Franz Ackermann’s work locates him as a contemporary explorer of urban globalisation and cultural commodification. A perpetual tourist who scavenges the world in search of contemporary exotica, his abstract paintings act as travelogues, recording his often tragicomic impressions of the locations he visits. Packaged with psychedelic explosions, flat-packed landscapes and candy coloured pop graphics, Ackermann's paintings offer an apocalyptic view of an ever-shrinking world.
Described by Ackermann as 'mental maps', each psycho-cartographic canvas offers both a topographical geography and an emotive record of thoughts and feelings: a kind of contemporary surrealism. Twisting awkwardly in time and space, in The Secret Tunnel, festive, toxic sunsets tainted with package-holiday promise swallow up traditional ways of life in an explosive vortex of spiralling shapes and patterns.
Digesting the subtle nuances of popular destinations and regurgitating them as international emblems, Ackermann’s visual travelogues provide a provocative record of an ever-shrinking planet in which the conflict between the centre and periphery is drawing closer. Each place becomes a logoised 'non-place', a triumph of marketing over cultural difference, national identity and natural exoticism.
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