Ernst Caramelle: Galerie Nachst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwalder
Huck, Brigitte, Artforum International
This show is a kind of commentary on what moves Ernst Caramelle in his life in art. Pigment on plaster, color on walls, sunshine on paper, a folio of delicate drawings con brio--from these basics this cosmopolitan artist, born in Tirol in 1952, composes a topographical intervention in the galleries, with an "ultra-light gesture," as the title of one of the drawings, from 2001, also suggests. Caramelle's aesthetic is based on those processes that, in contrast to physicality and gesture, take thought and concept as their central point of departure. And since for Caramelle there are no ideas without formalization, these appear physically as drawings, photography, video, and wall paintings--as fleeting, sun-faded ephemera or as slightly more tangible, object-like gesso pieces.
Many artists who, like Caramelle, work in a conceptual frame work have questioned the classical categories of painting and sculpture, interpreted them anew, or abandoned them altogether. But the parameters of painting have never lost their interest for Caramelle. Yet he is an expert in all that is provisional. Between content and form oscillates a work that is never hermetic, never even entirely finished. Its visual openness lies in its nature as process, its intellectual freedom in the flow of time, while its status as an aggregate changes as needed.
One of these aggregates is the alternative system of representation by which he has been known to transpose the traditional exhibition space into book form. In 1979 he entered the annals of international Conceptual art with his "Forty Found Fakes," published in New York. The black-and-white catalogue pretended to illustrate the works of renowned artists. But in fact it was filled with found images from newspapers and magazines that had coincidental similarities with works by Buren, Beuys, Serra, and Judd. …