Angels of Stone by Petar Hranuelli

In times when Angels are send via invisible wires of global network, in hope our friends and aquaintances will foward them - not because we believe in them but rather for the sake of still believing in angels in a crazy world - the little stone angels of Petar Hranuelli remind us of an unbreakable connection, of the persistence of believing and of art as such. Angelology though is a separate topic, generally talked and discussed about. By some held for a scientific philosophical and theological discipline, that actually belongs to the domene of the spiritual
world and studies the exsistence of angels in different religions and believes. It bodes and enters into the other side of life, where only few manage to recognise the possibilities of exsistence between myths and reality. We either belive in angels or not. We pray for their presence and help, we call for them, consider them invisible helpers and protectors, news bringers or epistles, spiritual bodyless creature, their strenght woven by the freedom of will. Angels, archangels, seraphines and cherubins, angels of protection, fallen or lost angels do not belong to the space or time in which we live. Angels or meleki are according to some heavenly emissaries and legats made out of light and considered being the recognition of pure 16 spirituality. We all recognize angels in a separte way. They are reflections of our inner being and well-being, of our spirit and our dreams. Some believe that only angels are guarded by angels, as much as they believe in each other. Petar Hranuelli however creates his angels out of stone, chistles and polishes them, frees them from the hard core of stone, since it is there, where he finds his incarcerated angels.
The Hranuelli angels are sensible and round, femininity stressed, cathing balance in their clumsiness, searching and even finding the secret of the golden cut, the perfect mathematical equlibrium of the Pi constant, that marks us all. Stopped between two separate movements they state difference, disturbance and energy - all a personal characteristic of the sculptor. They are a result of the artist`s feeling, recollecting them in his senses, thoughts, emotions and work. By freeing them from a rock he never seeks to understand causes or consequences - by the simple use of tools he unfolds to them a new dimension of physical exsistence. Petar Hranuelli seeks within stone for incarcinated angelic souls, gives them life and by intuition follows the idea of creation from past times, when stone was initially created from nothing. Aware or unaware, Petar Hranuelli frees the primal spirit, forms life, draws, chistls and polishes extraordinary forms and surfaces, that in their bend, soft, round simplicity become stone angels, called to descend to our world. The unity of creation is based on the simplicity of thought and creation that Hranuelli found in stone, that is in freeing reality without posing any kind of questions. Petar Hranuelli is only by seeing able to recognise the withheld angel within the core of a rock. Touching the freckless surface he manages to decipher ancient messages written in stone matter.
By observing the small Hranuelli angels studiously, different fields of perception are offered to us, and only by the author`s approvement we are allowed to share his own viewpoint. Only a single glance at the small figures adorned by wings - stopped in motion, stretched, bended, crucified between two clear thoughts - can open and fulfill our visuality and heart completely. Only then, we are able to feel a certain closeness towards this little, stony things that live a life of some completely other dimensions, we are not able to imagine. Moreover by closer observance of this playful creatures of stone, touching the cold and burnished surface with our fingers and palms, we become aware of their level of consciousness, we manage to talk about, realize and understand their stony reality. The Hranuelli angels are white, red, grey and black just as the stone fragments that can be found in nature and Lemuria ravens from oblivion at the other side of linear time. At the same time the artist´s interaction with the angels differs, it 17 is even more exciting and new by every glance. It changes from one moment to the other, from one stone fragment to the other, where Hranuelli in the end finds his angels. Either in White or Brac stone of earthly blankness that Brac island masons gather as precious fruits of nature, Petar Hranuelli figures out his white ones, whereas the red ones in the carnian bauxite of the Velebit mountain. The dark ones on the other hand are freed from black marble stone chunks and dark-grey Breca from the Lika region.
Petar Hrauelli searches in the stony, angelic, round, organic surfaces and structures for perfection – moreover finds and frees the ideal mathematical Pi constant. The question of proportion – sporadic, deliberate or iliberate deviations in the length or width of angelic wingsor hips by soft creases and sudden curves, in every singel angelic movement - unconsciously stiving for the perfect proportion and balance. However at the same time, just as the perfect mathematical Pi equilibrium exists in every human body, living thing and known organic structures in nature, the Hranuelli angels with a clearness of chistled stone invoke memories about imbibed forms from the past, freed from a loose rock by breaking, sculping, edging or polishing. Petar Hranuelli though frees his little, rocky angels in order to find the absolute angelic soul captured in stone, instantaneously releasing the image of the first movement. This is how he finds a way in which abandoment is actually the main essence of the perfect act of
creation – in Hranuelli´s case an honest and harmonic stone sculpturing.

