David Werthmüller

Uniques since 1998


Werthmüller welds his sculptures by hand at over 1500° C from steel. The Swiss iron sculptor combines traditional craftsmanship with remarkable artistic ingenuity. From the high demand to exclusively create unique pieces, i.e. works which correspond to his ideas and thus save his own existence into a meaningful life through direct traces, a thoroughly authentic work is created. This elaborate and time-consuming procedure developed over decades in Werthmüller’s work. Since 1998, genuine original metal sculptures have been created in this unique manner.


„ Think every day in sculptures and create treasures. This is my life, this is my happiness. “

David Werthmüller
Sabah | 39.7 cm

New works from the year 2019 can be found in the catalogue. The true nature, the complexity, the richness and the power of the sculptures cannot be adequately reproduced by illustrations. It is therefore advisable to visit the sculptures in the studio.

Introduction to the Works.

This knowledge of the singular/individual determines the exciting creative working process, in which a quasi-symbiotic relationship between artist and work is built up through mutual influence: starting from a still diffuse idea, he allows himself to be guided pragmatically by his technical and manual dexterity in dealing with the difficult medium of iron.

Build-up phase

Additively he builds up his iron sculptures layer by layer carefully and patiently, trusting in his sense of sight, under high temperatures with his “brushes”, the various welding torches sorted by size. Differently coarse surface structures caused by cavities and humps, which produce interesting light, colour and shadow effects, make the constructive process clear.

Test phase

The professional title “iron sculptor” aptly describes the artist’s activity, which requires strength and energy, but it does not even indicate the artistic result, the unexpected aesthetics and lightness of the mostly heavy works. Steel-hard material is transformed into objects full of grace and grace by means of genuine sensibility, which is reinforced by numerous and varied drawing studies of figures. David Werthmüller’s fascination for the spatial, tangible presence of his sculptures transfers itself directly to the recipient, who can experience them visually and haptically, extremely sensually, in their multi-views and set them in relation to himself.

The main motif of his works is the human figure, which is conceived in an abstract, bodily way. Archaic influences, which can be traced back to a multitude of cultural journeys, are unmistakable. The extreme long distance and simultaneous volume reduction of his figures is reminiscent of the 2300-year-old Etruscan votive statuette “L’Ombra della Sera (Long Evening Shadow)” from the Etruscan Museum in Volterra, the intensive and challenging examination of the female figure in particular reminds him of the traditional formal repertoire of numerous older cultures.

Finish

Albrecht Dürer’s quotation fits his statues, which are not strictly anthropometric, but rather universal, unconventional and as restrained as possible in their expression: “Gestalt is thus the outer appearance of man in constant change. The economic-functional goal of reducing the high consumption of materials and the weight of the sculptures has led to new, challenging experiments in the use of the preferred material iron. Mask- or shell-like heads and torsos or figures with cavities are created, which enable new and interesting ways of expression. The main motivation of David Werthmüller in his “struggle” with the recalcitrant medium of iron for autonomous, singular, always impressive works is to see, grasp and shape the essence of nature.

Review by Dr. Maria Leven, art historian, Brühl


Facts

David Werthmüller * 1969, grown up in Bern, married, two adult daughters, former lecturer for figurative drawing. Jane Steel iron sculptor (daughter), Stefan Werthmüller painter (brother)

Although genealogically insignificant, the Werthmüller family also included artists from an early age. Sources mention the sculptor Werthmüller in the book ” Neueste Reise durch Teutschland, Böhmen, Ungarn, die Schweitz… ” from 1741. Around 1842 one finds a copper engraver in Munich and in 1881 the sculptor Werthmüller Xaver is mentioned in the Nuremberg art encyclopedia.


2016 Art-Momentum, Biel/ 2015 Tramdepot, Bern/ 2015 Galerie Rhomberg, Innsbruck/ 2014 Galerie Christine Brügger, Bern/ 2014 Galerie Wimmer, München/ 2013 Galerie Christine Brügger, Bern/ 2013 Galerie Ka Art, Saas Fee/ 2013 Galerie Mera, Schaffhausen/ 2012 Galerie Wimmer, München/ 2012 Galerie Max-21, Iphofen/ 2012 Galerie Christine Brügger, Bern/ 2011 Nahrhafte Kunst Thun/ 2011 artbar, Brugg/ 2008 Bellevue, Ittigen/ 2007 Villa Amboz, Säriswil/ 2006 Skulpturengarten Thierachern/ 2005/ Galerie Erlengut, Steffisburg/ 2004 Die Halle, Langnau a. A./ 2002 Ramseyer + Kaelin, Bern/ 2002 Galerie La Rocca, Zürich/ 2001 Die Halle, Langnau a. A./ 2000 Galerie Christine Brügger, Bern/ 2000 Bernisches Hist. Museum, Bern/ 2000 BA für Migration, Wabern/ 1999 Skulptur 99, Bern