Auszug aus dem Artikel, Carsten Neff [Chefredakteur/Geschäftsführer - Medienproduktion], FÖRDERVEREIN GEGRÜNDET Freunde wollen Künstler promoten Jan de Weryha bekommt Unterstützung von Förderverein - Sein Atelier in Lohbrügge soll ausgebaut werden, Bergedorfer Zeitung, Reinbeker Zeitung, 21. Juni 2016.
[…] Das soll sich nun allerdings ändern: Langjährige Freunde des Künstlers, einige seiner Schüler, polnische Weggefährten und Bergedorfer Politiker haben am Sonnabend den Verein „Freundeskreis der Sammlung de Weryha“ gegründet. „Jan soll sich ganz auf das konzentrieren, was er am besten kann – seine Kunst“, erklärt der frisch gewählte erste Vorsitzende Horst Sellhusen.[…] Darunter als Institution auch die deutsch-polnische Gesellschaft Hamburgs. Generalkonsul Marian Cichosz war bei der Gründungsfeier dabei und versprach seine „persönliche Unterstützung von ganzen Herzen“. Cichosz: „Ein Freundeskreis ist das wertvollste überhaupt – egal ob im Privaten oder in der Kunst.“[…]
Auszug aus dem Text, Matthias Kellermann [Galerist], Jan de Weryha - Virtuose ZERO-Kunst aus Polen, Gallerie Kellermann, Düsseldorf, Juni 2015.
[...] AUF DEN SPUREN DER INTERNATIONALEN MINIMAL ART BEWEGUNG.
Die großen Protagonisten der Minimal Art wie Donald Judd, Max Bill und Carl Andre, aber natürlich auch die Künstler der internationalen ZERO-Bewegung wie Günther Uecker und Lucio Fontana waren eine wichtige Inspiration auf dem künstlerischen Weg von Jan de Weryha: „Man fände zahlreiche Gemeinsamkeiten mit den genannten Künstlern, Jan de Weryha verwendet das Arbeitsmaterial jedoch in völlig anderer Weise – er führt die Genuität des verwendeten Materials ein. Natürlichkeit, Ursprünglichkeit, das Leben sowie die Unberechenbarkeit des Holzes sind omnipräsent in Weryhas Werken.“ [...]
Auszug aus dem Artikel, Bettina Biester [Journalistin], Jan de Weryha: Holz ist sein Element, Bergedorfer Zeitung, Reinbeker Zeitung, 15. Juli 2015.
[...] Man merkt gleich, dass er ein Künstler ist, der anpacken kann. Und das strahlen auch seine Werke aus - riesige Kunstwerke aus zusammengesteckten Brettern, Holzscheiten und Baumrinden. Drei dieser Werke stellt der international renommierte Künstler aus Bergedorf auch bei der "NordArt" 2015 in Büdelsdorf aus [...]
Maryla Popowicz-Bereś, master thesis under the title: Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański. Monografia artysty (Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański: A Monograph), University of Rzeszów, Faculty of Art. The master thesis was supervised by Dr Grażyna Ryba, Rzeszów 2014.
[...] Donald Judd, Max Bill or Carl Andre or comparable others were merely an inspiration on Weryha’s artistic path, one could find plenty of similarities with the above-mentioned, Jan de Weryha’s treatment of the material, however, entirely differs, he introduces the aspect of the authenticity of the material. Naturalness, purity, the life and the unpredictability of wood are omnipresent in Weryha’s works of art. [...]
Quotation from the article: Carsten Neff [Chefredakteur/Geschäftsführer - Medienproduktion], Mit Kunst gegen den Picknick-Müll - Installation des Bergedorfer Bildhauers Jan de Weryha verwirrt Ausflügler am Travermünder Strand, Bergedorfer Zeitung, Reinbeker Zeitung, 17. Juni 2014.
Der in Bergedorf lebende, international bekannte polnische Bildhauer Jan de Weryha hat am Wochenende Touristen und Spaziergänger am Strand westlich von Travemünde mit einer schrägen Kunstinstallation verwirrt.[...] Mit vielen Neugierigen kamen die Macher ins Gespräch. "Ja, wir wollten provozieren", gibt Jan de Weryha zu. Das sei mit den Papptellern gelungen. Zuletzt hatte in Bergedorf Weryhas Mahnmal für Zwangsarbeiter Kontroversen ausgelöst. "Wenn Kunst zum Nachdenken anregt, zum Dialog führt, dann berührt sie die Menschen."
Ulf-Peter Busse, “In die Welt der Bäume hineinatmen” (“To Breathe the Air of the World of Trees”), Bergdorfer Zeitung, 18th February, 2013.
[…] Indeed, the internationally renowned artist has abandoned the concrete of the memorial and concentrates again on “his” material which is wood. […]
Quotation from the article: Sława Ratajczak [Journalist], Memorial in Bergedorf:
[…] He [JWW] intended to face the victims of the repression with quietness and respect and to pay homage to them. […]
Quotation from the article: Nicole Stroschein, Heute lerne ich malen (Today I learn how to paint a picture) How easy this is show HÖRZU Heimat/HÖRZU/FUNK UHR sending their reporter Nicole Stroschein to a crash course to the artist Jan de Weryha in Hamburg. HÖRZU Heimat, Heft 3, July-September 2012.HÖRZU: Deutschlands erstes TV-Magazin, Heft 29, 13th July, 2012. FUNK UHR: Mein Fernseh-Magazin, Heft 30, 20th July, 2012.
Today I learn how to paint a picture
[…] The Polish artist has been living and working in Hamburg for 30 years. He is famous for his impressive sculptures and works in wood. […]
Quotation from the article: Amelie Schneider, Wenn aus einem Stück Holz Kunst wird (How a Piece of Wood Becomes Art), Financial Times Germany, 29th March 2012.
[…] Since 1982 he has been living in Hamburg, where art is anyway high on the list of priorities. In the art scene Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański is very well known and very sought after.
