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Ernst Gamperl. Dialogue

Published: 20.09.2021
Ernst Gamperl. Dialogue.
Text by:
Achim Heine, Ulrike Spengler, Markus Rigert
Edited by:
Arnoldsche Art Publishers
Edited at:
Stuttgart
Edited on:
2021
Technical data:
256 pages 22.5 x 31.5 cm, 195 ills. English / German
ISBN / ISSN:
978-3-89790-639-6
Price: 
from 38 €
Order: 
Arnoldsche Art Publishers
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Intro
Ernst Gamperl (*1965) is one of the most internationally renowned woodturning artists of our time. The publication Dialogue documents in partly full-page illustrations his artisanal-artistic working process as well as the so-called Tree of Life project, in which he produced ninety-seven objects from one mighty oak tree.
For the internationally renowned artist and woodturner Ernst Gamperl, the dialogue with the exceptionally vital material of wood is a source of creative inspiration. He works it with a technique bordering on magic and embraces its natural drying-out process in the design of his pieces, giving rise to impressive, powerful forms. Ernst Gamperl’s most extensive work in wood to date was created from a 230-year-old oak tree uprooted by a hurricane. In an ongoing process lasting ten years—the Lebensbaum (Tree of Life) project—he transformed this mighty tree into a unique ensemble of ninety-seven differently formed vessels and objects, one of which was awarded the famous LOEWE Craft Prize in 2017. The publication is an impressive documentation of the artisanalartistic work process as well as the Lebensbaum project in its entirety.

Ernst Gamperl’s objects in wood leave you with a feeling of amazement. They are authentic and yet artificial, full of dichotomies and contradictions, albeit inherently harmonious ones. Despite their craftsmanship, they appear as if they had been formed by wind and water. Even though they are made of heavy, dense oak, they are so light and fine it is as though light could shine through them. The openings of the objects recall large vases, but as vessels, they are completely unfeasible. They give the illusion of a long history and patina, yet they are entirely contemporary. This is also true of the works from the Tree of Life, a single 230-year-old oak uprooted by a hurricane. In a process lasting ten years, Ernst Gamperl created a unique ensemble of ninety-seven differently formed vessels and objects from it – some of the substantial size.

Gamperl already had an idea of the final form of his works at the cutting stage. He worked the wood at right angles to the direction of growth in order to increase the tensile strength. For only during drying did the final form of the objects gradually emerge – the thinness of the material enables the material to distort at will, all the while leaving sufficient space for the fluctuation of the wood.

The works made in this way are perfect in form as regards their reduction, natural state and meditative calmness. It is no coincidence that they bring to mind the aesthetic of Asian ceramic vessels. Precise knowledge of the material, the artist’s proximity to nature and the concomitant intuition for the evolving form, alongside artisanal skill, form the fundamentals of their creation.

The book, comprising more than 250 pages, provides an almost haptic experience of the objects in full- and double-page illustrations. In addition to this illustrated section are photos that shed light on Ernst Gamperl’s method of working, a catalog index, a chronology, an introduction by Achim Heine and an interview with the artist and Markus Rigert from the Gewerbemuseum Winterthur.

 
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