About

Biography

Whilst training in carpentry Ernst Gamperl turned to the lathe rather by chance, and embarked on his lifelong love affair with wood. Starting out an autodidact with no previous knowledge of the art, Gamperl was unhampered by convention in his approach to turnery. From the outset he devoted his energies to the same artistic issues he was to toil at ever after.

Even today he carves similar shapes time and again, improvising ever-new details, and time and again he juxtaposes structures and profiles to create a whole that is completely novel, hitherto unknown.
Though Gamperl used to be ever on the lookout for precious, exotic woods, he has since come to prefer European wood like maple, beech, Italian olive tree and principally oak. During his first few years at the lathe he would turn “rough forms” out of freshly-cut wood that took a long time to dry before they could be treated, but now he exclusively uses wet wood.

Gamperl’s early works display precision craftsmanship and clearcut design; his more recent receptacles employ minimalistic, archaic forms and surfaces to bring out the beauty of the wood with compelling effect.

Ernst Gamperl’s sculptures aren’t just turned on the lathe, they’re the fruit of years of painstaking toiling with his medium: wood. Over the past 20 years he has studied its drying properties and their impact on the sculpture. He knows it’s a give and take, a dialogue with the material, he can never force a shape upon it. Working out the implications of this insight is a challenge that always spurs him on.

Curved edges and bulges, projections and indentations emerge out of the natural deformation of the wood. They are part and parcel of the design, as are branches and irregular growth formations, and fissures and fractures that he consciously repairs and controls. The immanent expressive power of the material, the grain, lines and colouring, its softness or hardness, compact heaviness or paper-thin transparency is 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, scarred surfaces.

What makes the sculptor’s works what they are, however, is not only his virtuosity and material, but the forces that have been acting on the tree and its growth for centuries. Whether it is solitary or grove-growing, on fertile or hungry soil, exposed to wind and weather and outside influences – all these factors are engraved indelibly on the “memory of the grain” and give the receptacle its final form. Naturally enough, Gamperl is loathe to chop down a centuries-old tree, so he uses trunks that could not stand their ground against the wind or had to be felled for other reasons.

On the bottom of each receptacle you’ll find the turner’s mark and work number, the year it was made and, quite importantly, the age of the tree.
To close with the words of architect Louis I. Khan, “Ask the wood what it would be.” Ernst Gamperl has the gift of turning wood into what it would be. And that’s fabulous.

Galleries

  • AT
  • BE
    • CONTEMPORARY ART
      Axel Pairon b.v.b.a.
      Zeedijk 729
      8300 Knokke-Het Zoute
      Tel + 32 ( 0 ) 498 102 815

      axelpairon-gallery.com
  • CH
    • Taste Contemporary
      Monique Deul Consultancy
      Rue Abraham Constantin 6
      1206 Geneva
      Tel +41 (0) 79 406 65 82

      tastecontemporary.com
       
    • Kunsthandlung & Galerie Carla Renggli
      Ober-Altstadt 8
      6300 Zug
      Tel +41 (0) 711 95 68

      galerie-carlarenggli.ch

 

  • DE
    • Galerie Hilde Leiss
      Großer Burstah 38
      20457 Hamburg
      Tel +49 (0) 40 36 55 74

      hilde-leiss.de
  • GB
    • Sarah Myerscough Gallery
      The Old Boathouse
      1 White Hart Lane

      SW13 0PX London
      Tel +44 (0) 20 7495 0069
      sarahmyerscough.com
  • HK
    • Le Cadre Gallery
      G/F Ruttonjee House
      3-7 Duddell Street
      Central, Hong Kong
      Hong Kong
      Tel +852 (0) 252 610 68
  • KR
    • Gallery LVS & Craft
      B1F, Jasmi Bldg.
      565-18 Sinsa-dong,
      Gangnam-gu, Seoul 135-891
      Tel +82 (0) 2 3443 7475

      gallerylvs.org
  • JP
    • Aloha State Co., Ltd
      ARTS & SCIENCE
      6-6-20 Minamiaoyama
      Minato-Ku
      Tokyo 107-0062
      Tel +81 (0) 3 3498 1093

      arts-science.com

Collections

  • CH
    • Collection Grether Basel
    • Museé des Arts Décoratifs de la Ville de Lausanne Lausanne
  • DE
    • Schloß Pillnitz Dresden
    • Museum für Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt
    • Kestner Museum Hannover
    • Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
    • Collection Alexander von Vegesack Hundsbach
    • Museum für Angewandte Kunst (Grassimuseum) Leipzig
    • Danner Foundation Munich
    • Schloß Gottorf Schleswig
    • Nationalmuseum Württemberg Stuttgart
  • FR
    • Fond National d’art Contemporain Paris
  • GB
    • Victoria and Albert Museum London
  • IT
    • Collection Vok Padua
  • JP
    • Collection Issey Miyake Tokyo
  • KR
    • Amorepacific Museum of Art Seoul

