Ackermann, known for his passionate paintings and installations dealing with themes of travel, tourism, globalization, and urban life, is bringing together landscapes from cities that he spent extensive periods of time during the last three years at Dirimart Dolapdere, The artist transforms these cities, ranging from Miami to Istanbul to Mumbai, by analyzing the dramatic changes they undergo and translating his mental experiences of them into small-scale watercolors, large-scale oil paintings, and vast murals by thus becoming part of urban textures, he opens up areas to construct new spaces for himself. Ackermann describes this new space that is surrounded by images void of people as public space, inviting viewers in to complement the cities he painted to become a fundamental element of the exhibition and to reiterate the strong connection between the gallery space and the outside.
Franz Ackermann began his first long-term series, Mental Maps in 1991 during a trip to Hong Kong. The watercolors in the exhibition are a part of Ackermann’s first long-term and ongoing series, Mental Maps which emerged. The artist combined the sensibility of traditional street maps to directly reflect reality with his interpretation of the region, seemingly documenting his perceptions of important cities in Asia, South America, and Australia. Later on, Ackermann designed large-scale, dynamic installations including paintings, drawings, photographs, wall drawings, sculptures, and bulletin boards, constructed through bringing together separate, individual elements. With his works, he aims to reveal the two facades of tourism; on the one hand is the appeal of the rapid, international travel consumption culture, while on the other hand is the cultural degradation, architectural marks left behind. His installations often appear to resemble the strange advertisements designed for the cultural tourism industry. While the spaces that he describes do not appear unique, they are also extremely familiar—non-existent spaces in which the traveling tourist’s desire replaces the local culture.