Quotation from the commentary: Professor Dr Matthias Bleyl [art historian, Professor for History of Art at Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee] on the discussion about the monument project for forced labourers in Hamburg-Bergedorf by Jan de Weryha on the internet site of the Bergedorfer Zeitung. Berlin, 18th February 2012, 2:44 p.m.
[…] When the argument of too high costs for a work of art […] is stressed, […] then this is surely strange and basically only reveals how in an inexpensive way Bergedorf can get for the price of a car of the lower middle class art of first class quality.
Quotation from the commentary: Dr Iwona Bigos [Director of the Gdańsk City Gallery, gallerist, art critic] on the discussion about the monument project for forced labourers in Hamburg-Bergedorf by Jan de Weryha on the internet site of the Bergedorfer Zeitung. Gdańsk, 16th February 2012 - 12:54 p.m.
[…] The artistic work of Jan de Weryha-Wysoczanski is very well known to me. The simplicity of the form as well as the well-considered selection of the material are the most important features of his art. This applies also to this monument project.[...][nbsp]http://www.bergedorferzeitung.de/bergedorf/article136947/Mahnmal_macht_Promenade_zum_Kunst_Abstellplatz
Quotation from the commentary: Professor Dr Lars Mextorf [art historian, PhD, Professor in the History of Art at Berliner Technische Kunsthochschule and the Fachhochschule Bielefeld] on the discussion about the monument project for forced labourers in Hamburg-Bergedorf by Jan de Weryha on the internet site of the Bergedorfer Zeitung. Berlin, 18th February 2012, 11:22 p.m.
The whole bother reminds me not only of the controversy about the Holocaust Memorial by Peter Eisenman in Berlin but also of the opposition towards the Vietnam Veterans Memorial by Maya Lin in Washington. […]
Quotation from the article: Agata Patralska-Obarewicz [TVP (Polish Television), poet, novelist, journalist, graduate of the Uniwersytet Jagielloński], Drewniana pępowina (The Wood Connection)
[…] I am deeply moved by Jan’s respect for wood, it makes me feel humble… […]
Aleksandra Warchoł, extract from the Master thesis Wystawa jako dzieło sztuki, na podstawie twórczości Jana de Weryhy-Wysoczańskiego (The Exhibition as a Work of Art, With Special Regard to the Work of Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański), Technical University of Radom, Art Faculty, Supervisor: Dr Tamara Książek, Radom 2011.
[…] The works of art of de Weryha have an extraordinary character of harmony, not always achieved by contemporary artists, who rather want to shock or make one think. […]
Quotation from the article: Sława Ratajczak [Journalist], Arboretum duszy mojej – o znanym w Niemczech rzeźbiarzu polskim Janie de Weryha-Wysoczańskim (Arboretum of My Soul – On the Polish and in Germany Well Known Sculptor Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański), Polonia Viva, 27.07.2011.
[…] Dozens of exhibitions, catalogues, hundreds of articles in the Polish and German press, Polish Master theses and exhibits in our museums are a testimony of a remarkable career of the artist, who shows the persistence and determination of Homer’s Odysseus. […]
Quotation from the article: Anna Podsiadły [Art historian], Drewno jako materia rzeźby (Wood as Sculpture Material), Orońsko Kwartalnik Rzeźby, Centrum Rzeźby Polskiej w Orońsku, rok XXI: 3(80)2010, pp. 1-6. ISSN 1230-6703
[….] At the same time this was a rather large presentation of forms of individual expression of artists who celebrate the “physicality” of wood or using this material because of other reasons and motivation. […]
Quotation from the catalogue text: Katarzyna Rogacka-Michels [art historian, Agentur für aktuelle Kunst in Hamburg], Raues Holz (Rough Wood), catalogue of the exhibition Tabularium – Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański in the Gdańks City Gallery, Gdańsk 2009. ISBN 978-83-929348-9-9
[…] After numerous exhibitions in Germany, followed, from 2004, large exhibitions in Poland. 28 years after his emigration from Poland took place the artist’s first exhibition in his home town Gdańsk.
Quotation from the catalogue text: Grażyna Tomaszewska-Sobko [Curator of the Gdańsk City Gallery], W okowach percepcji (In the Bounds of Perception), catalogue of the exhibition Tabularium – Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański in the Gdańsk City Gallery, Gdańsk 2009. ISBN 978-83-929348-9-9
[…] Every piece of wood is indeed a notation of time, history, and, like the artist says himself, “a hieroglyphic text of nature”. […]
Preface by Dr Iwona Bigos [Director of the Gdańsk City Gallery, gallerist, art critic] to the catalogue of the exhibition Tabularium – Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański in the Gdańsk City Gallery, Gdańsk 2009. ISBN 978-83-929348-9-9
[…] We are very happy that it is Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański who has chosen to show his newest works in our gallery. […]
Quotation from the newspaper article: Dorota Karaś [Journalist], Między drewnem a fotografią (Two Exhibitions in the Gdańsk City Gallery – Between Wood and Photography), Gazeta Wyborcza, Trójmiasto, no. 195.6108, 21st August 2009.
[...] The idea to exhibit this artist in Gdańsk derives from Iwona Bigos: - I think, that it is worth exhibiting also artists in the Gdańsk City Gallery, who once left Gdańsk and who now make interesting things in other cities - says the Director of the Gdańsk City Gallery.
Quotation from the newspaper article: Aleksandra Lamek [Journalist], Drewno z duszą i baśniowe opowieści w Gdańskiej Galerii Miejskiej (Wood with a Soul and Fairy Tales in the Gdańsk City Gallery), 18th October 2009.
The Gdańsk City Gallery prepares two splendid exhibitions. The first one is a collection of wood sculptures by Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański, the second – a cycle of fairy tale photographies by Barbara Prasilova. Both openings are taking place on coming Friday. [...]
Quotation from the text: Sabrina Janesch [Journalist], Das Holz und seine Borke (The Wood and his Bark), 21st August 2009.
[...] The works are surprisingly doing good... here the materials bark and wood are treated very sensitively, are being approached, are also being formally understood. [...]