Awards

  • 2017
    • LOEWE Craft Price, 1st Price
  • 2002
    • Hessian State Award, 3rd prize
      Autumn Fair, Frankfurt
    • Bavarian State Award
      International Fair of Handicrafts, Munich
  • 1999
    • Danner Award
      Munich
  • 1998
    • Hessian State Award, 3rd prize
      Autumn Fair, Frankfurt
  • 1994
    • International Woodturning Exhibition and Competition
      Victoria, Final winner Best piece of show, 1st prizes in four other categories
  • 1993
    • Danner Award
      Munich
  • 1992
    • Hessian State Award, 1st prize
      Autumn Fair, Frankfurt
      Bavarian State Award
      International Fair of Handicrafts Munich

Exhibitions

  • 2018
    • Artgenève 2018 with Taste Contemporary Craft, Geneva, CH
    • COLLECT with Gallery Sarah Myerscough Gallery, London, UK
    • NOMAD with Gallery Sarah Myerscough Gallery, St . Moritz, CH
    • Ernst Gamperl Gallery LVS, Seoul, KR
    • Art Karlsruhe Axel Pairon Gallery, Karlsruhe, DE
    • MASTERPIECE with Gallery Sarah Myerscough Gallery, London, GB
    • PAD, London with Gallery Sarah Myerscough Gallery, London, GB
    • Salon, N.Y. with Gallery Sarah Myerscough Gallery, N.Y., US
    • Design Miami with Gallery Sarah Myerscough Gallery, Miami, US
    • Ernst Gamperl „3rd Exhibition“ Arts & Science, Tokyo, JP
  • 2017
    • Artgenève 2017 with Taste Contemporary Craft, Geneva, CH
    • COLLECT with Gallery Sarah Myerscough Gallery, London, UK
    • Art Montecarlo with Taste Contemporary Craft, Geneva, CH
    • TRESOR with Taste Contemporary Craft, Basel, CH
    • LOEWE Craft Prize 2017 COAM Madrid, ES
    • LOEWE Craft Prize 2017 Chamber Gallery, New York, US
    • Salon, N.Y. with Gallery Sarah Myerscough Gallery, N.Y., US
    • PAD, London with Gallery Sarah Myerscough Gallery, London, UK
    • Design Miami with Gallery Sarah Myerscough Gallery, Miami, US
    • Ernst Gamperl Galerie Göttlicher, Krems-Stein, AT
    • Ernst Gamperl with Taste Contemporary Craft, Geneva, CH
  • 2016
    • Ernst Gamperl – Objekte und Gefäße aus der Mitte des Baumes, Galerie Göttlicher, Krems, AT
    • Design Miami, Miami with Gallery Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, Miami, US
    • Salon, N.Y. with Gallery Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, N.Y., US
    • PAD, London with Gallery Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, London, UK
    • Zeitspuren – Hans Jürgen Simon und Ernst Gamperl Galerie Hilde Leiss, Hamburg, DE
    • Art Nocturne Knokke Axel Pairon Gallery, Knokke, BE
    • Art Montecarlo with Taste Contemporary Crwaft, Geneva, CH
    • Design Miami, Basel with Gallery Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, Basel, CH
    • Artgenève 2016 with Taste Contemporary Craft, Geneva, CH
  • 2015
    • Ernst Gamperl-Was das Holz sein möchte Buchheim Museum, Bernried, DE
    • Art Nocturne Knokke Axel Pairon Gallery, Knokke, BE
    • Design Miami, Basel with Gallery Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, Basel, CH
    • COLLECT 2015 Gallery Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, London, UK
    • Touring venue Martino Gamper- design is a state of mind Bolzano, IT
    • Artgenève 2015 with Taste Contemporary Craft, Geneva, CH
    • Ernst Gamperl – Skulpturen aus Holz Galerie Göttlicher, Krems-Stein, AT
  • 2014
    • Touring exhibition of Ernst Gamperl Shinsegae Gallery, Gallery LVS, Seoul, KR
    • PAN Amsterdam Axel Pairon Gallery, Amsterdam, BE
    • Touring venue Martino Gamper- design is a state of mind Torino, IT
    • Knokke Summer Gallery Axel Pairon Gallery, Knokke, BE
    • Ernst Gamperl, At the Corner by Arts & Science, Tokyo, JP
    • Martino Gamper- design is a state of mind London, UK
    • Positionen des Gestaltens Galerie Handwerk, DE
    • COLLECT 2014 Gallery Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, London, UK
    • Art up Lille AxelPairon Gallery, Lille, FR
    • Art Nocturne Knokke Axel Pairon Gallery, Knokke, BE
    • Artgenève 2014 with Taste Contemporary Craft, Geneva, CH

