Frank Ammerlaan was born in the Netherlands (1979) and currently lives and works in London. He graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in 2007 and continued his studies at the Royal College of Art in London.
He specialised in paintings, sculptures and photography – before winning The Land Securities Studio Award for his graduation show in 2012. Many consider him to be one of the most promising Dutch painters of his generation.
As an artist, Ammerlaan is interested in the relationship between the un-representable, the sublime and the inner beauty of natural reactions. This becomes evident in his recent paintings, which display the metallic spectrum of chemical compounds, spread over canvas in fluid compositions recalling oil-polluted water.
As the liquids intermingle, the light reflected on the surface is transformed into a stunning conflation of psychedelic colours. The pigments merge and re-emerge from the dark background in a frozen movement.
Addressing the spaces between the visible, the tactile and the immaterial, Frank Ammerlaan’s paintings vibrate with fascinating chromatic encounters. Pulsating with natural light, the pieces hover at the edges of the human psyche, as the artist explores the infinite manifestations of geometry and light.
However, the hypnotic beauty of these paintings soon becomes problematic. The use of oil is in fact redolent of an ecological disaster, highlighting the oil spills which have become all too common. Occasionally his works also reference heat and weather maps, jet streams and the movement of natural phenomena such as cyclones.
In quoting the iconography of science, Ammerlaan offers an interpretation of the beautification of environmental disasters. An attempt perhaps to map out the awesome power of nature, which is ultimately out of our grasp.
A latent fascination with abstract forms lingers across Ammerlaan’s oeuvre, forms which exist and perpetuate themselves within these marriages of synthetic and natural elements. Examining the interplay of the natural with the artificial, Ammerlaan considers the effects of human intrusion into the organic world.