arranged plan.
In some of his compositions, however, the derivation of well-known models is quite evident and enjoyable, for example when he balances the DISCO DELL'ASTRO­SOLE, the moon resting on a base of contrasting colors (think of Pietro Cascella). One discovers a fine horizontal shape, suggesting a canoe, ox a balance, and repeated markings like that of an ocean wave, all in balance atop a tiny base. it is a bit. like a hieroglyph materialized onto the rock, resembling the hull of a Polynesian ship, elegant and primordial.
Albino Stalin opens a truly interesting discourse with his work when he sollicits the stone to receive his fantasies, archaic reminiscences of his valleys, images of far away cultures, and observations of natural rhythms. The material is ingrained With and restores deep emotions, which the sculptor captures with his very capable technique, •sing lighter and deeper manipulations of the surfaces.
Sculpture which is fundamentally naturalistic, not confined to overly intellectual shapes, leading to the synetic realism we can call "Fisarmonic" -- this is a technique dear to the Slavic people of the valleys. Albino Stulin raises this technique to a symbol of a difficult cultural condition.

Walter Schonenberger


During the past two decades, a period of quickly accelerating technological development,  sculpture has undergone a profound transformation: it has become an interactive performance,  which indicates that the plastic modelling of forms has extended into the delineation of social spaces, of live substance, and even of human perception. However, these new modes have not supplanted classical sculpture. On the contrary, it seems that the approach towards natural materials such as stone, wood, and clay is resurging. Albino Stulin has never doubted in the testimonial strength of stone, a hard and tough material which his work, after almost three decades, forms it into a plasma sculpture that is incredibly “soft” and delicate. His thematically heterogeneous works forged of marble or granite accentuate first and foremost the natural beauty of the material upon which, without any forcing, invokes particular thoughts, ideas, or messages. In fact, his choice of materials, with their consistent internal structure, is of fundamental importance in his own personal artistic process because it conceives stone as a live form that already contains within it some type of inherent figure. The sculptor only needs to recognize and articulate that with the appropriate art.

In the realization of each sculpture, Stulin strives to conserve the natural color and compact texture of the stone, and because of this his method of sculpting is concentrated and constricted to essential processes. In singular works, for example Omaggio al libro (“Homage to the book”), he investigates the right proportion between surfaces that are rough and those that are smooth and clean, which is completely adjacent to the theme of the work: that is, a symbolic representation of the history of the book, from the books of Moses represented in the lower part of the massive cube to what the book is today. In other sculptures, the surface in its entirety is smoothed by hand, transformed in organic, strongly stylized convexKconcave figures, in which are accentuated only the fundamental lines of the object or the body which then, in certain cases, becomes freshly perceptible (Preghiera). Particular visual effects are also achieved due to the reflections of light and undulating light transfers on the folds and movements that on the one hand give the sculpture its characteristic dynamic, and on the other create a desire in the observer to touch the smooth, uniform surfaces.

Additionally, among the important characteristics of Stulin’s approach to creative production is a deep search for equilibrium – not only between different types of stone (Insieme), but also between form and content. The latter, above all, is tied to the sculptor’s sense of the inner life (Solitudine) and to natural elements/phenomena (Goccia di sole), as well as to his reflections on duality (Coppia) and on the history of our civilization (Sfinge 2). However, all of these works are strongly communicative and, furthermore, encourage us, the visitors, to meditate on the significance of existence.

The sculptures, therefore, cause us to discover Stulin’s relationship with stone, which can be most clearly described as a fusion of the spirit of the artist with the nature of his material. Sculpture, therefore, does not become only a means of expression, tied to the author’s understanding of life or else useful for communication with the outside world, but rather represents the essence itself of existence – a nod towards the title of the current exhibition
“Sono” (I am).

Štasa Kovsca