Meet Ernst Gamperl, The Winner Of The First Loewe Craft Prize

Craftsmanship is central to Loewe’s DNA, and Jonathan Anderson has celebrated it with various initiatives in his three year-plus tenure as Creative Director, from Casa Loewe to annual contributions to Salone del Mobile. In the same vein, the Loewe Craft Prize, launched in 2016, is “an annual international prize recognising an outstanding work of craftsmanship that pairs an original artistic concept with a modern application of traditional methods.”

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Loewe Craft Prize

Photo: Courtesy of Loewe

Just this week, Anderson and actress Charlotte Rampling awarded artist Ernst Gamperl the prize for his work, Tree of Life 2, at a ceremony in Madrid. The Creative Director was part of the distinguished jury led by Anatxu Zabalbeascoa, who chose the German artist’s work as the winning entry out of the 26 finalist submissions, across categories ranging from ceramics, glass, jewellery and textiles.

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“This work explores the meeting point between formal values and a social message. Based on rescuing fallen trees and bringing nature back to life with exquisite skill, this is an object that is both beautiful and teaches us the value of recycling. Its maker has developed a distinctive individual voice rather than a style or signature,” Zabalbeascoa explained in a statement. Anderson added, “The work of Ernst Gamperl conveys a unique voice, and the physicality of these pieces will be important for many more years to come.”

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Mexico’s Artesanías Panikua, represented by Antonio Cornelio and his wife at the ceremony, received a special mention for their intricate hat made out of wheat fibre; alongside Japan’s Yoshiaki Kojiro for his blue vessel made out of glass powder and copper oxide powder. Keen to see Gamperl’s piece, along with the other finalist entries, for yourself? The artworks are currently on exhibition in Madrid, before travelling to New York (Chamber Gallery, 30 May to 6 June 2017), Tokyo (November 2017) and London (Collect Saatchi Gallery, 22 to 26 February 2018).

By Annabelle Fernandez

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