Draženka Jalšić Ernečić,
Koprivnica, 7th of February 2015

Contemporary Vitality

The rather humorous note in Petar Hranuelli´s creations is present from the very beginning of his artistic expression. How not to giggle at the sight of the Venus on a Motorcycle or the Angel siting on a Bench, who sometimes changes position to a swing benath a tree, struck by moonlight, regaling the observer? Peter`s Angels however are actually disguised Venuses.
Additionally clothed by wings - in comparison to their rather corpulent bodies rather
„winglets“- but still enabling those female creatures (when speaking of the incognito Angel X) - so round, soft and bouncing - to fly, even without them. It certainly strikes imaginable. After all, haven`t they already found their way into imagination, finding within Peter`s hands a tool for the embodiment of dreams.
That sensation of physical weightlessness becomes a metaphor of social lightlessness, moreover the easiness in approaching life, rendering only in perfect state, at the peak of life-strength and vigor as the Bull in Motion, since his convincing power isn´t strapped nor by convulsion or straining. In a rather peaceful and hedonistic manner however The Bull Rider should be approached. As a statement of vitality, that makes me think about Hranuelli as a special maker of sculptured panegyrics and dithyrambs that honor the splendor of nature, the very happiness in existence.
And even when the epidermis of his creatures – the Velebit Venus par excellence – isn`t stretched but dinted as the cross-section of geological layers, thus only as an ornament and never as a tragic intonation of human existence. Certainly, Hranuelli knows how to play with even more reduced, that is abstract forms as in Figures I or The Angel boosting. Although these are works of extraordinary intriguing concepts and impressive performance, accentuated modernistic in its character, the author`s deep vocational sense draws him perpetually towards arkadic rhythm of never-ending productivity - for the joy of thankful observers and admirers of erotic plastics.

Nikola Albaneže,
30th April – 14th May, 2014 – Zilik Gallery, Karlovac


Petar Hranuell`s Venus sculpture, over the years past , grew into something more than a plain signature of the author himself. Placing her into marble or in his favourit Brac stone, he translated this figure in many different themes and variations but always stressing its round, sensual figuration. By abstracting the recognisable form of his Venus cycle, the author actually renders homage to his own neverending inspiration – the Willendorf Venus – but also to some renown artists as Constantin Brâncuşi – here an important stronghold – regardless whether we speak of the Venus, the Angel or the Cathedral as a structural Hranuelli motif.

Just as the famous prehistoric Venus , also the Hranuelli Venus, shows something iconic and attractive at the same time. Perfect in its imperfection, the Hranuelli Venus started at some point in time living its own existance – from a rather static, closed mass she certainly freed herself by consciously stepping with both her volume and movement into open spaces. And when it already seemed that the Venus theme was compleatly exhausted, the sculptor changed his direction by approaching his Venus with a dose of humour, permanently playing and expelling every possibility to present himself or his work as pretentious. The Hranuelli Venus in its new interpretation becomes a figure living its own universe. Now she drives a so called Trottinett or even a motocycle, telling in this sense a story that hasn´t been told jet.

