German-Canada Artist; (1952- )
Thomas Ackermann was born in Bad Hersfeld, Germany in 1952. As a painter for more than 40 years Ackermann has endeavoured to elicit a visceral experience of paintings for the viewer. Ackermann’s interest is not only WHAT (subject) he paints but HOW (process) he physically makes a painting. Half his subject is the painting itself. Ackermann developed a very personal way of applying materials onto the canvas, in spirit, much like Jackson Pollock or Yves Klein for their audacious experiments with new techniques, dripping, using living brushes or pouring directly onto canvas. Ackermann’s current new works use a 600 year old medium (oil paint) and re-invented (altered) it to suit his unique process. He can apply the process creating several unique works from one image, repeating the image in reverse, comparable in a way to Andy Warhol’s use of silk screens. Ackermann’s paint surfaces are either highly reflective (without topical varnishes) or extremely rough and textured. A brush has not touched the final surface. Yet when examined closely the oil paint looks as if applied by brush comparable to brush strokes on a Picasso painting.
Thomas Ackermann’s paintings can be enjoyed and appreciated on several levels. As explained by the Spanish sculptor, Luis Ramos. “Tom Ackermann, is no different from others who have used the Bible as a source. He has a particular interpretation, admittedly a radically different one because of an alternate translation. Step up to an Ackermann painting. It is as if the movement of all these figures implies for Tom the passage of the human spirit – the essential dynamism of the life-force itself.”
Form has coalesced into content, and we are presented with the next level of an Ackermann: evidence of a profound curiosity that still questions, with Gauguin, “What are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going?* Painting, for Ackermann, is the medium through which he explores these questions. The spiritual quest embarked upon a paint brush, into the mysterious past or into the future like a rocket. No wonder the movement feels energetically compulsive, the colours joyful, the textures rich, the space free of gravity. To Ackermann, questions of the soul are of prime importance, and to explore these questions are the most significant thing we can do. There is in his paintings nothing tentative or hesitant about getting on with that exploration. Fearless and eager explorer. Joyful and enthusiastic discoverer. His paintings lead us on to extra-terrestrial territory, to a higher elevation of thought.
SELECTED COLLECTIONS; Kunstmuseum Stadt, Bad Hersfeld, Hessen, Germany; El Tercio, Ayuntamento Cuevas del Almanzora, Spain; Casa de la Cultura, Aguilas, Almeria, Spain; El Centro Cultural Lorca, Murcia, Spain; Escuela de Marmol, Macael, Spain; Thames Art Gallery, Chatham, Ontario; The Learning Resource Centre, Toronto, Ontario; Lambton Gallery, Sarnia, Ontario; and Casey House, Toronto, Ontario.