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Jan de Weryha-Wysoczański

Jan de Weryha standing in front of his work “Wooden Panel” (2001)
Jan de Weryha standing in front of his work “Wooden Panel” (2001). Various types of wood, nails, 412 x 216 x 18 cm. Taken in the de Weryha Collection, Hamburg, 2014

Other Polish sculptors deliberately turned away from "precious" materials and pursued non-representational tendencies. They regularly took part in symposia and exhibitions in Western countries. Jarnuszkiewicz developed expansive abstract sculptures from welded metal sheets. Magdalena Abakanowicz, who had actually studied painting, found new abstract forms in textile art by weaving a "rough" material, sisal, as used for ship ropes, into room-filling tapestries hanging freely from the ceiling, the "Abakans," for which she was awarded the Grand Prix at the 1965 Sao Paulo Biennale. The Polish academies also initiated a renewal of textile art. There they created three-dimensional wall reliefs and room-filling environments that occupied areas of sculpture. The surfaces of these abstract, freely designed works transferred the 'all-over' of Jackson Pollock's painting and European Informality into structures made of natural material. Similarly rough-structured reliefs can recently be found in de Weryha's work. These range all the way to the wall-filling format, where he dissolves the underlying geometric grids into an 'all-over' of fragments placed close to one another (ill. 37, 39, 42, 52, 80, 90).

Wood, which is widely known in Central Europe to have been used in figurative sculpture for well over a thousand years, only becomes a "base" or "poor" material when it finds its way into art as a find from nature or everyday life. In the early 1960s, leading artists of the Italian art movement 'Arte povera' began working with found materials from nature, but also with every conceivable material from everyday life. They showed that even "poor" materials can be charged with myths, stories, metaphors, and symbols, thereby opposing the traditional hierarchy of materials, mass consumption and even plain Minimal Art. From the very start Mario Merz worked with bundles of brushwood, which he arranged in groups along the wall, laid out on the ground, or from which he constructed his well-known "igloos". But he also used many other materials. Giuseppe Penone still uses tree trunks directly obtained from nature for his installations, the natural form of which remains visible even after extensive artistic interventions.

In de Weryha's work, the vertically and horizontally layered works, in which the wood is only roughly segmented to reveal its natural beauty and variety (ill. 3, 9, 17, 24), the ground works of branches and bark (ill. 54, 55, 65) and the "wooden object" of layered birch branches and veins (ill.57) have the closest connection to 'Arte povera'. It is hardly necessary to emphasize that de Weryha does not perceive wood as a "poor" material, but rather celebrates its richness in forms, colours and structures. Similar to the 'Arte povera' artists, who emphasized the high narrative and emotional value of the materials they used, he also points to their culturally critical, social aspect. He is keen that his work with wood, which plays an important role as a catalyst in the cycle of nature, "in a society that regrettably is only oriented towards consumption and above all profit, will at least make people stop and think for a short moment".[9]  

In view of his circular and partly conically layered floor works of wood or bark segments (ill. 16, 22, 23, 25, 26, 29), past authors, who could not yet know the current range of de Weryha's works, referred to impulses from Land Art, above all from Richard Long and Robert Smithson.[10] Likewise at the end of the 1960s, American artists transferred colossal forms of Minimal Art to the deserts and mountains of North America. They marked traces of their wanderings, redesigned gorges, dunes, and watercourses with construction machines, and created stone settings in the form of circles and spirals. One of these was Smithson's "Spiral Jetty" (1970), which was reminiscent of prehistoric places of worship. These artists also set up an alternative to the industrial consumer world by working in and with nature, uncovering the history of the earth and exposing their works to renewed corrosion. But here lies the decisive difference to de Weryha: his works are basically conceived for interior spaces and only in a few cases (and then temporarily) are meant to take place outside (ill. 60, 61). Due to their size, however, some of his ground works could only be exhibited by moving them elsewhere. Two such examples were "Orońsko" 2006 (ill. 53) and "Chilehaus" 2011 (ill. 67). On the other hand, Richard Long has also conceived circular wall tableaus of meditative circles of stones, peat, driftwood, branches, firewood and river mud, for museums and exhibition spaces in order to make them accessible to a larger public. The connection between de Weryha and Land Art is not only formal, but above all a love of the world and nature.

