White Cube Bermondsey
Franz Ackermann creates cartographic watercolour drawings of urban areas undergoing rapid growth and
development. These ‘mental maps’ form the basis of his multi-faceted site-specific artworks. Alongside
the maps his work incorporates brightly painted wall murals, three-dimensional panels that jut-out into
space, and black and white photographs, in an all-encompassing environment that dissolves traditional
boundaries between artistic media.
Ackermann’s work is charged with the frenetic energy and underlying tensions of densely populated urban
areas. For his exhibition at White Cube Bermondsey these urban themes will take on quasi-religious
connotations, recreating the sensory exuberance and visual stimuli of a renaissance chapel, in which
paintings hang in close proximity to one another around a prominent, architectural centrepiece.
Underlying the exhibition is a highly subjective experience of place that emphasises playfulness, drifting
and the unreliable mechanisms of memory. These themes are not only represented visually in the work but
are also an important aspect of how the work is encountered. Experienced spatially as well as visually,
audiences are compelled to move around the installation, continuously adjusting and re-adjusting their
views and subsequent reading and understanding of the work.
Franz Ackermann was born in 1963 in Neumarkt St Veit, Germany, and lives and works in Berlin. He has
exhibited extensively including solo exhibitions at the Berlinische Galerie, Berlin (2013); Kunstmuseum
Bonn (2009); Kunstmuseum St Gallen, Switzerland (2008); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2005);
Kunsthalle Basel (2002); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2002); Castello di Rivoli, Turin (2000) and Portikus
Frankfurt am Main (1997). Important group exhibitions include ‘Altermodern’, Tate Triennial, London
(2009); ‘Tokyo-Berlin/Berlin-Tokyo’, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo 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’,
MOMA, New York (2005).