Quotation from the article: Maria Pajek, Anna Podsiadły, Alfabet rzeźby – def… (Alphabet of the Sculpture def…), Orońsko Kwartalnik Rzeźby, Centrum Rzeźby Polskiej w Orońsku, rok XIX: 4(73)2008, pp. 3-7. ISSN 1230-6703
[…] Some of the participating artists: Umberto Boccioni, Christo, Honoré Daumier, Edgar Degas, Donatello, Marcel Duchamp, Xawery Dunikowski, Barbara Falender, Fidiasz, Maria Jarema, Jerzy Jarnuszkiewicz, Stanisław Kulon, Józef Łukomski, Tadeusz Markiewicz, Danuta Mączak, Myron, Małgorzata Olkuska, Sławoj Ostrowski, Władysław Ostrowski, Adam Procki, Auguste Rodin, Adolf Ryszka, Józef Sękowski, Antoni Starczewski, Ludmiła Stehnowa, Maciej Szańkowski, Jacek Waltoś, Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański, Jan St. Wojciechowski, Zofia Woźna, August Zamoyski […]
M.A.-thesis written by Magdalena Kościelniak at the University of Rzeszów under the supervision of Dr Cesary Woźniak: Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański – Archiwista drewna (Jan de Weryha-Wysoczanski – Wood Archivist), University of Rzeszów, 2008.
[...] De Weryha's objects are indeed recorded nature in a brought sense. The artist considers reciprocal relations with the world of nature. The wood is granted a soul by him, is given deeper meaning, by transformation also vitality, somehow a new existance. Refering to infinity, he searches for analogies invisible for the eye, he follows new evolving motives, increasingly bigger contexts, consistently using his special relation with nature. He creates somehow new exceptional objects by not changing the original effect of wood as a material. The artist concentrates on the material and not on symbolism. He gives the wood a certain order creating an exceptional wood archive. [...]
Quotation from the article: Maja Ruszkowska-Mazerant [Journalist], How is a Private Museum Set Up? Purpose – Przedsiębiorczość w kulturze, Muzeum 2, magazine, no. 42, March 2008.
[...] Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański is a Polish-German sculptor. For over 28 years now, he has been living† in Germany, and there he is planning to open a private museum. He tells us about his ideas, plans as well as the problems he is dealing with. [...]
Quotation from the article: Dr Dorota Grubba [Journalist], Gdy postawa staje się formą/When an Approach Becomes a Form, Exit Nowa Sztuka w Polsce, Fundacja Exit Warszawa, no. 2(66) 2006, pp. 4112-4115. ISSN0867-0625
Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański is an artist of vast spaces. He measures the rooms with steps searching for tensions, for learning their properties; their 'reading' starts the process of a certain taming, transforming. He introduces incredibly sophisticated, delicate, meditating objects of wood emanating a rough beauty and raw technology effects of many months of struggling in the Hamburg studio. Next he forms ephemeral spheres, softening the interior, immanent in the place - now the nine hundred square meters room of the Museum of Contemporary Sculpture of the Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko. Revelations in Wood and Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański's earlier exhibitions have been considered great artistic events - one of the most beautiful and most thrilling sculpture exhibitions of recent times. The contact with these sincere attempts at defining the mysteries of nature opens the processes of personal epiphanies or even pantheism and despite the absence of any narrating elements, it provokes an intellectual polemics with the great phenomena of culture and narrating art. [...]
Quotation from the catalogue text: Mariusz Knorowski in an interview with Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański, Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański – Objawienia w drewnie – Orońsko 2006 (Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański – Revelations in Wood – Orońsko 2006), Muzeum Rzeźby Współczesnej, Centrum Rzeźby Polskiej, Orońsko 2006. ISBN 83-89327-37-6
Mariusz Knorowski: More and more often we have the chance to see your art after many years of your absence from the country; let's remind: the introduction was an inconspicuous presentation of one object at the Chapel Gallery in Orońsko in 2004, followed by the exhibition Wood Archives at the Patio Gallery WSHE in Łódź, a monumental exhibition Epiphanies of Nature in the Late-Modern World at the Wilson Shaft Gallery in Katowice last year and now at the Museum of Contemporary Sculpture at the Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko, and in the meantime good reviews, resonance in the media, remembering about yourself and meetings with the new artistic environment and a new group of viewers. Such a sequence is very significant and it cannot be a matter of incident that there has appeared around you a special, favourable aura which is evoking interest – it is a rather unusual phenomenon in response to contemporary art. [...]
Quotation from the newspaper article: Renata Metzger [Journalist], Drewniany świat – Wystawa Objawienia w drewnie – Jana de Weryhy-Wysoczańskiego zostanie otwarta w sobotę w Centrum Rzeźby Polskiej w Orońsku (Wooden World – The Exhibition Revelations in Wood by Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański Will Be Opened on Saturday in The Polish Sculpture Center in Orońsko), Gazeta Wyborcza, Radom, no. 17. 5024, 20th January 20.
The exhibition Revelations in Wood inaugurates this year's exhibition season in Orońsko. Weryha-Wysoczański is one of the most interesting contemporary artists working with wood. From previously cut and suitably formed fragments, Wysoczański builds larger, very diverse constructions. In his hands wood turns into – depending on his needs and the concept of work – either a substance emanating power, toughness or enchanting with lightness and delicacy. [...]
Quotation from the newspaper article: Łukasz Kałębasiak [Journalist], Podsumowanie roku 2005 w śląskich muzeach i galeriach. Ostatni rok przyniósł w naszym regionie urodzaj na ciekawe wystawy i ważne wydarzenia artystyczne. Poprzeczka została podniesiona wysoko (Summary on the Year 2005 in Silesian Museums and Galleries: In the last year our region abounded in interesting exhibitions and important artistic events. Standards were very high this year), Gazeta Wyborcza Katowice, 1st January 2006.
[...] Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański's exhibition in Katowice. The world's most wooden art. One could feel offended by this statement but never Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański, born in Gdańsk and since very long working in Germany. For it is wood in its rawest form which is the sole material of his work. What he made out of the Szyb Wilson Gallery in March was impressive. Wounderful simple compositions from logs or installations from pure brushwood in a post industrial space are like fire and water brought together in one room. The exhibition in the Szyb Wilson Gallery is still open.