Romina Peritz
Buljat Gallery – Zagreb, 2013

About the Art of Petar Hranuelli

Aa a pebble on the shore lies the Hranuelli Angel Statue in a palm. Struck by brightness, burning with the sensuality of light and warmth stolen from the sun in the stone. Interlaced palms and wings touch the spirit suddenly, in remembrance of those who became engineers of the sky. It burns. A buxom, round female figure, full - breasted and of bacchanal hips within a stopped motion, meticulously lop-sided, supple .... With her beheaded, armless substaniallity she contracts the quintessence of popular belives in the exsistence of angels.Their sheer presence satisfies, we do not expect them to act. They are reminders, signposts, keepers of memories – moreover guardians of our humanity. The „Hranuelli Angel“ comes within my gorgeous aunt, with her big blue eyes accompanied with the scent of freshly baked, warm bread in her hands. Hranuelli angels do agitate, however so minuscule works in mathematical dimensions, but nevertheless strong in their message.

When the spirit gets reconvalescent, then the eye seizes the simplicity in the form – a grand respect for the approached material. The stone is approached carefully, by giving it a freedom of space and articulation throughout its strength and power of volume, between the many interventions of the chisle. Absolute mass, compactness, integrity - burst through by a giving and taking of space - carries within a primordial respect towards the prevalence and the might of nature to its utmost borders, when feelings turn into mystic, a ritual, light.

With his „Venus Cycle“ Hranuelli communicates the inner strenght of exsistence, like a furios chistle stroke, only brushing against the outer membrane of the material word. This context culminates in the granite „Cathedrals“, 2008. Only the boat and its sail is left, all unnecessary removed, hollyness brought into order, becoming understandable. Wild hammer and chistle strokes put beneath the white, smooth surface of an angel in the cathedral are poured into a orderly texture of a body within a ship and a belfry within wings. Its inner being keeps its angel-like surface – the cathedral moreover states the euharistic sense of the holy mass.Into his drawings however Petar places future mass. Short, sharp structural lines - the pencil cuts the paper and produces a shadow where tools hit the stone and the human hand allows an outright breach through free space. On a graphic modulation by intense contrast of light and shadow the image of a voluptuous Venus-like female imposes – light on paper is light within itself, as is the sculpture in the untouched stone. This drawings show an interessting gradation of the intensity of a pen-stroke, pressing on paper-surface in its density, being occasionally so dark and strong, breaking the outline.

Whether by graphit piercing paper or frenetic, successive, strong strokes on stone within time, Petar Hranuelli debates about the making and about excistence through figuration as well as about the ultimate human wish „to understand“ from „The Beginning of Time“.

Snježana Kauzlarić,
Slavonski Brod - 18th June, 2012

Petar Hranuelli´s Miniatures are a synonym for exquisitness, humour, animation and appeal. The artist already proved beeing one of those examples of the Brac Island Stonemasonry School who shows genuine mastership in approaching stone of many different varieties. Often he applies stylizing when female acts are concerned – his combinations of marble and granit are marked by special uniquness.

Davorin Vujičić
„The Sculpture in Stone, 1991 – 2011.“, Gliptoteka Gallery – Zagreb, 2011.

Venera anima mundi

a sancrosanct privity towards primival forms and meanings strikes us with a vehement strenght while observing Petar Hranuelli´s (1975) Venuses of stone . The sensation is not only reached by the form or structure but also by the stone patina that indirectly aims towards the wish to research furher into the connections between the current and heredity within these statues. inherited from the treasury of the far primordial world.

They not only represent a seldom sensibility of a rudimentary and pre-classical form that certainly isn´t incidental, but is the actual origin of all the other antromorphic presentations that came into exsistance much later, moreover based on such examples of similar prehistoric models. In this sense these Venuses are an hypothesis not only of sensibility but of a return towards the authentic, distinct and original model of sculpturing, presented as a contemporary act made by modern artistic tools.First of all – here we are overtook by that seldomly convincing expression when we speak about the mythic and poetical accent in the modern artistic work that as such is transponded through time and space. The archaic symbol as role model and inspiration shows as as strong motiv of an author that secretly whispers a pre-mythic paradigm and at the same time evolves an esthetic recreation, however an intriguing association directed towards the understanding of the author and the work in their context.

