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The Barn – A Reflection of the Present


Since May 20, 2020, the Berlin based Meyer Riegger Gallery is presenting the work of painter and installation artist Franz Ackermann entitled “Die Scheune/The Barn”. This outdoor project – accessible till August 29, 2020 – is visible on the facade, turning the gallery inside out and giving to see a disoriented space, which fits perfectly in times indetermination.


Starting from the front door of the gallery on Joachimsthaler Strasse, the three-part, coloured installation both deconstructs the existing architecture on site and re-defines it. In this process, the interplay of sculptural forms and flat-plane images proves to be a productive disorienting force: it confounds the gaze of the beholder just as it also opens the gaze to further fields.

Over the course of the project, Franz Ackermann will repeatedly add objects and image-supports to the square panels or replace and even remove them. This installation will be in a continuous state of become and it will be possible to react.

A work of art that makes us awake, aware and tries to reflect the current situation we are going through.

Born in Bavaria, Franz Ackermann is known for his cartoonish abstraction. Concentrating on the characteristic features of a certain place at a certain time and on local habits and customs connected with it, it is noticeable that the personal experiences and impressions that he gathers in the course of his (worldwide) travels are of essential importance to him.

Die Scheune/The Barn and Ackermann’s manner of proceeding therefore also mirrors the present situation of the pandemic and the specific atmosphere it creates – in the sense of a condition of the ongoing analysis, adjustment and readjustment of all forms of human action and interaction.

Since the 1990s, the artist has been using small-format sketches – his so-called “mental maps” – for the purpose of translating place-specific spatial structures into models for socio-cultural relationship systems. In an associative reference to billboards, Die Scheune/The Barn now realizes this approach within public space, all the while taking up and absorbing the occurrences of the present time.

In a way, being accessible without having to enter the gallery, his work addresses to the public life and questions the meaning of it in a period where we don’t know what is good or bad, if our ways of life are legitimate or not.

Franz Ackermann – Hong Kong – Neue Projekte, 2018

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