Studio W+J
Coming back from the large church, the irregular shapes of the hill invite one to set out again and to descend once more towards the lower part of the town and to lose oneself in the apparent labyrinth of alleyways, leaving fate to decide the route to follow. And inevitably, you end up entering yet another archivolt, beyond which one can sense the olive groves and the hills; but before emerging in front of the small church, one's eyes are attracted by the vault, where a light, stylised decoration, almost Greek, frames a trompe l'oeil window, with no other apparent function than that of softening the harshness of the stone.

A few steps further on one comes to the studio of Wolfgang Weiser and his wife Jana Mazurova, the first “private” workshop opened in Bussana, in a building that the council of SanRemo had continued to damage long after the devastation caused by the earthquake. In 1947, in fact, a few families of seasonal workers who had arrived in Liguria for work in agriculture and in the flower fields had settled there, but the local council, to avoid the possibility of accidents (at the time, the town was almost a complete ruin), took the decision to make even the few houses untouched by the earthquake uninhabitable.

This was the fate of Wolfgang and Jana's present home-studio: they had to rebuild the ceilings which had been pulled down by the council worker. Today it is impossible to imagine the desolation there once was filled as it is with the works that husband and wife produce in Bussana, like many others mixing art and crafts indistinctly and without the slightest embarrassment.


Wolfgang Weiser e Jana Mazurova
Wolfgang Weiser was born in Vienna in 1947. After having obtained a diploma in chemistry, he went to work for the only company in Austria that conducts laboratory research on nuclear energy. Interested since his youth in contemporary art, he produced costume jewellery in this period; in 1966, on a visit to Italy, he discovered Bussana Vecchia and decided to make it his home.

He thus abandoned his work as a chemist and began the long and difficult task of restoring his present house. His first artistic experience goes back to this period (acrylic painting), and his works were shown in several Scandinavian art galleries (among which Atelje3 in Stockholm and Konstboden in Oskarsham). Later, his attention shifted to the study of visual perception and to op-art, receiving critical acclaim, above all in “swinging” London, which was particularly open to artistic novelties at the time. It was actually during an exhibition in London, at the Paradox Rooms in August 1968, that he met Jana Mazurova, of Czechoslovak origin but brought up in Germany, and they were soon married. The couple settled definitively in Bussana that year, while continuing to participate in artistic life in London and Scandinavia. In 1969 he exhibited at a show at the De Windt Gallery in London, and at another at Atelje 3 in Stockholm.

Since then, they have not left the town, dedicating themselves exclusively to art and craft production. Wolfgang Weiser, after his op-art experiments, turned his attention to silk-screen printing (from 1975 to today) and linocut printing, enamels and, most recently , computer art.

In the craft field, in the strict sense of the term, he has also discovered a procedure that allows the macro-crystallisation of stearin, used in the creation of artistic candles. Also from the ideological point of view, Wolfgang Weiser and Jana Mazurova have been important figures in the evolution of artistic life in Bussana Vecchia: the opening of their craft workshop, the first in the town, with the exception of the common gallery of the early sixties, represents the beginning of the recognition of the individuality of single artists and the loosening of the constraints of the original strictly communal system.

In many ways Wolfgang Weiser represents a peculiar exception in the artistic panorama of Bussana Vecchia. While the work of artists in the town is often characterised by the intervention of chance and indeterminacy – what could be termed “open work” - Wolfgang Weiser adopts techniques which impose rigid control of the creative process, and the results of which are almost totally foreseeable. He follows, in effect, the other channel of contemporary art, which looks to science and technical sources as the inspiration for one's own expressive language, in a line which, starting from the *esprit de géometrie* analytical abstract art to the iconographic serial production of pop art and computer art.

Thus from the optical works of the sixties to the potentially endless series of silk-screen prints (the face of Jana is reproduced as a full blown pop icon which inevitably recall Andy Warhol's Factory), to the fractals produced electronically , the art of Wolfgang Weiser puts the observer face to face with the reality of the “industrialisation” of aesthetic categories and, as a consequence, the serial universe of the western world. By embracing its techniques and modes of production and consumption, and at the same time identifies an alternative aesthetic use, which bends technological instruments to the needs of the individual and symbolically annuls their alienating values.

Pagina 202 - 209  "Bussana Vecchia"

Willy Ivaldi/ Roberto Marro /Clizia /Aldo Spinardi

Prima edizione: novembre 1994
ISBN 88-86498-00-4

Back to Studio W+J index