Franz Ackermann

Coming Home and (Meet Me) At the Waterfall (2009)

Acrylic on wall
Dimensions variable

Located in SW Monumental Staircase

Franz Ackermann began his artistic career by making “Mental Maps.” No bigger than postcards, these colored-pencil drawings captured his memories of walks around Hong Kong. The German artist had moved there when he finished graduate school because he wanted to get the feel for an unfamiliar city without the benefit of knowing its language. Ultimately, his goal was to convey the rhythm of his trips around town abstractly, by means of color, line, and shape.

Since then, Ackermann has picked up the pace of his travels and increased the size of his works. His two gigantic murals, Coming Home and (Meet Me) At the Waterfall (both 2009) started off as recollections of his journey from his hometown, Berlin, to the North Texas area, where he did even more sightseeing. Ackermann then made many drawings, watercolors, and paintings, all based on what he had seen. To translate these studies to the walls of the stadium he used projectors and a crew of eight assistants, all artists in their own right.

His pair of wrap-around landscapes lets viewers experience the excitement of travel through the past and the present. Texas Stadium appears in the distance, a fond memory amid pulsating shapes and jazzy color-combinations. To take in the magnificent murals is to take a trip, in the imagination, to a place never before visited. That’s what German painters Vasily Kandinsky and Franz Marc did at the beginning of the 20th century. Ackermann updates their Expressionist abstractions, turning art into an urban adventure.

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