Franz Ackermann – New Neighbours

Milano - 21/11/2019 : 11/01/2020

Quarta mostra personale di Franz Ackermann dal titolo “New Neighbours”.


  • Luogo: GIO' MARCONI
  • Indirizzo: via Tadino 20 20124 - Milano - Lombardia
  • Quando: dal 21/11/2019 - al 11/01/2020
  • Vernissage: 21/11/2019 ore 19
  • Autori: Franz Ackermann
  • Generi: arte contemporanea, personale
  • Orari: Opening Thursday, November 21, 2019; 7pm- 9pm November 22, 2019 – January 11, 2020 From Tuesday to Saturday, 11am-7pm

Comunicato stampa

Gió Marconi is pleased to announce New Neighbours, a new exhibition by German artist Franz Ackermann and his fourth with the gallery.

Franz Ackermann is one of the leading German painters of his generation. Ever since the beginning, his works have reflected upon the socio-cultural changes in an age of an ever more accelerating information technology, an increasing globalization and the resultant cultural homogenization.

Ackermann is a globetrotter. His work stems from little diary-like drawings, his so called Mental Maps, which he sketches during his numerous travels all over the world

By means of those, Ackermann experiences a place, appropriates it through movement and thus keeps hold of it on paper. These Mental Maps are in themselves very subjective interpretations of spaces and places and of a particular moment in time. On a small, distilled scale, they already contain all the information of his large works.

For the exhibition at the gallery, Ackermann was inspired by Alighiero Boetti’s map series. They are tapestry maps of the world on which each country is represented by the colours of its flag. Together they form an ideological portrait of the passing of time and of the geopolitical shifts while simultaneously postulating the idea of a united world.

Ackermann approaches the theme of territorial affiliation and the idea of a united world from a slightly different angle. Out of the 194 flags of all the countries in the world, he has patched up a gigantic flag carpet or, as he likes to call it, a world flag. Each of these flags has been randomly allocated, the underlying political implication being, that each state keeps its national state status but within a new geographical configuration: Italy remains Italy with everything it stands for but might now be the neighbour of South Africa and Brazil.
In the digital age, the idea of a newly configured world becomes a legitimate concern as the world wide web renders the concept of borders inane: the fact that somebody at the other end of the world can look at the New Neighbours exhibition online a day after the opening makes the concept of an exhibition within a physically defined space somehow irrelevant. This involves also the idea of originality which loses its significance inasmuch as the original –its actual color, shape and aura- is increasingly being replaced by its gazillion reproductions in the digital world.

Besides the flag carpet, several oil paintings as well as a new series of multi-layered assemblages are on display at the gallery. The latter consist of an oil painting bottom, a photographic middle part and a colourful Alu-Dibond front with painted architectural elements and cut-out parts which allow the viewer to immerse into the depth of the work.
In this new body of work, Ackermann not only combines all different kinds of media, he also achieves their homogeneity. The intermediate step of the Mental Map is no longer necessary as it has been replaced by the numerous photographs and painted architectural features which are applied directly onto the actual work.

Das Deck depicts the city of Milan as a deck of a ship. Round, galley-like cut-outs draw the viewer’s gaze towards photographic impressions of the city that the artist has taken in situ. Colourfully painted architectural details as well as small site-specific objects such as a miniature Milanese Dome complete this painted homage to the city.
In I am the Water, Ackermann expands from the Milanese microcosm into a universal macrocosm. Here he uses photos of rivers, lakes and oceans that he has taken all over the world. By condensing the world’s waters into one work, the interconnectedness of the planet becomes tangible.

Franz Ackermann’s New Neighbours is a colourful, brave, new, reshuffled world, in which exigent current problems such as the ever widening gap between the analogue and the digital sphere, global human migration and complex national and supranational affiliations in an increasingly populist world, are persistently subsurface.

Franz Ackermann (b. Neumarkt St. Veit, Germany, 1963) lives and works in Berlin.
Recent solo exhibitions include: Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe (2014); Berlinische Galerie, Berlin (2013); Dirimart, Istanbul (2012); Faena Arts Center, Buenos Aires (2012); Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn (2009); Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St. Gallen (2008); Domus Artium 2002, Salamanca (2007); Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover (2007); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2005); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2003); Kunsthalle Basel, Basel (2002); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2002); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2002); Castello di Rivoli, Turin (2000); Portikus, Frankfurt (1997).
He has participated in several group exhibitions, among them: Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bon (2018); Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia (2017); Pinacoteca de Sao Paolo, Sao Paolo (2016); Tate Triennial, London (2009); Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas 2009); Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2006); Whitney Museum of Modern Art, New York (2005); MoMA, New York (2005); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2005); Venice Biennale (2003).