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This is a new work made in 2016 by the artist, a collection of earth rubbings from his local region, the Steigerwald of North Bavaria.


This is a new work made in 2016 by the artist, a collection of earth rubbings from his local region, the Steigerwald of North Bavaria.


herman de vries's stones from various parts of the world on display in 'on the stony path'

Exhibitions at GroundWork
11 March - 1 July 2017
GW33on the stony path
herman de vries

The first exhibition in the UK of the work of herman de vries occupies the spring season at GroundWork gallery, King’s Lynn. herman de vries, now aged 85 is a grand figure in the world of art and environment, renowned for his sensitive attention to nature. This exhibition is all about stones and earth, presenting the artist’s assemblages of the world’s natural resources. Remarkably varied soil samples from the Seychelles Islands and the Jura Mountains become rubbed drawings, revealing the range of colours which are otherwise hidden beneath the undergrowth. A framed lapidarium on the wall transforms what began as a seemingly random collection of the world’s pebbles into a little display of wondrous order and variety. A floor installation of precisely cut stones from the Steigerwald becomes a museum for a landscape which has since disappeared, lost to development. The exhibition includes his life’s work, the comprehensive ‘earth museum catalogue’, recently privately published and for sale as a limited edition.
herman de vries is a poet both with words and images. He began as a scientist and has retained some of the attitudes from that profession: an investigative attitude to the world, an attention to experiment and clarity of presentation. He was a member of the zero group in the 1960s, originally making pure white works with measured geometry and precision.
In 2015, herman de vries was the artist representing the Netherlands in the national pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Since then he has exhibited in France, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, and continues with major exhibitions for 2017 at the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Castilla y Leon in Spain, at Ludwig Gallery Oberhausen, Labs Gallery Bologna. In spite of the artist’s growing fame, he retains a modesty which makes him adamant that his name should always be spelt in the lower case.

herman de vries’s exhibition takes its place alongside what has become the gallery’s signature work, Richard Long’s Great Ouse Mud Drawing, which he made in situ for its opening in 2015. The works are very different, but they complement each other very well in that both artists are making direct use of a natural material.

Upstairs at GroundWork

The Meandering Eye
Sibylle Eimermacher
The Meandering Eye is film recorded on Kökar, an island in the very east of the Åland archipelago. Here the artist stayed in residence for summer 2015 at The Åland Archipelago Guest Artist Residence in Kökar, which was created in 1977 to give opportunities for artists to find inspiration from nature and develop new work.
. . .The shoreline of the island is made of Gneiss, a metamorphic rock, typically coarse-grained and consisting mainly of feldspar, quartz, and mica. Sibylle became completely transfixed by its remarkable surfaces and in her film the stone appears like a painting as she dwells on it in exquisite and sharp detail, revealing every variation of colour and texture.

‘Shaped by Stone’
Tom Randall Baskeyfield and Mario Popham
The artists share an interest in the interconnection of people, place, nature and landscape, and Shaped by Stone was their project devised for the theme of ‘Space’ for the Barnaby Festival, a cultural festival in Macclesfield, Cheshire. An ecological, place based project, it explores the relationship between an abandoned hillside quarry called Tegg’s Nose (now a country park) and the evidence of its stone in the footpaths, walls and roads of Macclesfield Town Centre, through the use of large format photography, drawing – rubbings / embossings – walking, writing and dialogue.


GW400hermanndevriesportraitherman de vries trained originally as a biologist and his art creates a rigorous sense of order while at the same time reflecting a curiosity about every aspect of nature. The artist always wants his name spelt in lower case letters.

herman de vries
installation of stones collected from around the world

This work is currently on show at GroundWork gallery as part of the artist’s first solo exhibition in the UK.

Page4Image4‘Over Millennia we have shaped stone: chipped, cut, split, crushed – turned hillsides into quarries – turned strata into streets. Like many other towns this process is the foundation of Macclesfield. The pink and blue-ish Gritstone of Tegg’s Nose has been quarried for hundreds of years…..’

GW301Hermandevpebbles1This installation of stones ‘lapis’ was exhibited in ‘sculptures trouvées’ a solo exhibition at Hans Barlach Haus in Hamburg, January – May 2016 and is now on display at GroundWork Gallery.
herman collects and discovers as he walks in order to experience nature.

GW1herman de vries was the artist chosen to represent the Netherlands at the Venice Biennale in 2015. This image shows the exhibition entitled ‘to be all ways to be’, which was held in the Dutch pavilion in the Venice giardini, curated by Cees de Boer and Colin Huizing.

A detail from Sibylle Eimermacher, The Meandering Eye showing a close-up view of the coastal stone of Kökar

Image from Shaped by Stone. A view over Teggs Nose country park, countryside outside Macclesfield.
Photograph by Mario Popham

Image from Shaped by Stone. Graphite stone drawing detail, by Tom Randall-Baskeyfield

herman de vries’s stones from various parts of the world on display in ‘on the stony path’

This is a new work made in 2016 by the artist, a collection of earth rubbings from his local region, the Steigerwald of North Bavaria.



A film of herman de vries in the Steigerwald woodland which he made for the opening of ‘on the stony path’. Film and editing by Joanna Schwender.

The Great Ouse River Drawing
By Richard Long, July 2016.

The first work a visitor to GroundWork gallery sees is Richard Long’s dramatic splash mud drawing, made in situ for the opening exhibition ‘Sunlight and Gravity’. It remains, opposite the entrance, as a signature work and talking point. Come and see it when you visit Richard Long’s major new exhibition EARTH SKY at nearby Houghton Hall from 30 April - 26 October (selected days).

‘‘What an amazing day out in King’s Lynn... and knowing how important herman de vries’s message is to the world at this moment in time....’’

‘‘This is so restful and peaceful in these troubled times’’

Richard Long at GroundWork Gallery

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