As a sculptor, Verginer’s approach to form and spatial distribution is wholly personal and led him to a resolutely contemporary style. From now on his plastic forms were to take on a literary dimension. Fully aware of the new direction his work has taken, he eschews the narrative approach, preferring a more interiorized expressive language. Verginer speaks of life, not of the individual episodes that make up life.
Verginer’s technique says a great deal about his figurative yet conceptual approach. To represent universal man, he scrutinises living people. He sculpts his characters, alone or in groups, young women, adolescents or children as they appear in real life. His models include students from a nearby art school with whom he enjoys discussing art and philosophy. If he feels the need to depict fine detail, he will also work from photographs.
Willy Verginer thinks long and hard before actually cutting a piece of wood. He draws practically every day, imagining his characters in two dimensions before chiselling them out of wood. His creations, however, are never hewn from a single piece or trunk. Verginer first completes a painstaking intermediary phase in which he prepares 12 cm thick planks of linden or pear that he allows to dry for 6 years – to ensure the wood will not split when worked – after which the various layers are glued together one by one in an order that pre-defines the shape the future sculpture will take on. It is from these blocks of roughly assembled timber that Willy draws his remarkable human figures, powerful yet fragile in their palpable humanity.
Text from “I want to be an Artist” by Valérie Formery (Curator of the Ianchelevici Museum)