Ernst Gruler

Furniture & Lamps

The innovative, contemporary fine art furniture of artist Ernst Gruler melds sculptural design and ergonomic comfort. Gruler has developed his design sensibilities over the past 25 years, after receiving a BFA and a MA. His furniture, unusual lighting and beautiful abstract paintings exhibit technical mastery, creative design and artistic excellence.


Ernst’s paintings are inspired by media and process. He works with acrylic paint, metal leaf and mixed media on textured panels. Imagery arises from the process, suggesting both organic and constructed environments.


Multi-configurational Puzzle Sculptures function as single sculptures, or can be disassembled and manipulated into a variety of configurations. Pieces are sturdy yet lightweight, making them easy to assemble, reassemble and interacted with.

Ernst Gruler’s Sound Sculptures are made from repurposed scrap steel and pressure canisters, with a liberal sprinkling of industrial chic, and the technical and aesthetic attention to detail that informs all of Ernst’s work. The bells themselves are meant to be rung, and in many cases other parts of the sculptures also resonate when struck. This is why we call them Sound Sculptures: they invite exploration and interaction, along with the contemplation of the origin and previous functions of the various scrap components of the sculptures. These sculptures are primarily steel, and can live either inside or outside. They make especially nice enhancements to an entryway or a sculpture garden.

Ernst Gruler is known for his beautiful, contemporary fine art furniture hand-crafted from plywood. In recent years, he has turned his talents to other media, creating abstract paintings on panel and a series of unique interior lighting. Gruler has developed his design sensibilities over the past 25 years, after receiving a BFA and an MA from Northern Michigan University in 1989 and 1991, respectively. His furniture, unusual lighting, and beautiful abstract paintings exhibit technical mastery, creative design, and artistic excellence.

He also shares a new body of work made from repurposed steel. Called ‘Sound Sculptures,’ Gruler’s bell sculpture work includes repurposed pressure canisters which resonate with beautiful tones when struck. Gruler brings his training in fine art and furniture design to this new work, mixing his sophisticated aesthetic with repurposed scrap for a satisfying and interactive result.

With his new welded steel furniture and sound sculptures, Gruler has taken up a fresh challenge in creating sculptural and ergonomic fine art furniture: “In my steel chairs, I am utilizing the formal aspects of chair making, but with non-standard materials, such as plow blades, mesh steel, leaf springs and strut rods, and assembling those materials into chairs that fit one’s body. In the chairs I make from wood, form follows function—to create pieces that support the body. Conversely, in my steel pieces, function winds up following the form—I have to find just the right pieces of castoff steel, then cut, manipulate, and assemble them into sculptural furniture. The end result is more sculptural than functional, while still satisfying the function of chair.” The innovative, contemporary fine art furniture melds sculptural design and ergonomic comfort.


Ernst Gruler