In his conceptually based oeuvre that spans many different media – from drawing, painting, photography, video, and wall painting, to virtually immaterial works with sunlight on paper – he explores the status of original and fake, production and reproduction, the perception of art and the context of art reception.
Caramelle's paintings – whether on gesso ground, wood, cardboard, or directly on a wall’s surface – exhibit views refracted by different perspectives. Colored, sometimes washed-out shapes formally refer to spatial and geometrical elements, to architectural found footage. In this system of doubles, mirror images, and juxtapositions, the wall itself is transformed into a picture. One spatial illusion follows another, while perspective views mutate into physiognomies. Beholding is reversed into being beheld, and what is visible questions its own status.
Ernst Caramelle was born 1952 in Hall in Tyrol, Austria, he lives and works in Frankfurt/Main and New York City. He studied at the Universität für Angewandte Kunst (University of Applied Arts) Vienna. In 1974, he was a research fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston. He was a guest professor at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main 1981–1983, followed by a professorship at the University of Applied Arts Vienna 1986–1990. In 1994 he became professor at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildendenden Künste (Academy of Fine Arts) in Karlsruhe, where he held the position of rector from 2012 to 2018.