The essential basis for his art are events personally experienced and impressions gathered on the diverse journeys that are of existential importance both for him and for his work, and also the actual characteristics of, and local ways and practices prevalent in, the places visited. His interest is always centred on constellations or configurations of features specific to a locality and on the impact of ongoing social, political or societal upheavals and processes, all of whose particular, singular atmosphere he strives to capture and encapsulate.
For the exhibition “Die Aufwertung der Lage” [“The Upgrading of the Location”] Franz Ackermann has developed an overarching spatial strategy which – in this particular form and interplay – will exist and be on display exclusively over the Gallery Weekend. Through their precise positioning in the gallery space, large-format oil pictures and wall paintings take on almost architectural functions. Layers of further media such as painting, photography, drawings and watercolours are then superimposed and brought into relationship with one another on terms of equal valency – so producing an involving, engrossing, all-encompassing and richly detailed installation. Alongside this three-dimensional structure, highly delicate pencil lines suggest two-dimensional cartographic views, which are then themselves again complemented in the pictorial space by photography and painting.
Following presentations in Paris and Istanbul, Franz Ackermann is now resuming and continuing in Meyer-Riegger’s Berlin exhibition space something he began in 2013 with his exhibition “Hügel und Zweifel” [“Hills and Doubts”] in the Berlinische Galerie: in a manner comparable to a palimpsest, space is here inscribed, defined, re-scripted and shaped anew. The linking of sculptural form and plane surface painting has an enriching yet at the same time disturbing effect that both perturbs the eye of the beholder and opens up new levels of vision.
Borrowed from the real estate sector, the exhibition’s title refers specifically to ‘our’ very own situation, the situation all of us face in Berlin – and a situation which, in point of fact, also includes the current exhibition space itself. Franz Ackermann’s show “The Upgrading of the Situation” is the last to be held in the current Meyer Riegger exhibition rooms on Berlin’s Friedrichstraße and is the perfect conclusion to ten eventful and magnificent years on this site. From Autumn 2018 onwards, the Gallery will be newly situated at the corner of Schaperstraße and Joachimsthaler Straße in Berlin-Wilmersdorf.