Franz Ackermann is a multimedia artist whose practice is entwined with the action and implications of travel and tourism. His works encompass painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, and, perhaps most famously, immersive installations. In his installations, Ackermann is known for incorporating the architecture of a space, at times making use of the ceiling, floors, and hallways of a gallery space. His works are made in part during his own excursions, and in part in his studio, based on memories of experiences. One of his first major series, “Mental Maps” (begun 1996) is a series of watercolors created around the world, which mixes factually precise maps of a city along with his own interpretations. Other works address themes of globalization, and the glamor and waste of commercialization.

His cartoonish abstractions are built up from individual components comprising paintings, drawings, photographs, wall drawings and sculptural, billboard-like constructions. His work frequently deals with the double side of tourism – the glamour, speed and consumption of international travel but also the detritus, architectural scarring and garbage that it leaves behind, and his installations often take on the appearance of strange advertisements for a global tourism industry run amok. ~2

Enthralled by the destructive yet enchanting practices characteristic of contemporary global tourism, and particularly the voracious Wanderlust of his native compatriots, painter Franz Ackermann has devoted his career to examining this phenomenon and its cultural, social, and environmental consequences.

Franz Ackermann was born in 1963 in Neumarkt St Veit, Germany, and lives and works in Berlin, Germany. He has exhibited extensively internationally, including solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe (2014), Berlinische Galerie, Berlin (2013), Faena Arts Center, Buenos Aires (2012), Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn (2009), Kunstmuseum St Gallen (2008), Irish Museum of Modern Art (2005), Kunsthalle Basel (2002), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2002), Castello di Rivoli, Turin (2000) and Portikus Frankfurt am Main, Germany (1997). Important group exhibitions include Altermodern: Venice Biennale (2003), Tate Triennial (2009), Tokyo-Berlin / Berlin-Tokyo, Mori Art Museum and Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2006), Biennale d’art contemporain de Lyon, Remote Viewing (Invented Worlds in Recent Painting and Drawing), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and Drawing from the Modern, 1975–2005, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2005).~3

Quoted sources

  • ~1:, Franz Ackermann
  • ~2:, Franz Ackermann
  • ~3:, Franz Ackermann

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