Quotation from the article: Klara Kopcińska, Józef Żuk Piwkowski, interview: Drugie życie drewna – Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański (The Second Life of Wood – Interview with Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański), tytuł roboczy otwarty magazyn sztuki, dwumiesęcznik, Stowarzyszenie Edukacji i Postępu STEP Warszawa, no. 11-12. (10)2005. ISSN 1733 4691
[…] Who are you? I am probably a searching man, always looking for something in life; this pursuit concentrates on the sphere of art. And what are you looking for? A certain peace, certain rhythm, which I cannot find in everyday life; I want to make my life easier thanks to art. The aim of art is making people better. Making them more sensitive – thus better. Is there any work of art that has impressed you specially, that thrilled your sensitivity? Eisenman's sculpture, which I have seen recently in Berlin, the sculpture that stands in the centre of the city. In my opinion – the most beautiful sculpture I have ever seen with such incredible impact, [...]
Quotation from the article: Monika Branicka [Journalist] , Dusza drewna (The Soul of Wood), art & business, Sztuka Polska i Antyk, Instytut Promocji Kultury Sp. zo. o. Warszawa, no. 7-8/2005, p. 53. ISSN 1230-6703
[...] Weryha uses wood in agreement with its properties. He cuts it into chips, scraps, scales and slices. He builds hills, roads and circles from hundreds or thousands of elements. He assembles the slices into a column, and makes a triangle from twigs. The fragments of bark are used to make a cone, to build an ant hill, to build a new tree. He makes figures which do not exist in nature (wooden cube), but he does not violate its principles and natural order. He wants to understand the structure of wood and is interested in the extent to which you can interfere in wood so that it does not lose anything from its identity. It is probably the only abstraction which cannot be called cold. Minimalism with a soul. [...] It is one of the most beautiful and most thrilling sculpture exhibitions in recent time. [...]
Quotation from the interview between Monika Jóźwik [journalist, television editor TVP, actor] and Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański in the studio of the TVP Polonia television station about his exhibition in the Gallery Szyb Wilson, Katowice, Epifanie natury w późno-nowoczesnym świecie (Epiphanies of Nature in the Late-Modern World); broadcast on 3rd July 2005.
[…] MJ In the Szyb Wilson Gallery in Katowice, on the premises of an old mine on nearly 2000 m², are amassed about 100 objects, wooden sculptures of the Polish artist Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański who has been living now for 26 years in Germany and who is our guest today […] MJ You made wood the main object of your work. What in wood makes it interesting for you as an artist? In what respect is wood as an artistic material interesting, intriguing for you? […]
Quotation from the article: Katarzyna Frankowska [editor], Tożsamość drewna (The Identity of Wood), TVP (Polish Television), 17th June 2005.
[...] The first building and sculpting material. Can it possess any hidden properties? Or become a medium for new senses? Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański, a Polish artist working in Germany, has made wood the object of his work. He introduced it into regions from which it was banned by art and technology. The Wilson Shaft Gallery in Katowice, on the premises of an old mine of over 2000 m² amassed about a hundred abstract works. Their author says that he records wood in archives. His art is a kind of giving order to or gathering forms and figures in which this material appears in nature. He does not encumber the created objects with meanings. He does not build associations. Maybe apart from the most natural ones – let's say archetypal, [...]
Quotation from the article: Ewa Sitarska [editor], Pamięci obumarłym drzewom (In Memory of Dead Trees), TVP (Polish Television) Katowice, 27th March 2005.
[...] He says about himself that is a wood archivist, what nature has to offer he collects and puts into harmonious compositions. We are talking about Jan de Weryha-Wysoczanski a Polish-German sculptor who exhibits his works of art at the Szyb Wilson Gallery in Katowice. Strictly speaking these are not sculptures but monuments which he erects in honour of long dead trees. [...]
Quotation from the newspaper article: Łukasz Kałębasiak [Journalist], Rzeźby Jana de Weryhy-Wysoczańskiego – Katedra pełna drewna (Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański's Sculptures Exhibited in Katowice – A Cathedral Filled with Wood), Gazeta Wyborcza, Katowice, Bielsko-Biała, 23rd March 2005.
[...] It seemed that filling the huge space of the Wilson Shaft Gallery in Katowice by one artist (in an interesting way) would be impossible. But then Jan de Weryha-Wysoczanski got invited and within two weeks he created at the Wilson a wonderful exhibition. Although there is nothing but raw wood. 'My sculptures are a monument erected to trees', says the artist and there is no better key to his works than this sentence. Because the artist concentrates on the material, not on symbolism. 'Art does not have to have practical objectives. It must affect the viewer', that is his motto. And it obviously works at the Wilson. First, due to its scale, when the artist fills the entire niche of the old workshop with cut down poplar trunks. Then, due to his idea of forming bits of bark into a fanciful sculpture. The whole artist's work can be reduced to giving wood a certain order. [...] I realised that I really archive wood', says the artist. What 'works' in Wysoczanski's sculptures and sculpture installations is rhythm. The artist assembles bits of raw wood in simple combinations on the floor or frames them like pictures. The genius of his art consists in this absolute simplicity. [...] Wysoczański's art evokes extraordinarily good emotions. There is something primitive in our way of looking at wood and the artist makes good use of it. [...]