Indisputebly Petar Hranuelli´s Venuses reflect an ancient phenomenon that later on, through different kinds of expression, distinctly influence the development of spiritiuality and art as such - where the Godesses becomes a wordly spirit moreover the uterus of the world, present from ancient times, viá neo-platonic spirituality towards other mythical examples.The context of privity in the sense of the mystical, secretive or hidden, that is esoterical but always current makes Petar Hranuelli an active and valubale member of a generation-millieu with interests in this field (Josip Zanki), but also in the broader panorama of Croatian artists with similar preocupations (Zeljko Kipke, Vladimir Dodig Trokut). But unlikely those mentioned, the media which handles Petar Hranuelli is primarilly the expression and fascination of and with origin, both in the sense of the stone as well the role model. This make his art differ from the ususal popular esoteric picture-books, his artistic practice finds its source and model in artefacts made far before even the 1st grave was digged out.

This Venuses with all their provocative beauty and alacrity exist within the stone, celebrating life an the universal guideline where artistic association respires the transparency of more innocent times. As if we are influenced by a time when the global labyrinth of stone, skys and human spirit was not jet build, when by working stone one could still breathe life into almost everything. Naturally also into stone that at the time was believed of that it literally grows out of the earth. The Earth fruitful and fertile as a Godess that is Great Mother, Maria Gimbutas in her archeological discours recognises as the spirit that actually inspires life to each and everything. In this sense and way, the stone Venuses mentioned, take us to a place of sensation where the world is recognized as a place before sin, with one single landmark, the fantastic mother of dreams, anima mundi (wordly spirit), as always provoking the eneffable authenticity of the sacrament of the heart.

The sculpturor sends the message, maybe somewhat defiantly or uncompliant with the contemporary artistic stereotypes, that there is no punishable thought regarding originality, so this Venuses may also shout out loud: : Non serviam! (I do not want to serve!). The strenght of expression of this particular sculptures does not abnagate anything. There is no sense of elopement, one doesn´t want to be elsewhere. On the contrary, they potentiate all possible connections and relations gained by birth and lead us towards the never-ending riddle of our own position in the universe. There lies the value of uninhibited life, the artist reminds us of - the youth of the world, the happiness that tries to avoid the scream of death - calling for a prolongation of meaning that avoids characterization by undefinable figures. The character of expression declines any kind of confusion in order to reach simplicity in the presentation of the female according to the nuances of a mental landscape, far away from the agitation and neurosis of modern psychologized scenes.

However at the same time the sense of celebrating prodigiously stands crowned by the mystery of birth, but otherwise by the analogy of earth and sky, embodies within this stone- mistresses and symbols of sacrament of pagan beliefs, a certain notion of psychological renovation of all human energies. Petar Hranuelli´s Venuses by sight reach that unavoidable diachronic nature of the weft of attestation about the symbolic
motif of the Goddess as the symbol for the mystery of life and its first authentic eventual origin. That is the one that always and forever remains underived.

Marijan Grakalić
SKRADIN TOWN Museum - Skradin, 2011

The Venus

What is the meaning of a title when art sculptures are concerned - do they tell us something about their nature? Does the artist imposes his own perception or is this only playing with a certain assocciation? Therefore, why „Venus“, instead of „Mistress“ or simply „Woman“?

The sculpture itself is the result of formating volume. The volume of a sculpture we perceive not only visually but also in a tactile manner. The artist actually formates space. Petar Hranuelli creates in stone only, a material connected to his origin - an attachement unpossible to break. As a sculptur and artist his personality unfolded on the island of Brac, a place of rich stone-masonry tradition, moreover the reason for the intimate relationship towards stone as the sense of existence in relation to a privat history.