 

[9] ibid
[10] Jan Stanisław Wojciechowski 2005, p. 5/9 (see further reading; text available online on the website of the artist, polish, page 2/english, page 2); Dorota Grubba 2006, p. 4112/4115 (see further reading; text available online on the website of the artist). Maryla Popowicz-Bereś referred in her 2014 master's thesis (see further reading) even Richard Long as the main source of inspiration for de Weryha, p. 43 (text available online on the website of the artis; german translation ibid, p. 39)

Mediathek Sorted

Media library
  • ill.1: untitled, 1997

    untitled, 1997. Basswood 299 x 241 x 26 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 2: untitled, 1997

    untitled, 1997. Alder, 104 x 20 x 15 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 3: untitled, 1997

    untitled, 1997. Various types of wood, 228 x 84 x 51 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 4: untitled, 1997

    untitled, 1997. Various types of wood, 119 x 111 x 28 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 5: untitled, 1997

    untitled, 1997. Larch wood, 245 x 164 x 88 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 6: untitled, 1997

    untitled, 1997. Maple, 463 x 125 x 15 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 7:untitled, 1997

    untitled, 1997. Oak, 100 x 38 x 4.5 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 8: untitled, 1998

    untitled, 1998. Various types of wood, 248 x 222 x 14 cm (1st Prize, Prix du Jury, at the Salon de Printemps 98 – European Competition for Contemporary Art –, Luxemburg 1998), de Weryha Collection, Ha...
  • ill. 9: untitled, 1998

    untitled, 1998. Various types of wood, 450 x 230 x 56 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 10: untitled, 1998

    untitled, 1998. Maple, 90 x 75 x 39 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 11: untitled, 1998

    untitled, 1998. Basswood, 175 x 75 x 18 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 12: untitled, 1999

    untitled, 1999. Basswood, 251 x 140 x 34 cm, National Museum in Stettin/Muzeum Narodowe w Szczecinie
  • ill. 13: untitled, 1999

    untitled, 1999. Maple, 500 x 190 x 15 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 14: untitled, 1999

    untitled, 1999. Oak, 132 x 115 x 12 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 15: untitled, 1999

    untitled, 1999. Various types of wood, cardboard boxes, 320 x 145 x 27 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 16: untitled, 1999

    untitled, 1999. Various types of wood, 356 x 356 x 14 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 17: untitled, 1999

    untitled, 1999. Larch, 1140 x 120 x 55, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 18a: Neuengamme Memorial, 1999

    Neuengamme Memorial, 1999. 30 roughly hewn granite blocks on a 24 m² area of polished granite slabs, granite gravel path. Commissioned by the Bund der Polen in Deutschland e.V. In memory of the person...
  • ill. 18b: Neuengamme Memorial, 1999

    Neuengamme Memorial, 1999. Commissioned by the Bund der Polen in Deutschland e.V. In memory of the persons deported from the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, Neuengamme concentration camp, Hamburg, Polish mem...
  • ill. 18c: Neuengamme Memorial, 1999

    Neuengamme Memorial, 1999. Commissioned by the Bund der Polen in Deutschland e.V. In memory of the persons deported from the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, Neuengamme concentration camp, Hamburg, German mem...
  • ill. 19: untitled, 2000

    untitled, 2000. Maple, 120 x 120 x 36 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 20: untitled, 2000

    untitled, 2000. Oak, charcoaled, 220 x 60 x 58 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 21: untitled, 2000

    untitled, 2000. Willow, 220 x 58 x 58 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 22: untitled, 2000

    untitled, 2000. Various types of wood, 195 x 195 x 15 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 23: untitled, 2000

    untitled, 2000. Basswood, 97 x 97 x 29 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 24: untitled, 2000

    untitled, 2000. Chestnut, partly with bark, 260 x 140 x 56 cm, Museum of Modern Art, Radom/Muzeum Sztuki Współczesnej w Radomiu
  • ill. 25: untitled, 2000

    untitled, 2000. Bark, 90 x 90 x 34 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 26: untitled, 2000

    untitled, 2000. Willow, 90 x 90 x 35 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 27: untitled, 2000

    untitled, 2000. Basswood, 200 x 197 x 55 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 28: Wooden Panel, 2001

    Wooden Panel, 2001. Various types of wood, partially charcoaled, nails, 412 x 220 x 17 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 29: untitled, 2001

    untitled, 2001. Maple, 156 x 156 x 26 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 30: untitled, 2001

    untitled, 2001. Various types of wood, 350 x 106 x 43 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 31: Wooden Panel, 2001

    Wooden Panel, 2001. Various types of wood, nails, 412 x 216 x 18 cm (Detail), de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 32: Wooden Panel, 2001

    Wooden Panel, 2001. Spruce, charcoaled, birch, nails, 470 x 240 x 17 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 33: Wooden Panel, 2002

    Wooden Panel, 2002. Spruce, charcoaled, oak, maple, bark, 404 x 204 x 26 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 34: Wooden Panel, 2002

