Concurrently to the exhibition of Dietrich Orth, works of the Berlin-based artist Franz Ackermann, born in 1963, can be seen. Franz Ackermann studied fine arts in Munich and Hamburg.

The young artistic work of Franz Ackermann, as well as his methods of research, cannot be fixed to a certain genre or to a certain medium. Using small-formatted works on paper, large-formatted photostats and objects, he creates images and memory traces of explorations of cities. Cities as spatial but also mental orientations within an urban network; urban structure as a model for cultural and social systems of reference - these are themes Franz Ackermann is preoccupied with in an individual and virulent manner.

During a one-year working stay in Asia and continued in numerous extended travels, Franz Ackermann has created a series of more than 100 small-size water-colour works and collages. In these so-called "mental maps" the artist investigates the urban structure and situations of a city. The "city maps" reconnoitre the geomorphic and topographic conditions of a city, to then turn them into individual and subjective images. The pictorial solutions are at once characterised by biomorphic chaos and well-ordered stringency; their ornamentality highlights the fact that we are not dealing with an imitation of functional cartography, but with a subjective, "mental" experience of the city. Apart from these "mental maps", pictures painted directly on the wall and several photostats created specially for Portikus will be exhibited.

Photo: Katrin Schilling