At the core of Frank Ammerlaan’s practice lies desire to capture the constant flux of our reality that goes beyond individual lives and knowledges and equally pertains to eternal processes on the cosmic scale. This vision is cultivated by using unconventional materials ranging from dirt and dust to (liquid) metals, chemicals, and meteorite particles which give his practice their complex and nuanced structures, often made in collaboration with scientists and chemists. Ammerlaan can be seen as a contemporary alchemist, where his medium is researching perception, the boundaries of painting, and unpredictable processes. His medium is the world’s physical matter, excavated from the ground or fallen down from the sky.
‘I see my works as objects of measurement where materiality is a tool to describe the world. Matter is not an anonymous bystander, nor a passive agent, but rather a dynamic and evolutionary creature that transforms, mutates and deteriorates.’
Abridged version of dr Malgorzata Misniakiewicz’ essay ‘BODY ARMOR’
Frank Ammerlaan (1979) is based in Berlin. He graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam in 2007 and in 2012 from his Masters at the Royal College of Art in London. Ammerlaan was awarded the Royal Award for Painting in 2012, which is handed to the most promising young Dutch painter of that year. Other prizes he won include the Scheffer Prize (2013), the Land Securities Prize Royal College of Art, the Doha Studio Art Prize (all 2012) and the Gerrit Rietveld Academy Painting Prize (2007). Ammerlaan has had solo exhibitions at the Dordrechts Museum, Museo d’Arte Conteporanea Calasetta and at several international galleries like Simões de Assis Art in Brazil. His work has been included in a number of group exhibitions in and outside of the Netherlands, at places such as White Cube Gallery London, Oscar Niemeyer Museum Brazil, The Royal Palace in Amsterdam KUMU Art Museum, in Tallinn, Museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht, Kunsthal in Rotterdam and NEST in The Hague. Ammerlaan’s work is part of leading private and corporate art collections and museums such as Centraal Museum Utrecht, Kunstmuseum Den Haag, Museum Voorlinden and Stedelijk Museum Schiedam.