 

  • 2013
    • Li Trieb, Ernst Gamperl und Ursula Guttmann Galerie Hilde Leiss, Hamburg, DE
    • Ausstellung 50, Jürgen Prüll, Schmuck und Gerät Weiden, DE
    • COLLECT 2013 Gallery Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, London, UK
    • Art Nocturne Knokke Axel Pairon Gallery, Knokke, B
  • 2012
    • LVS Gallery at Craft Trend Fair, Seoul, KR
    • sequences – christa lühtje, ernst gamperl Galerie im Kelterhaus, Rosi Jäger, Hochheim, DE
    • Ernst Gamperl LVS Gallery, Seoul, KR
    • COLLECT 2012 Gallery Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, London, UK
  • 2010
    • Drehmomente, Ernst Gamperl Woodwork Kloster Schloß Bentlage, Rheine, DE
    • Display by Arts & Science, Tokyo, JP
    • Rotationen – Gefäße aus der Bewegung Galerie Handwerk, Munich, DE
    • Ospiti inaspettati Museo Bagatti Valsecchi, Milan, IT
  • 2009
    • Ernst Gamperl – Drehmomente Lignorama, Riedau, AT
    • U-tsu-wa-Lucie Rie, Jennifer Lee, Ernst Gamperl 21_21 Design Sight, Tokyo, JP
  • 2008
    • 40 years Arts and Craft gallery Arts and Craft gallery, Munich, DE
    • Scoprire il Design – Adventures with Objects Pinacoteca Agnelli, Torino, IT
    • Kleines Landhaus Saanen, CH
  • 2007
    • Musée départemental du Compagnonnage de Romanèche-Thorins Romanèche-Thorins, FR
    • Luminaire welcomes Ernst Gamperl Luminaire, Chicago, US
  • 2006
    • Galerie Carla Renggli Zug, CH
    • Un giro più del cerchio Oratorio San Rocco, Padua
    • Food Festival Mescolanze, Rovereto, IT
  • 2004
    • Ernst Gamperl during the ARTbasel Urs von Unger, Basel, CH
    • Gewerbemuseum Winterthur Winterthur, CH
    • Ernst Gamperl, Gallery Binnen at kunstRAI, Amsterdam, NL
    • I legni di Ernst Gamperl Arcade Glass, Milan, IT
    • Schalen Arts and Crafts Gallery, Munich, DE
    • Collect Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
    • Corporal Identity: 9th Triennial for Form and Content Museum for Arts and Design, New York, US
  • 2003
    • Group Exhibition Galerie Hilde Leiss, Hamburg, DE
    • Werkstattausstellung Claus Tittmann, Thurnau, DE
    • Corporal Identity: 9th. Triennial for Form and Content Museum angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt, DE
    • Ernst Gamperl Holzobjekte Galerie Carla Renggli, Zug, CH
    • Traces of Nature, Hand and Spirit, Studio Michele de Lucchi, Milan, IT
    • laboratorio 15 Milan, IT
    • I.H.M. Neue Messe Munich, DE
    • Kleines Landhaus Saanen, CH
  • 2002
    • Volumes in Wood Cream 136, SG
    • Diamant·Holz·Textil Galerie Hilde Leiss, Hamburg, DE
    • Exempla International Fair of Handicrafts Munich, DE
    • Werkstattausstellung Claus Tittmann, Thurnau, DE
    • Contemporary Decorative Arts Exhibition 2002 Sotheby’s, London, GB
  • 2001
    • A tavola con il Design dadriade, Milan, IT
  • 2000
    • Ernst Gamperl, Holz Galerie im Kelterhaus, Rosi Jäger, Hochheim, DE
    • Kloster Schloß Bentlage Bentlage-Rheine, DE
    • Volumes in Wood Miyake Design Studio Gallery, Tokyo, JP
    • von Holz zu Holz Ernst Gamperl, Cees Andriessen, Galerie Geymüller, Essen – Werden, DE