Inspired by the Germanic tradition of the wanderer, Ackermann is an itinerant artist whose nomadic experiences are central to his practice. Over the past decade, he has traveled around the world realizing a series of small, diaristic drawings that he calls "mental maps." Ackermann is intrigued by urban themes such as architecture and traffic patterns, but his semiabstract renderings, which seem to represent views of land or cities, are not meant to record what he sees on his journeys. Instead, Ackermann’s drawings can be understood as landscapes of his mind, attempts to capture his visual experiences in abbreviated, abstract form with intense color. From these drawings he creates large-scale theatrical paintings in a fragmented, Cubist-inspired language.
Here Ackermann literalizes his project. In Faceland / White Crossing, I he composes a self-portrait from highly detailed perspectival fragments of the urban landscape, as if Ackermann the nomad has become the land itself. This self–portrait is installed against a wall drawing of meandering, overlapping paths pictured boldly in black and white.
Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights since 1980, New York: The Museum of Modern Art , p. 194.