Quotation from the article: Professor Dr Jan Stanisław Wojciechowski [art critic, PhD, Assistant Professor at Uniwersytet Jagielloński in Cracow and Professor at Uniwersytet Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego in Warsaw], Epifanie natury w późno-nowoczesnym świecie (Epiphanies of Nature in the Late-Modern World. Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański's Objects in Wood), Format Pismo Artystyczne, Akademia Sztuk Pięknych we Wrocławiu i Fundacja im. Eugeniusza Gepperta Wrocław, no. 47, 3/2005, pp. 62-63. ISSN 0867-2555
[...] There are also a number of features which do not agree with minimalist associations. Geometric wooden objects of Jan de Weryha are extremely lively and clear in showing the infinite richness of wood forms. It appears geometrically arranged, but raw within, „natural” in its botanical, not rational and geometric shape. It is the rather infinite and spontaneous nature of wood that is geometrically „framed” – to enable its perception. The sense of Jan de Weryha's objects is to be found in philosophical foundations contrary to minimal art. Minimal art in alliance with conceptualism constitutes an attractive phase of dematerialisation and de-naturalisation of art. After all the objects of Andre, Judd , Morris or Serra are a spatial visualisation of linguistic and mental figures. The stress here is put on tautologies, i.e. an escape from all metaphors, symbols and „insights”, in pursuit of the bases of abstract language and establishing its semantic zero points. The art of the seventies, and especially the decade of the eighties, came into conflict with these tendencies, stressing the power of individual expression, materiality and carnality of artistic acts. And isn't Jan ostentatiously „carnal”? Carnal in a special sense, because the object of his artistic exploration is wood in its raw form. Minimalist tautologies are the reverse of artistic epiphanies, and de Weryha's art is epiphanic and not tautological; it is a way of revealing something that is „deeper”; it is creating conditions for clearances and insights. [...]
Quotation from the article: Mieczsław Szewczuk [Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Radom], Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański wobec minimalizmu – Wystawy w Polsce (Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański and the Minimalism. Exhibitions in Poland), Orońsko Kwartalnik Rzeźby, Centrum Rzeźby Polskiej w Orońsku, rok XVI: 1-2(58-59)2005, pp. 10-13. ISSN 1230-6703
[...] The title of the Orońsko exhibition is the title of the main work which was displayed; it was the Wooden Cube - a large, almost monumental form; placed inside the chapel was a cube with sides 230 centimetre long, whose surfaces were assembled from small sticks. The artist designed the work earlier, but he realised it with the exposition inside the chapel in mind (it is dated 2003). This first sculpture shown in Poland introduced us to his artistic production, indicated both the material and his working technique - wood, which is the material of his realisations, and the tools ( these scraps of wood are made by sawing and then chipping with an axe or a chisel). A simple form becomes an important element of interior decoration, for which the hitherto existing architecture becomes a perfect setting. With his work Weryha-Wysoczański revives the long tradition of placing a cube in space; possibly the most important of such works is Goethe's who placed a sphere and a cube in Weimar as 'An Altar to Propitious Fate'. [...] The rhythm that is introduced consciously is always significant, special for every work. The artist more and more consistently subordinates himself to the rule of limiting his actions to what results from the technological necessities, to resigning from anything that only embelishes. Weryha's works constantly refer to geometrical forms, but in many realisations the shapes are far from the precision with which other artists connected with the geometric art trend make their works. The artist talks of his fascination with mininalism 'for ages', first with the first works of Carl Andre, later with other artists, also with minimalist music. He accepted from minimalism many rules, which the great artists from that trend had set, but what happens in his art seems to be a fundamental argument with this trend, its contradiction. What is important is the large scale of his objects, simplicity and repetitiveness of forms, the relation with the surrounding space, yet the ease of using tools and the material itself cause that his sculptures lack the technical coldness of other minimalists' works, but have the softness of 'natural' wood, freely shaped by a working hand of a man. [...] What is the most unusual feature of these works, for which the reference point on the map of contemporary art is minimalism, is its relationship with art that is called tribal or primitive, most archaic among the known ones. Just like a creator of those sculptures, a little similarly, our contemporary sculptor places his objects in space in which they become monuments of ideas, they revive the time, the past, memory, as those artists were calling in their ancestors. [...]
Quotation from the catalogue text: Professor Dr Jan Stanisław Wojciechowski [art critic, PhD, Assistant Professor at Uniwersytet Jagielloński in Cracow and Professor at Uniwersytet Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego in Warsaw], Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański – Epifanie natury w późno-nowoczesnym świecie – Obiekty z drewna Jana de Weryhy-Wysoczańskiego (Epiphanies of Nature in the Late-Modern World: Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański's Objects in Wood) Galeria Szyb Wilson, Katowice 2005. ISBN 83-89327-20-1
[...] I see the sense of Jan de Weryha’s objects in philosophical foundations quite different from minimal art. Minimal art in alliance with conceptualism is an impressive phase of dematerialization and de-naturalization of art. The objects of Andre, Judd, Morris or Serra are spatial images of linguistic devices and mental figures. The stress is laid here on tautologies, i.e. an escape from all metaphors, symbols and ‘illuminations’ in pursuit of achieving the foundations of abstract language and defining its starting points of meaning. Minimal objects are devised in such a way that they ‘say’ only what is seen in the geometric, indifferent material-wise and space-wise surface or solid. The art of the seventies, and especially the decade of the eighties came into a sharp clash with these tendencies, stressing the power of individual expression, materiality and especially carnality of artistic acts. This turn is characteristic for late modernity (to avoid the slightly de-valued notion of ‘post-modernism’). And isn’t Jan ostentatiously ‘carnal’? Carnal in a special sense, because it is wood in its raw form that is the object of his artistic exploitation. Minimalist tautologies are the reverse of artistic epiphanies, and de Weryha’s art is – in my opinion - epiphanic not tautological. To avoid misunderstandings, epiphanic art is a way of revealing what is ‘deeper’, it is releasing ‘the light’, and it is creating conditions for those ‘perforations’ and insights. [...]
Quotation from the newspaper article: Dr Małgorzata Ludwisiak [Vice Director of the Art Museum in Łódź, former Director of the Biennial Arts Exhibition in Łódź, founding member and Director of the Łódź Design Festival, Lecturer of the Art College Łódź, former member of the culture section of the Gazeta Wyborcza Łódź), Nowe miejsce na kulturalnej mapie Łodzi – Sztuka dość jasna (A New Lieu on the Culture Map of Łódź. Art with a Quite Clear Meaning), Gazeta Wyborcza, Łódź, 13th January 2005. The Patio Gallery has become richer in space for organizing exhibitions. The first exposition is at the same time a discovery of an artist almost unknown in Poland.
