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STOLP Gallery,

Slavko Oblak – artist and artisan

We will honor the sculptor Slavko Oblak with the publication of a book about his life and work, with a three-month exhibition in the STOLP Gallery at Bled Castle and with the presentation of the Slavko Oblak Sculpture Path, which leads past four of Oblak's sculptures on the way from the Municipality of Bled to Bled Castle.

Slavko Oblak (born in 1934), vulgo Klemenov from the village Rečica pri Bledu, left home in the late 1950s to study art in Munich at the best-known school of sculpture in western Germany. In his study years he worked at a foundry, where he developed a love for bronze, which eventually became his preferred medium of expression. His oeuvre includes several public monuments and sculptures, of which most are located in Landshut, Germany and four in Bled, Slovenia. 

In Slovenia Oblak’s works of art can only be admired in Bled: the Budding Fountain is in front of the Bled Municipality (2002), the Cyclamen has found its home by Lake Bled (1997), the statue of Mary, Mother of God, can today be seen in the chapel of the Bled Castle, the Castle Blossom greets the visitors to the castle park, and the grave of the artist's parents in the Bled cemetery features a full-scale depiction of a four-leafed clover.

Oblak’s floral motifs are particularly impressive. These depictions reminiscent of enormous blossoms from earlier geological periods are often placed on elongate, organically growing stalks that can barely support the lush and oval-shaped inflorescence mass. They blend in with the surrounding vegetation, in which they function like 'sensors' set in nature, 'ears' tapping into the surrounding sounds, or like urban traffic lights. These motifs are becoming the new 'organic matter' of the author's figurative and possess a certain kinesthetic quality. The proximity to Henry Moore's art shines through in form as well as in content and even the process of work. Oblak's sculptures can be justly described as grand, aristocratic, majestic, expressive, and impressive. Since his artistic path has no sudden turns or gaps, the sculptures cannot be classified as belonging to certain periods. If anything, his works show a continuity of development towards abstraction and towards uncovering and discovering the life within and the artist's life-long coexistence with nature. His signature giant leafy plants growing boldly from their sturdy and controlled inner base protrude into space, complementing the surrounding architecture. The central theme of the artist's endeavors is to create 'a synthesis of nature and art', an object and its incarnation, reality in its symbolic reduction. The works always contain a measure of humanity and are - despite their abstract tendency - not only perceived as explicit and full of life, but also sensual. 
Please note that an entrance fee to the castle is required to be paid.