Franz Ackermann’s work explores issues of travel and tourism, contrasting subjective experience with broader issues of globalization, mobility, and commerce. He travels to select locations to render time and geographic space in wall-scale paintings and mixed-media constructions. African Diamond, like many of his works, eradicates the formal boundaries between sculpture, painting, and advertising by translating each medium’s visual vocabulary into his own distinct patois. The form of this collaged sculpture references that of a diamond, while the imagery that covers it references African maps and topographies as well as the stones themselves. A valuable commodity that has been not only the locus of national strife, but also the cause of centuries of international involvement in African affairs, the diamond is an entryway into thinking about the multifaceted history of that continent.
Franz Ackermann (b. 1963, Neumarkt-Sankt Veit, Germany; lives and works in Berlin)
African Diamond, 2006
48 3/16 x 70 5/16 x 33 11/16 in.
Mixed media on paper on Aludibond on wood
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Purchased with funds provided by The Buddy Taub Foundation, Jill and Dennis Roach, Directors