[...] "He is a modest artist, without the self-marketing mechanism", explains Leszek Golec from the Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko, one of the exhibition organizers. "And people like his art, because it is quite clear". Weryha's Polish debut is a matter of chance. "We met last year at an exhibition in Schleswig", says Henryk Gac from the Centre of Contemporary Art in Warsaw. "I decided to organise his exhibition immediately. We already have plans for the coming year". Why the title 'Wood-Archive'? "There are selected artist's works from his various periods. [...] The new gallery under the common name of WSHE starts with a strong accent of good art and well known names of curators. [...]
Quotation from the article: Piotr Grobliński [Journalist], Budowanie przestrzeni (Building up Space), 7th January 2005.
The Patio Gallery has gained new exposition space. The continuously developing WSHE has recently opened its new college library at 26 Sterling Street, where there is also some room for presentation of art. The inaugural exhibition in the new place beautifully relates to this building up of artistic space. Its author, Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański, is a sculptor endowed with a unique spatial imagination. His monumental works can furnish any interior. He is a real architect of space. The artist graduated from State Art Academy in his hometown Gdańsk, but since 1981 he has been living and working in Hamburg. He is interested in sculpture in wood referring to minimal art. The Łódź exhibition is the first presentation of his works in Poland. Wysoczański approaches the material he uses with great humility. He never cuts down trees for his works – he recycles wood from windfallen trees or uses the remains of material left over by the foresters. He interferes in the structure of wood in such a way that it does not lose its own history (the exhibition is titled "Wood-Archive"), leaving some surfaces unprocessed. He creates both forms inspired by nature (hills, bee nests) and purely geometrical structures in which rhythm is particularly important. What makes the greatest impression at the exhibition is a sculpture consisting of hundreds of chipped pieces of wood, arranged into four square segments placed on the floor. It is interesting that the artist has been displaying it like that for the first time – until now the squares have formed the walls of a cube. Yet the character of the gallery space forced the author to create the new arrangement of the elements. Patio Gallery – WSHE Library, 26 Sterling St., until February 15th.
Quotation from the catalogue text: Urszula Usakowska-Wolff [Journalist, art critic], Archiwum bezczasowej czasowości (Archives of Timeless Time Finiteness) catalogue of the exhibition Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański – Drewno-archiwum – Wystawa rzeźby (Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański – Wood-Archive – Sculpture Exhibition), Patio Galeria Sztuki Łódź, Wyższa Szkoła Humanistyczno Ekonomiczna w Łodzi, Łódź 2005.
[...] The art created by this universal artist is an art of contrasts. It is minimalistic, which means both uniform and unindividualized in its form, but it characterizes with widely varied, individual surfaces. It is a continuation and enrichment of minimal art, it is related to it by its masterful use and control of space. The objects of Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański hold a conversation with the space, they are extension of the space, as they refer to signs, characteristic for the interior where they have been placed or hung. Some are covered with a delicate net which resembles outline of bricks on white painted wall. His mural works, entitled “Drewniane Tablice” (Wooden Boards), look from the distance like swaying cloths, in close perspective as libraries of wood called xylotheques, which were created at the end of the 18th century. They are more and more architectonical, they enter the space, they look like windows on the facades of Prussian walls, like gates in village fences or balconies in blocks of flats. They stimulate imagination, evoking most surprising associations. Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański is an exceptionally creative artist, unbelievably hard-working. For the last eight years he has created more than one hundred works of impressive size and quality. Some of them are made of dozens, or hundreds of thousand tiny pieces of wood, more than several hundred years old. It is a unique archive of timeless time finiteness. [...]
Quotation from the catalogue text: Dr Daniel Spanke [former Director Kunsthalle Wilhelmshaven, Director Otto-Dix-Haus Hemmenhofen, Curator Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, visiting lecturer], Anti-Rustika (Anti-Bossage) catalogue of the exhibition Strenges Holz (Strictly Wood), Kunsthalle Wilhelmshaven 2004.
[...] Bringing his rustic and analogical structures into the sphere of art, in that case concrete art, Jan de Weryha brings something new. Contrary to Donald Judd, Max Bill or Carl Andre and their likes, he tries not to use the perfect character of the material correlated with the reality and rationality of our lives. He introduces into his works the reality of the used material. Naturalness, the originality and unpredictability of wood are always ubiquitous in de Weryha’s works. He reaches it through the already mentioned radically limited ways of wood processing. [...]
Quotation from the article: Dr Justyna Napiórkowska [gallerist, art critic, independent expert for culture at the European Commission], Tajemnice drewna (The Secrets of Wood), arteon magazyn o sztuce, Dom Wydawniczy Kruszona Sp. zo. o., Poznań, no. 11(55)2004, pp. 27-30. ISSN 1508-3454
[...] To see Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański’s works is not enough. You should also touch them, stroke the intricate wooden constructions. The artist first conducts de-construction so that later on in the peace and quiet of his Hamburg studio he could build new wooden forms, having charred, scorched, planed particular elements. In this way, huge wooden spatial tablets are made. They seem to be crude, but in fact they are subtle and refined. The smoothness of the wooden surfaces neighbours with some roughness, there begins to reveal the shades of colour and the subtle play of colours of the combined pieces of wood. The wooden blocks are arranged into various configurations. Initially, a viewer may wonder on the semantics of the wooden cromlech. But it is not the meaning that matters here, but the mysterious and ephemeral moment of ‘a certain collaboration’ when the artist and nature from which he draws, co-operate during the creative process. Nature provides the material – crude and beautiful in its crudity, and an artist – using a chisel, axe or burner – processes this material just like a jeweller revealing the brilliant beauty of the diamond. [...]
Quotation from the article: Dr Daniel Spanke [former Director Kunsthalle Wilhelmshaven, Director Otto-Dix-Haus Hemmenhofen, Curator Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, visiting lecturer], Strenges Holz – Zeitgenössische Holzskulptur im Spannungsfeld von Ordnung und Organik (Strictly Wood. Contemporary Wood Sculpture in a Field of Tension Between Order and Organics), Kunsthalle Wilhelmshaven 2002.
