Ernst Gamperl

His sculptures aren’t simply turned on the lathe, they’re the fruit of years of painstaking work with his preferred medium: wood. Over the past 20 years, Ernst Gamperl has studied its drying properties and their impact on the sculpture. He knows it is a give-and-take, a dialogue with the material; he can never impose a shape on it. This physical and conceptual challenge continues to spur him on. Curved edges and bulges, projections and indentations emerge out of the natural warping of the wood. They are part and parcel of the design, as are branches and irregular growth formations, and the fissures and fractures that he consciously repairs and controls. The immanent expressive power of the material and its grain, lines and colouring, its softness or hardness, its compact heaviness or paper- thin transparency, are underscored by his treatment of the surfaces: waxing and polishing, scrubbing out the streaks or carving filigree parallel grooves, contrasting smooth and shiny with rough-hewn and scarred. Pushing the boundaries of his own craftsmanship, Gamperl was awarded the LOEWE Craft Prize in 2017, and since then has pursued a quest for even more essential and archaic forms and surfaces. His one-of-a-kind project, “Tree of Life”, in which he transformed a tree into 67 beautifully wrought vessels that embody his excellence in woodturning and in experimental patinas, has been touring in Europe and in Asia (Korea) over the past two years. Spazio Nobile has represented Ernst Gamperl since 2020.


Ernst Gamperl: Oak Vessels

Ernst Gamperl: Living Material

Ernst Gamperl on ‘Tree of Life’

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