Thematically he turnes to the female figure, the Venus as such. Its origin can be found in tradition whereas its realisation is rather contemporal. His at first sight static compositions ,by carefull observance, reveal a stream of life and energy that continues and repeats itself. The figures as such disclose moods by body expression, since in this example body talk plays a leading role. The heads, as an disposable part of a stylizes human form, do not exsist in the usual sense, since they are of no importance to the artist. The figures are compleately „unpersonalised“ but nevertheless close. Their softness of colour invites approachement, the need to touch in order to denude their offer.

The sheer stony surface, played by the artist by using its structural features in order to negotiate hardness, represents a challenge. There are no rules, only the artist and his chistle. The relationship between the artist and the stone belongs to a separate chapter, not only the „chosen one“ but principally a synonym for the cognition of sculptore-art. His scupltures are made from as well as material as unmaterial elements of emptyness and shadows, that give them a special expressiveness, a certain dynamic and metaphorical meaning. This artist never fares so to speak towards exaggeration, moreover keeps to his measures, ensuring an comfortable feeling.

They are as a rule clean and clear artefacts – freed from philosophizing and mataphysical experience of the sculpture. The artist seeks and strives towards the prime and most acceptible cause of experiencing simplicity – a most difficult peak to reach – nevertheless representing the cause for the utmost beauty of this works of art. Peter Hranuelli, a still young artist, succeeds in revealing his own thoughts in a rather warm and profine manner, as prove of his own nature of personality.

Nikolina Mahović Prica Gallery, Samobor - 2008.

The dilligent sculptur and the devoted Venus

How should we approach the figures of Petar Hranuelli, how to perceive this female acts in their indivuallity, conventionally called Venuses?

Except the possibility to circle them by motion, a movement that results in a visual experience, we are also invited to turn them around on our palms and take their measure, nourishing a surface at the same time, besides being a plain observer. With sensitive fingertips and warm palms we hug bodies that respond by adapting, moreover by suppleness. Skin tissue and stone necessitate in their interaction a special tactile experience. In this manner archaic forms of human creativity remain unique only by offering them a new view or touch.And indeed, as many nudes - as many different positions. Without a scheme or rigid accuracy, only by a sensual flexibility of these humble plastics that render certain truce within a conflict between elementary material and meaningful formation,

Petar builds scultures of incomparable measures and proportions. Symetry is excluded, but regardless
the rather free configuration of the mass or a sporadic strong torsion, this torsos do not challenge nature. Their lightness in volume is the result of a special connection between organic and abstract forms. In a formal perspective though, this female corpuses can be perceived as a crossing of streams, or as their stout knob that makes a starting point in an ulterior development of forces. Hranuelli ́s Venuses – this sculptures od the palm (sometimes a masculine underarm or a female lap) – merry and strong, clear as the morning light - are both perky and pregnant, they simply render by attracting and succeed in their own intimicy by a strong, fructuous
rhythm. We on the other hand can only accompany, try to read art in the integration of their bodies in space concurred by stature, figure and dynamic turn.The form however remains liable to the material (only spasmotic we may notice a withhold, inflicted pigment) all to the point when we can speak of the naturallity of the pebble-shingl; as if beeing formed by abrasive natural forces. The more intensive existence of an influence of the arm can be find only on the even and roughly ornamented surfaces.

By stylizing, the statues gain a symbolic charachter, as if they are given somewhat of a divine prerogative. Their specific marks of type connect them inevitably with prehistoric Venuses, with this magic figures of fertility. „ She is compleatealy put into a ball-like speher“ – said a writer about the Willendorf Venus, in her size (11cm) and compactness a rather iconic sister of the Hranuelli Venuses. Only the later ones however managed to adopt the uninhibited dance of the juvenile expansion.

Nikola Albaneze
Gallery Arho, Zagreb 1st Dec 2005

Design R
Copyright 2007 Petar Hranuelli - Design R
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