[...] In the field of tension between minimalistic and ornamental effect, Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański composes his works by forming large wooden-slab objects made from different coloured woods. In his works he contrasts a playful handling of materials with the monumentality and strength emanating from pieces of wood which have in part been left rough and still covered with bark, in a highly impressive manner. The artist sets his creative fantasy against the pathos of the archaic materials, arising from the characteristics of the wood itself. In this manner, his objects are often similar to libraries of different types of wood, where the individual nature of each element appears to combine to form a harmonious whole whilst the individuality is still retained. [...]
Quotation from the article: Dr Alexander Piecha [media artist, philosopher], about Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański's works of art.
[...] Crack, cut, break, char, burn, stack in layers, chop, heap up – what else can you do with wood? An artist of Polish origins, nowadays living in Hamburg, presents his sculptures and pictures in wood. It seems like a new Rückriem is working in wood instead of stone. He tries out the capacities of the material, probes what can be done with it. He cracks, stacks in layers, chars, cuts, chops, heaps up – aesthetic studies in basic interaction with wood. And so are sculptures and pictures created – yet de Weryha steers clear of falling into telling “stories and ideas”. His works remain formal; he is interested in the syntax of wood culture, less in semantics. The traces of manual processing are left visible. His works are never smooth and seem to be left unfinished (in the positive sense of the word). This is what distinguishes him from Minimal Art and conceptual art. Thus, although his way of acting is minimalist and the foundations consist in crude concept, his works always contain sensual components. They live with subtle shades of colour and not only the curiosities of surface, but also with clearly visible yet almost unnoticeable traces of processing – and naturally with the creative composition. Even if the list of actions that the artist performs with and on wood seems destructive, when we ignore this fact, his actions are most often subtle and sensitive – he does not work against wood but with it. [...]
Quotation from the article: Dr Helmut Orpel [Journalist], Sprechende Oberflächen und natürliches Material – die minimalistischen Objekte von Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański (Speaking Surfaces and Natural Material – The Minimalist Objects of Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański), Das Fachmagazin für aktuelle Kunst, Dr. Helmut Orpel, Hans-Joachim Christnach, Mannheim, 9. Jahrgang 2003, Heft 1, pp. 44-45. ISSN 1430-4821
[...] It is remarkable that he followed a path from the very beginning, which in the end led him to a form of minimalism which is unique in this form in the context of contemporary art in the Republic. This minimalism contains a component that in fact contradicts intellectual coldness which is peculiar to the spartan artistic style. For Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański, the warmth of the material is an element of his works which has a direct effect. [...] In addition to the haptic element of the materials, an equally important role is played by the colour tones. And in this respect it really is astonishing how sensitively the different wood tones harmonise with each other. The transition between the shades is in flux, as the wood in question is not wood which has been found, but rather carefully prepared material which has been put together by Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański following a previously composed plan. His different objects complement each other and do not form hierarchical relationships with each other. [...]
Quotation from the newspaper article: Sława Ratajczak [Journalist], To wszystko tylko z drewna (All This – Just in Wood), Kurier – dwutygodnik ukazujący się w Niemczech, no. 256/16, 28th August/10th September 2000.
[…] We should remember, wood is a symbol of the kingly, the beauty, the poetry, the knowledge. […]
Quotation from the newspaper article: Bianka Fischer [Journalist, art historian], Eine Hommage an Mutter Natur – Jan de Weryha-Wysoczanski: Alles Holz (Homage to Mother Nature – Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański: All in Wood), Harburger Anzeigen und Nachrichten, no. 195, 158. Jahrgang, 22nd August 2002.
[...] In the midst of industrial ruins, not afar from Harburg Railway Station, there is a touch of life in the otherwise deserted neighbourhood. The halls of the former repair workshop of the German Railways present themselves as a gigantic exhibition area. The sculptor Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański turns the ground floor of the two-storey building into a lieu for contemporary art. The hall's scent is made up of freshly cut wood. The grey concrete floor is filled with logs of wood – neatly piled up into circles and cuboids, put together to wooden wall panels and spatial abstract sculptures – and right in the middle the artist himself. [...]
Quotation from the opening speech by Professor Dr Helmut R. Leppien [PhD, Chief Curator of the Hamburger Kunsthalle] of the exhibition of works by Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański in the main workshop of the Deutsche Bahn AG in Hamburg 2000.
[...] And we can be sure that Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański modelled and sculpted figures from standing and lying persons during his studies in sculpture at the State University of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, Poland in the early seventies. But here we see nothing of the kind [...] He makes square lumbers, he divides the trunk into differently sized square lumbers. He dissects the slab, whether it is round or angular, he chops it up, and it is then given its place. He lays the sections next to each other, in a row or in piles, or he forms a pile. Or he places them next to each other to form a square. [...]
Quotation from the opening speech by Professor Dr Christina Weiss [PhD, former Secretary of Cultural Affairs in Hamburg and State Minister for Cultural and Media Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany] at the opening of Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański's exhibition in the main workshop of the Deutsche Bahn AG in Hamburg 2000.
[...] With Jan de Weryha's works the nature and the natural structure of the material form the starting point for his designs and creative processes. His works exist on the confrontation of the sculptured and raw, the touched and unaffected. At the same time he consciously disappoints the viewer's expectation, who is used to prefer processed sides of a sculpture compared to the supposedly unworked side. [...]
Quotation from the interview with Andrzej Szczypiorski [writer], Hamburgs neues Mahnmal (Hamburg's New Memorial), Deutsche Welle/SFB, 6th December 1999.
[...] The idea of the monument and its art concept as well are wonderful. It is an incredibly difficult task. And what makes somebody give this a try? At this point I think the artist managed his task splendidly. I am not able to say whether a monument can please or not – this monument appeals, it makes a great impression. [...]
