ARTIST:

Franz Ackermann

Franz Ackermann
Mental Map: Evasion V, 1996
Acylic on Canvas
275 x 305cm

In Mental Map: Evasion V, Ackermann creates a biotic abstraction, a template for natural phenomena dictated by design. His jumbled composition is harmonious in its turmoil: concentric patterns of colour expose hints of identifiable place (a street map, a building interior, a snippet of landscape) only to dislocate them in a maze of organic generalisations.

Constructed graphics are corroded, integrated as if by evolution, to incorporate somatic qualities: sublime contemplation is achieved only through artificial enhancement.

Franz Ackermann
Mental Map: Evasion VI, 1996
Acylic on Canvas
195 x 210cm

Evasion VI is less a representation of a specific place than an eruption of global confusion. Wild blasts of colour rip tangled organic masses apart. Amid the wreckage are tiny vignettes of landscape displaced from their natural setting. Ackermann’s painting has an undertone of catastrophe: desert sunsets, rocky coves, and industrial parks clash together like tectonic plates in an ethical snafu. Through his unbridled abstraction, Ackermann strives to chart out the physical impossibility of conceptual space. Evasion VI reconstructs our chaotic perception of the world as an apocalyptic image-byte.

Franz Ackermann
New Building, 1999
Oil on Canvas
260 x 200cm

Ackermann paints New Building as a package holiday resort spiralling out of control. Destination: doesn’t matter. This exact development could be found anywhere. His warped perspective and candy-coloured banners compose an off-kilter composition, both unsettling and jubilant.

A triumph of marketing over nature, his hard-edged abstraction springs like Poseidon’s gift from the sea: the new universal symbol for ‘beach’.

Franz Ackermann
The Secret Tunnel, 1999
Oil on Canvas
260 x 200cm

Ackermann’s cityscape is information overload: a seething metropolis striated in Technicolor glory. Grey modernist architecture looms at an unnatural angle, engulfed in retro-style smog, while an inverted stairway to heaven descends into the open earth below. Ackermann paints his underworld as a spacey utopia: fiery blobs of magma swell with hypnotic seduction, revealing a virgin landscape at their core. The Secret Tunnel
is not a paradise, but an upper and middle earth equally and oppositely attractive.

Franz Ackermann
Zooropa, 2001
Oil on Canvas
200 x 250cm

Ackermann is a perpetual tourist: his paintings are like large trippy postcards from the edge. Dealing with globalisation and the commodification of cultural landscape, his work is representative of an ever-shrinking world.
Referring to his images as ‘mental maps’, Ackermann readily digests the subtle nuances of popular destinations
and regurgitates them as international signifiers: brightly coloured shapes, high-impact graphics, and pop iconography.

Franz Ackermann
Helicopter XVI (on the balcony), 2001
Oil on Canvas
287 x 278cm

In Helicopter, Ackermann presents a gyrating distortion. Glimpsed from above, his ‘map’ is more graphic than topographical: any sense of real space has been compressed to the flatness of a logo. Among the steely refined greys of a mountainside reclusion are the stripy steppes of a vineyard and a plastic sunset. It’s only the ‘flat-pack’ patio furniture that suggests a luxury villa and not just the abstraction of affluence.
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Thursday, 26 November 2020: COVID-19 / CORONAVIRUS UPDATE:

Following the UK Government’s latest announcement placing London in Tier 2, Saatchi Gallery will re-open from Wednesday, 9 December 2020. We will re-open with our free entry Ground Floor exhibitions (Philip Colbert: Lobsteropolis and Antisocial Isolation) from December 9. The new dates for our next headline exhibition JR: Chronicles will be announced shortly.

Government guidelines on health and safety measures will remain in effect, including social distancing within a one-way system in our galleries, the provision of hand sanitising stations, and the wearing of face coverings by visitors and staff. All visitors are encouraged to pre-book their tickets prior to entry.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.