Ljubo De Karina
Blue Vertical, 1989
s=201 cm

He obtained a degree in sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana in 1972. After having graduated, he specialized in Vanja Radauš’s and Antun Augustinčić’s Master Workshops. He acquired the status of a freelance artist in 1973 and since then he has exclusively been working as a sculptor. He lives and works in Brseč. Faithful to the basic sculptural postulates, relationship between material, mass and space, he creates in wood, stone and metal, and according to their artistic poetics, his outdoor sculptural works are particularly harmonious with public spaces in Croatia and around the world.
De Karina’s distinctiveness lies in the fact that he is both a stonemason and an architect, a visionary and an esotericist. He unites the rational and the irrational, the geometric and the organic. His wellspring is the architectural heritage of his homeland, Neolithic culture and ethnographic heritage. He starts from the local heritage highlighted by postmodernism, reflecting the strong connection between man and nature and the return to the primeval origins. In search of the archetypal, he gradually transforms forms into spiritual symbols. He elevates megalithic structures, based on the cultural and architectural heritage of his homeland, to a universal sign. The Penetrations and Stone on Stone series are close to minimal art, but the forms are poeticized because they retain reminiscences of the local architecture and Neolithic heritage. The properties of Art Informel are noticeable in the manner that Coated Forms and Verticals are executed as well as their surface treatment.
The Blue Vertical sculpture is carved from an upright naturally slightly sloping and bent plank of wood with shallow grooves and upper and lower metal edges. Along the blue-painted surface is a serpentine perforation that follows the wavy curved outer edges. The sculpture is wedged in the middle of a low stone base of rudimentary workmanship. With its harmony of the spiritual and the material, the primordial form and the contemporary expression, this work represents the best embodiment of the artist’s entire artistic premise.

Text: Tatijana Gareljić, Museum Advisor of the National Museum of Modern Art©National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić©National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb

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