Quotation from the catalogue text: Professor Dr Helmut R. Leppien [PhD, Chief Curator at the Hamburger Kunsthalle (Hamburg Art Museum)], Der Natur gleich nah und fern (Near to and Far from Nature) catalogue of the exhibition Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański – Holzobjekte 1999-2000 (Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański – Wooden Objects 1999-2000), DB-Ausbesserungswerk Hamburg-Harburg 2000.
[...] He is not a searcher and a finder as Richard Long, he hews wood using both the gouge and the axe, he takes tree-trunks apart by means of the power saw. He works. Everything that comes into existence during this work becomes material for works. There is no waste. [...] His works take up traditions of archaic actions. The artist's resolute will of designing, however, is always present. [...] Thus, Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański is a sculptor who is seeking to discern the material wood in its specialty while working on it, perceives this specialty and treats it with respect, but simultaneously forms and designs the material the way sculptors have always been. [...]
Quotation from the newspaper article: Andrzej Szczypiorski [writer], Nachdenken über die deutschen Sünden (Reflecting on German Sins), Die Welt, 2nd September 1999.
On the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the war the Polish writer Andrzej Szczypiorski has called for 'reflecting on the German weaknesses and sins'. It is worth remembering 'that the Germans have never been, nor will they ever be, better or worse than others', said Szczypiorski on Wednesday at an hour of remembrance during the opening of the Hamburg City Parliament. Understanding this is the best guarantee for liberty and human dignity. [...] A memorial for the victims of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 was opened at the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial Site. It is dedicated to the roughly 6000 Poles who, after the suppression of the uprising, were deported to the Neuengamme concentration camp and its out-stations. The memorial was erected by sculptor Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański.
Quotation from the speech by Professor Dr Christina Weiss [PhD, former Secretary of Cultural Affairs in Hamburg and State Minister for Cultural and Media Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany] at the unveiling of the memorial in memory of the deportees of the Warsaw Uprising in 1944 at the memorial place for the victims of the Nazi concentration camp Neuengamme, Hamburg 1999.
[...] What really fascinates me about this monument is the renunciation of any kind of direct illustration. In its concentrated, symbolic abstractness it leaves enough space for our own associations and thoughts. Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański has given an impressively complex work of art to our city and the memorial for the victims of the Nazi concentration camps Neuengamme. A dignified spatial metaphor for unspeakable horror and multiple distress, a monument which creates but also leaves space for thoughts – and, therefore, a place where we can learn for a better future by reminding jointly. [...]
Quotation from the newspaper article: Karin Flothmann [Journalist], Friede, deutsch und polnisch – 6000 Menschen wurden nach dem Warschauer Aufstand ins KZ Neuengamme deportiert. Nun soll ein Mahnmal an sie erinnern (Peace – German and Polish – 6000 Persons Were Deported After the Warsaw Uprising to the Concentration Camp in Neuengamme. Now a Monument Shall Remind of Them), taz Hamburg, no. 5821, 21. Jahrgang, 27th April 1999, p. 21.
[...] The memorial, as explained by sculptor Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański, 'on the one hand shows the aspect of the totalitarian, the perfectly organized apparatus which serves to eliminate the individual as well as whole groups of people.' At the same time the rough finished and therefore individual elements of the granite refer, according to the artist, 'to the variety and distinctiveness of the human individual'. The path made of granite gravel which will lead to the memorial is meant 'to remind the visitor of the distance the persons sentenced to death had to cover'. Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański is providing the memorial project free of charge. [...]
Quotation from the newspaper article: Christian Hufnagel [Journalist], Die Jurierte Jahresausstellung – So einfach kann Kunst sein (The Yearly Exhibition – This Is How Simple Art Can Be), Süddeutsche Zeitung, no. 156, 11th July 1999, pp. 15, 10.
[...] Art can be so simple. There lies a bundle of log on the concrete floor, tied together with rusty metal loops. A useful object which has nothing artistic, not even the arrangement seems to follow a principle. But Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański gives his work a name. And this name releases in your mind what it needs for a work to become a work of art: Associations, which make nonsense and create sense. 'Opus 91' places the log into the music, puts a composition into your mind, which is created from feelings and intuitions and not from the brute force of an axe. [...]
Quotation from the speech Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański – Refinement Revisited by Dr Rafael de Weryha-Wysoczański [art historian, art consultant, former Sotheby’s Representative] held at the opening of Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański's exhibition Jan de Weryha - Objects at Hamburg Gallery Kunst im Licht, 6th February 1998.
[...] Consequently, La Monte Young's artistic procedure seems to be similar to Weryha's. Despite the minimal supply of artistic means both are striving to a maximum degree of refinement in their works. In doing so it seems that both attach importance to extend their refining strategies to different parameters as much as possible. Weryha pursues this strategy by demanding the simultaneity of the form and surface. This prompts the question: Which strategy is currently more worth striving the question of deindividualization and dedifferentiation as with Glass and Andre or the strategy of refinement as with Young and Weryha? [...] Everything that has been achieved by the Modern Age offers us numerous possibilities for an art of tomorrow. But still I want to adhere to certain values which make up a high art. After the radical revolutions of art, therefore, I suggest to choose a path of refinement, of perfection, the way Weryha or Young represent it. At least, this is an opportunity to build up an art with a future, and this time based on subtle values. A future that does not end in popular monotony.
Quotation from the text: Professor Dr Lars Mextorf [art historian, PhD, Professor in the History of Art at Berliner Technische Kunsthochschule and the Fachhochschule Bielefeld], Der Künstler und die Natur. Geschichte einer Kollaboration (The Artist and the Nature. History of a Collaboration), Hamburg 1998.
[...] After Weryha managed it to individualize a form by deriving from the natural basis, which as a geometric body is anonymous and exchangeable, the artist and the nature step into a kind of complicity. Because with all works which are formed up by several ashlars Weryha takes on a certain order and takes this as a basis to place the individual objects in the room however he likes. This way the impulse of his activity shifts from intellect to intuition. At first, when producing the ashlars the main emphasis is about fulfilling a rational guideline he has set for himself. The non-rational moment comes into shape by means of the nature. Afterwards the artist takes over this part by determining the distribution of each sculpture against the setting of a rational order. [...]