Exhibited at Design Miami/ 2023 Master craftsman Ernst Gamperl has revolutionised the practice of wood turning by developing entirely new modes of working that push it to its technical limits. The artist principally uses the mighty European Oak tree and carefully selects his immense logs from sustainable sources – either from trees that could not stand their ground against the wind or were felled due to decay. Ernst turns the oak when it’s green and supple, to work in dialogue with the wood before arriving at a final shape; he is an expert in its drying properties and prophetically reads its movement as the sculpture finds its undulating form. The artist eschews uniformity and celebrates the imperfections present in the material, which tell the story of the tree’s momentous life and energy; the curved edges and bulges, the projections and indentations that emerge out of the natural deformation of the wood are an essential part of Ernst’s design. The immanent expressive power of the material is underscored by Ernst’s treatment of the surfaces: waxing and polishing, scrubbing out the streaks or carving filigree parallel grooves like velvet, contrasting smooth and shiny areas with rough-hewn, deeply scarred sections. These enriching elements draw us ever closer to the piece; the profundity of the work lies in Ernst’s ability to mine the emotional resonance that lies within the wood.
Diameter (cm): 50.0
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