From 18 September 2013 to 31 March 2014, as part of the joint project Painting Forever! Berlinische Galerie
is exhibiting works by Franz Ackermann. Ackermann (*1963 in Neumarkt St. Veit, Bavaria), a painter, illustrator and installation artist, has been one of the most important contemporary artists for more than fifteen years. His works are to be found in numerous public collections and he has already proven on many occasions that he can meet the challenge of large spaces in a productive manner.
Ackermann, who studied art in Munich and Hamburg from 1984 to 1991, received a DAAD stipend for Hong Kong in 1991. There, he began producing highly personal cartographic drawings, which he called Mental Maps. These small-scale works are sketches of Ackermanns subjective, imagined or wished-for interpretations of spaces and places. Travel, tourism as a supposedly gentle form of colonization, media-based consuming and/or virtual previewing of travel destinations via the Internet and the resultant socio-political responsibilities create a referential network for the observer.
For the first big exhibition hall at Berlinische Galerie, Franz Ackermann has developed a special spatial concept that places wall painting, panel art and photography in conversation with one another. Lines of sight play a role in his concept, as do transport and travel routes, room dimensions and the technical equipment that is to be found on the floors and in the walls and ceilings of exhibition halls. The end wall of the hall is the first dominant surface to strike the visitor when entering the room.
The only chance to see this combination of different media will be at Berlinische Galerie: the panel paintings will return to their owners as individual works, while the mural will be painted over. The entire installation is simultaneously of both monumental and ephemeral character, says Dr. Thomas Köhler, director of Berlinische Galerie and curator of the exhibition. The pictures appear to fragment in the manner of a kaleidoscope, only to regroup immediately in a new constellation when the observer moves from one place to another. The dimensions of the installation exceed the conventional institutional scale on which paintings are usually presented. The way Ackermann approaches the medium is a reflection of forms of expression in painting but also a way of critically addressing communication, institutional limits and models of perception.
From 1984 to 1988, Franz Ackermann studied art at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste (Academy of Visual Arts) in Munich, and then from 1989 to 1991 at the Hochschule für Bildende Kunst (University of Visual Arts) in Hamburg, under the tutorship of Bernhard Blume. In 1991, he received a stipend for Hong Kong from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Since 2001, he has been professor of painting at the Kunstakademie (Art Academy) Karlsruhe. In 2004, Ackermann was nominated for the Hugo Boss Prize. In 2005 he was awarded the mfi Preis Kunst am Bau 2005 (mfi Award for Building Art) for his wall painting entitled Die große Reise im Münchner U-Bahnhof Georg-Brauchle-Ring. (The big trip in the Munich subway station Georg-Brauchle-Ring.)