Franz Ackermann - Contemporary Art London Friday, October 13, 2006 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    neugerriemschneider Gallery, Berlin

  • Catalogue Essay

    ‘When I make art, social and political questions overlap with my interest in communicating certain experiences” (Franz Ackermann quoted in U. Grosenick and B. Riemschneider, eds., Art Now, Cologne, 2002, p. 14).

    Franz Ackermann’s entire body of work is about traveling, tourism and appropriation of places. Considered a map-reader and creator, tracker, collector, and a real roving observer, Ackerman is more than just a painter. Ackermann, the artist, can be viewed from a critical standpoint, communicating from a position of privilege that allows him to indulge his passion for travel. Ackermann’s first major series, entitled “Mental Maps” were created during a visit to Hong Kong. These works combined the factual precision of traditional street maps with the artist’s own acute memories of the environment within which he stayed. These small watercolors were a documentation of his experiences; they were derived from his personal mental perception of the great cities of Asia, South America and Australia. Developed from this initial starting point, Ackermann created large-scale mixed media canvases and installations that encompass the viewer through their disorienting and dynamic compositions.

    Transall Delivering a Piece of My Hometown, 2001, the present lot is a stunning and powerful kaleidoscopic composition. At first glance, the painting appears to be an explosion of abstract imagery, but upon closer inspection, recognizable forms emerge and take shape. The futuristic cityscape of architectonic forms and swirling abstract imagery, hypnotize the viewer as they whirl around the canvas surface. Geometric constructions and geological forms seem to detach from the skyline and gravitate towards the central vortex of the canvas. It is interesting to note that in the title, the artist makes a very personal reference to his own hometown. The artist explains, “The place itself is the trigger and never the image” (Franz Ackermann quoted in U. Grosenick, ed., Art Now Vol 2, Cologne, 2005, p. 14). Transall Delivering a Piece of My Hometown becomes Ackermann’s rendition of a contemporary metropolis, with its veneer of modernity, its harking to antiquity, and its relation to his life. Obsessed with capturing the ever-changing states of change, and the feeling of being caught in the middle of the rapid flux of city life, Ackermann’s painting becomes a commentary on urbanism and globalization.


Transall Delivering a Piece of My Hometown

Oil on canvas.
109 1/2 x 137 1/4 in. (278.1 x 348.6 cm).
Signed, titled and dated “’Franz Ackermann’ ’01 Transall’” on the stretcher and dated “Franz Ackermann ‘01” on the reverse.

£150,000 - 200,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £153,600

Contemporary Art

14 Oct 2006, 7pm