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In Love with the Stone - I Spoke with Andreas Lolis

I do not go to work, I go to make love with the material” is one of the first statements Andreas Lolis shared with the audience, setting the tone of his talk last Saturday. Packed with people, the small living room of the stone sculpture class felt rather cozy, as the lecturer continued to tell about his practice. Known for sculptures that mimic cardboard boxes, wooden pallets and other types of disposable packaging materials all crafted in stone, Lolis transforms an ancient sculpting practice in a completely contemporary manner. His work is conceptual, environmentally conscious and fresh, while the stone gives it a timeless quality. Interestingly, all of the shapes he creates come out of his imagination, as a result of thousands of preparatory sketches and plans.

Andreas Lolis after the talk with a guest


After the talk, Andreas and I chatted about his class at the Summer Academy and about the stone. One of the chief impressions I’ve taken with me is the strength of his attitude and determination as if they were made of clean, polished marble.

This year marks the second teaching experience for Andreas Lolis, with some of the students following him since last year. “Maybe I will be here also for the third time, but I don’t know yet. We’ll see,” said the artist, possibly revealing some of the plans for next year.

The stone sculpture course takes four weeks and it’s the longest lasting course at the Summer Academy. When I asked if that were enough time for students to finish a piece, the answer was clear: “No. It’s not enough.” Although some works are nearly done, the whole class had little luck with the weather, as the Salzburger side of Untersberg was rather rainy in the previous month. This, naturally, makes the outdoor-based work harder than it ought to be.

I was curious to know with what thoughts does Lolis approach teaching this course, knowing that four weeks is unlikely enough time for it. “I hope that they will leave happier than they were at the beginning. And I like to see the excitement on the student’s faces, as they look forward to coming back next year,” he said, mentioning that he already serves as a mentor to some of the attendees. Following his footsteps, the younger sculptors tend to learn, but as their teacher says - never to copy, as they all have their own styles.

The artist’s talk was embellished by two stone pieces completed at Kifer Steinbruch, one in Untersberg marble, one in marble Lolis brought from Greece. I wondered if they are comparable. “No, there is no reason to compare them,” the artist said, “because I’m not working with the material, I’m working with the feeling.

At the end, I inquired why he chose the stone. To be truthful, similar installations can be executed in different materials, although the stone carries a strong historical subtext.

The stone chose me,” said Andreas Lolis right off the bat, adding that no matter how often he would pose the same question to himself, the answer evades him. We can perhaps speculate that it’s a genetic attracting since the artist’s father and brother both work with the stone, but the firm conclusion to this idea has somehow slipped through the cracks in the stone.


Scroll down for a set of images from the quarry tour and enjoy a small portion of the beauty that Kiefer Steinbruch offers. It's a magical place.




A piece by Andreas Lolis
A piece by Andreas Lolis
A student's working station
A student's working station
A student's working station and an almost finished piece
A student's working station
No photos!
The view of the quarry
A cloud trapped in the forest, Salzburg behind
That's where we get the stone!
Beautiful Untersberg marble (it's not REALLY marble...)
Goodbye, quarry!
15/08/17 17:39 Summer Academy 2017

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