    Wooden Panel, 2002. Maple, charcoaled, 100 x 100 x 9 cm, Królikowski-Collection, Dąbrówka Wielka/Poland
  • ill. 35: Wooden Panel, 2002

    Wooden Panel, 2002. Spruce, charcoaled, bark, nails, 310 x 100 x 7 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 36: Wooden Panel, 2002

    Wooden Panel, 2002. Spruce, patinated, oak bark, 106 x 106 x 20 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 37: Wooden Panel, 2002

    Wooden Panel, 2002. Spruce, charcoaled, maple, 101 x 101 x 9 cm (Detail), de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 38: Wooden pillar, 2003

    Wooden pillar, 2003. Bark, wood, 285 x 100 x 100 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 39: Wooden Panel, 2003

    Wooden Panel, 2003. Bark, 253 x 200 x 11 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 40: Wooden Cube, 2003

    Wooden Cube, 2003. Various types of wood, 230 x 230 x 230 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 41: untitled, 2003

    untitled, 2003. Various types of wood, 880 x 220 x 16 cm (Detail), de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 42: Wooden Panel, 2003

    Wooden Panel, 2003. Various types of wood, 440 x 220 x 16 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 43: Wooden Panel, 2003

    Wooden Panel, 2003. Spruce, charcoaled, Various types of wood, nails, 150 x 150 x 9 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 44: Wooden Panel, 2003

    Wooden Panel, 2003. Spruce charcoaled, bark, nails, 150 x 150 x 9 cm, Centre for Polish Sculpture, Orońsko/Centrum Rzeźby Polskiej w Orońsku
  • ill. 45: untitled, 2004

    untitled, 2004. Spruce charcoaled, nails, 150 x 150 x 18 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 46: untitled, 2004

    untitled, 2004. Spruce charcoaled, bark, nails, 156 x 156 x 8 cm, Privately owned: Dr. S. Ropohl, Hamburg
  • ill. 47: untitled, 2005

    untitled, 2005. Various types of wood, 284 x 39 x 20 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 48: untitled, 2005

    untitled, 2005. Poplar, 320 x 320 x 40 cm, Owner: Galeria Szyb Wilson, Kattowitz
  • ill. 49: untitled, 2005

    untitled, 2005. Various types of wood, 480 x 280 x 45 cm (Detail). de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 50: Artwork on Architecture, 2005

    Artwork on Architecture, 2005. Robinia, 25 m2, Height 45 cm, Gymnasium Eckhorst, Bargteheide
  • ill. 51: untitled, 2006

    untitled, 2006. Birch, 900 x 240 x 14 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 52: Wooden Panel, 2006

    Wooden Panel, 2006. Various types of wood, 890 x 234 x 15 cm (Detail), de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 53: Orońsko, 2006

    Orońsko, 2006. Birch, 900 x 900 x 50 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 54: Wooden Object, 2006

    Wooden Object, 2006. Branches, 220 x 170 x 40 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 55: Wooden Object, 2006

    Wooden Object, 2006. Branches, 235 x 170 x 43 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 56: Wooden Object, 2006

    Wooden Object, 2006. Various types of wood, 280 x 243 x 55 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 57: Wooden Object, 2006

    Wooden Object, 2006. Birch branches, 310 x 310 x 220 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 58: Wooden Panel, 2007

    Wooden Panel, 2007. Spruce, charcoaled, reeds, 82 x 82 x 9 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 59: untitled, 2007

    untitled, 2007. Spruce, charcoaled, 700 x 200 x 10 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 60: Wooden Object, 2008

    Wooden Object, 2008. Birch, 900 x 900 x 43 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 61: Wooden Object, 2008

    Wooden Object, 2008. Various types of wood, 800 x 800 x 18 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 62: Wooden Panel, 2009

    Wooden Panel, 2009. Spruce, charcoaled, maple, 101 x 101 x 20 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 63: Wooden Panel, 2009

    Wooden Panel, 2009. Spruce, charcoaled, twigs, 101 x 101 x 10 cm (Detail), de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 64: Wooden Panel, 2010

    Wooden Panel, 2010. Oak, nails, 140 x 140 x 11 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 65: untitled, 2010

    untitled, 2010. Bark, 243 x 170 x 53 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 66: Wooden Panel, 2010

    Wooden Panel, 2010. Spruce, charcoaled, wood stems, 25.5 x 25.5 x 8 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 67: Chilehaus five lines, 2011

    Chilehaus five lines, 2011. Birch, 9000 x 230 x 14 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 68: Wooden Panel, 2011

