As I Imagine: Work by Ernst Gruler



“Everything is imagination. The longer the imagined thought is held, the greater the likelihood that it will come to be.” –Ernst Gruler, 2018

Santa Fe, NM (Aug 24 – Sept 15, 2018), opening reception Aug 24, 5-7pm.

GVG Contemporary presented “As I Imagine: A Solo Exhibition, with painter, sculptor, and fine art furniture maker, Ernst Gruler. The exhibition included new work in a range of media.

A musician for over 50 years, a fine art furniture maker for 25 years, Gruler has also delved into painting, welding, and making sculptural objects out of plywood. With a seemingly endless wellspring of energy, imagination, and creativity, Gruler has made himself a highly successful studio practice, with work in galleries and private collections across the country.

His sought-after fine art furniture bridges a sculptural aesthetic with commonly used items such as tables and chairs. “I think of the aspects of furniture in relation to the built environment, in relation to space and ergonomics. I’ve used plywood in most of my furniture over the past 25 years, as it is a sustainable product that also provides a strong, stable substrate for designs and surfaces,” Gruler explains.

Gruler’s “Sound Sculptures” were born out of an interest in learning to weld and to make a structure that could make sound and be interacted with. These sculptures are made from discarded steel from various machineries, while the bells are made from old acetylene tanks cut to a perfect pitch. “As with my furniture, the sustainability of product to build with is important. In this case, I am able to repurpose discarded or scrap elements into a sculptural, interactive structure. The materials I use [for the sound sculptures] represent a discovery of repurpose, where the sum total of the parts is greater than the individual components.”

As with many artists with multiple disciplines, one material informs another until they bridge into another path of imagination. Gruler’s “Doodle Paintings” are an extension of his furniture making that has found its way into his painting practice, literally jumping from a 3 dimensional surface seen from above to a 2 dimensional surface in an upright position. Ernst has this to say about them:

“They are a fluid response to my imagination without the cumbersome reality of assemblage. The meaning is interpretive. It comes back to sound: what is buzzing through my head, like music with forms and shapes moving through. The figures are momentary glimpses into my psyche. No plan, but there is no improper motion and no self imposed judgment, and no wrong action. It feels clean and pure in the application of sharpie or graphite to surface.”

Ernst Gruler earned his BFA and MA from Northern Michigan University. He lives in Lamy, New Mexico and co-owns GVG Contemporary with his wife, Blair Vaughn-Gruler.