Body Armor

untitled by Frank Ammerlaan
40.5″x30.7″; lead; 2020.
Photo by Gert Jan van Rooij. Courtesy of Upstream Gallery Amsterdam.


Body Armor

at Upstream Gallery in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
31 October-19 December 2020

“Body Armor” is a solo show of work by Dutch artist Frank Ammerlaan, who currently lives and works in London. It is the world’s matter that is his medium, excavated from the ground or moving in circles around us and falling from the sky. “Material no longer needs to be understood as a detachable carrier for a form or an idea, but can be regarded as indissolubly interwoven with it.” Raw matter is an intermediary material, and part of a transmuting process, unfolding itself between things and thoughts and being the source of potent metaphors. Cosmic particles dating back to the oldest times of our solar system, an array of metals and elements, fossil fuels, raw pigments, dust particles and dirt are just a selection of media used in Ammerlaan’s practice.

Particles of Dust by Frank Ammerlaan
67″x148″; dust, dirt, meteorite particles, iron particles and iron powders on canvas, linen and jute; 2017. Photo by Gert Jan van Rooij. Courtesy of Upstream Gallery Amsterdam.

Frank Ammerlaan said, “Matter has an objective history, yet it also has a subjective and cultural con-text when we experience its hue. Though colour is never unimportant, as Donald Judd stated, no colour exists without being accompanied by material. Matter is not a passive agent but rather a dynamic and evolutionary one which transforms, mutates and deteriorates. The pattern it creates is deeply woven into the fabric of our lives in the cosmos. It produces an overwhelming sense of geometry which in turn is shaped by the weight of all existing matter forged and arranged in an orderly system”.

(text adapted from the gallery’s press materials)


Upstream Gallery
Kloveniersburgwal 95
1011 KB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
+31 20 428 428 4

Wednesday-Saturday, 1-6PM or by appointment