Ernst Gamperl (°1965, lives partly in Germany and partly in Northern Italy) creates exceptional objects from carefully selected solid wooden blocks, displaying a ton of patience and craftsmanship. The work is in the first place unique, but always organic, bent and dynamic. Just like in nature Gamperl’s work never shows completely straight lines.
Besides the shape, especially the texture of the work gets noticed as the shapes of European oak are rough and clearly show the grain of the wood. The sycamore objects contrast strongly with these profiles because of their smoothly polished and nearly opaque exterior. This materiality is partially natural and Gamperl emphasizes the essence of the wood through his treatment. By scrubbing, polishing or waxing he emphasizes the transparency or accentuates the contrast. Subconsciously, we make the connection to other materials such as leather, ceramics or textile. Gamperl reduces the material so to speak until the object encloses its absolute essence.
The material selected by Gamperl is from trees that have been in one place for decades, and sometimes centuries. The forces that have been acting on the tree, such as wind and weather, on fertile or hungry soil, solitary or grove-growing, define the character of the wood. All these factors are engraved indelibly in the grain of the wood and give the object its final form. Gamperl only uses trees that could not stand their ground against the wind because of their age or had to be felled for other reasons. On each work you will not only find the year the object was made, but also the age of the tree. Though initially Gamperl experimented with exotic woods; he has since come to prefer European oak, sycamore, beech and maple from his immediate surroundings.
The purity and simplicity of Gamperl’s work and the exceptional material vibe, allow the shapes to take a special place in any environment. The works are included in numerous prominent public collections such the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (UK), Die Neue Sammlung – The International Design Museum in Munich (Germany), the Issey Miyake collection in Japan, Fonds national d’art contemporain (France) and the Danner Foundation (Germany).