    Wooden Panel, 2011. Spruce, lavender, 34 x 34 x 8.5 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 69: Wooden Panel, 2011

    Wooden Panel, 2011. Poplar, 50 x 50 x 18 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 70: Wooden Panel, 2011

    Wooden Panel, 2011. Spruce, charcoaled, spruce needles, 28 x 28 x 11.5 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 71: Wooden Panel, 2012

    Wooden Panel, 2012. Poplar, 50 x 50 x 8.5 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 72a: Bergedorf Memorial, 2012

    Bergedorf Memorial, 2012. To the memory of the forced labourers of the Nazi rule in Bergedorf, on the initiative of the AG Gedenken, Schleusengraben-Promenade am Kampdeich in Hamburg-Bergedorf, concre...
  • ill. 72b: Bergedorf Memorial, 2012

    Bergedorf Memorial, 2012. To the memory of the forced labourers of the Nazi rule in Bergedorf, on the initiative of the AG Gedenken, Schleusengraben-Promenade am Kampdeich in Hamburg-Bergedorf, concre...
  • ill. 72c: Bergedorf Memorial, 2012

    Bergedorf Memorial, 2012. To the memory of the forced labourers of the Nazi rule in Bergedorf, on the initiative of the AG Gedenken, Schleusengraben-Promenade am Kampdeich in Hamburg-Bergedorf; memori...
  • ill. 73: Wooden Panel, 2012

    Wooden Panel, 2012. Poplar, 50 x 50 x 9 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 74: Wooden Panel, 2013

    Wooden Panel, 2013. Spruce, 106 x 102 x 23 cm, Centre for Polish Sculpture, Orońsko/ Centrum Rzeźby Polskiej w Orońsku
  • ill. 75: Wooden Panel, 2013

    Wooden Panel, 2013. Spruce, 104.5 x 104.5 x 12.5 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 76: Wooden Panel, 2013

    Wooden Panel, 2013. Poplar, 50 x 50 x 8.5 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 77: Wooden Panel, 2013

    Wooden Panel, 2013. Cut reeds on wooden board, 50 x 50 x 9.5 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 78: Wooden Panel, 2013

    Wooden Panel, 2013. Spruce, 106 x 104 x 10 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 79: Wooden Panel, 2013

    Wooden Panel, 2013. Spruce, 106 x 104 x 10 cm (Detail), de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 80: Wooden Panel, 2013

    Wooden Panel, 2013. Spruce, broken and cut on wooden board, 120 x 118 x 10.5 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 81: Wooden Object, 2014

    Wooden Object, 2014. Poplar, cut and freely arranged, 400 x 400 x 39 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 82: Wooden Object, 2014

    Wooden Object, 2014. Poplar, cut and broken, wooden dowels, 187 x 187 x 16 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 83: Wooden Object, 2014

    Wooden Object, 2014. Poplar, cut and broken, 119 x 119 x 16 cm, Kunstsammlung Birkel, Hamburg
  • ill. 84: Wooden Object, 2014

    Wooden Object, 2014. Poplar, cut and broken, 119 x 119 x 16 cm (Side view), Kunstsammlung Birkel, Hamburg
  • ill. 85: Wooden Object, 2014

    Wooden Object, 2014. Poplar, cut and broken, 145 x 145 x 10.5 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 86: Wooden Object, 2014

    Wooden Object, 2014. Poplar, cut and broken, 142 x 142 x 21 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 87: Wooden Object, 2015

    Wooden Object, 2015. Spruce, cut and broken, wooden dowels, 135 x 135 x 18 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 88: Wooden Object, 2015

    Wooden Object, 2015. Spruce, cut and broken, wooden dowels, 200 x 200 x 17 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 89: Wooden Object, 2015

    Wooden Object, 2015. Spruce, cut and broken, wooden dowels, 196 x 196 x 10 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 90: Wooden Panel, 2016

    Wooden Panel, 2016. Spruce, cut and broken, 107.5 x 107.5 x 14 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 91: Wooden Panel, 2016

    Wooden Panel, 2016. Spruce, cut and split, 115 x 115 x 8 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 92: Wooden Panel, 2017

    Wooden Panel, 2017. Spruce, cut and split, 115 x 115 x 8 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 93: Wooden Object, 2017

    Wooden Object, 2017. Spruce, cut and broken, wooden dowels, 250 x 198 x 198 cm, de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 94: de Weryha Collection, Hamburg

    de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 95: de Weryha Collection, Hamburg

    de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 96: de Weryha Collection, Hamburg

    de Weryha Collection, Hamburg
  • ill. 97: de Weryha Collection, Hamburg

    de Weryha Collection, Hamburg