Werner Neuhaus – Sculptor

For more than 20 years, the sculptor Werner Neuhaus has been living and working in canton Bern, in the upper Emmental. Previously at Moosegg above Signau, and, today, in Zollbrück. The raw material that he exclusively works with is wood – hard and heavy oak wood. Out of this raw material, Neuhaus creates willful forms and figures. Some of them are monumental that dominant entire rooms, others are as filigree as the material and his tool, the chainsaw, barely allow. Nature, animals and raw life constitute Neuhaus`world. For many years, he spent the summers in the Swiss Alps as a herdsman or „Senn“, as the alpine cheesemaker is called in Switzerland. Here, the cows determined the structure and flow of his day and a black sheperd was his loyal companion. Now, Werner Neuhaus has settled down on „the Wanner“, a small farm in the midst of steep pastures and forest patches, above Zollbrück, in the canton Bern. The cow and the wolf – here, they appear as close friends. And the marks of the chainsaw compose their fur.

Large birdmen stretch out their heavy and sharp beaks towards us. Animal-humen – silent witness and symbols of our alienation. So close and raw in their moving expressivness that it makes you want to touch their rough bodies. „…it feels as though they are waiting for the irruption of the liberating language…“, says Martin Kolbe about the monumental group of figures. „The Just“ („Die Gerechten“). Werner Neuhaus`sculptures are in search of a place in the inexorable process of evolution. They desire to take part in our affairs. Bombs made out of wood – an absurd arsenal against widespread bizarre and conjured fears. With a rustic set of fence posts and barbed wire, we try to protect our bodies from the world. And with gas masks of cans and cloth we wait for the unavoidable showdown.

Reto Mettler