Educational Activities, 2011

Lectures and cultural events developed by Mariano Akerman

Art in the Picture
Seminaire des Arts
Art-Appreciation Lectures
The Visual Arts Institute

Pakistan Day Art Workshop
Drawing and Watercolor Techniques
International School Islamabad

Power in the Picture
Visual Image as Significant Structure and Communication Resource
Training Sessions on Visual Communication
COMSATS Institute of Information Technology

Tradition and Innovation I
The Nature and Evolution of Art and Architecture as Structures of Consciousness
A Lecture on the History of Design in Art and Architecture
COMSATS Institute of Information Technology

Tradition and Innovation II
The Nature and Evolution of Art and Architecture as Structures of Consciousness
A Seminar on the History of Design in Architecture
COMSATS Institute of Information Technology

Mariano Akerman
Curriculum Vitae PDF 2010

Previous activities

German Art
German Embassy Info: Deutsche Kunst | German Art
Shape and Meaning
brochure outside ; brochure inside
technical information
German Embassy Info: Form und Bedeutung | Shape and Meaning

Online information provided by the German Missions in Pakistan:
1. German Art
2. Deutsche Kunst
3. PDF brochure
4. Shape and Meaning
5. Form und Bedeutung


The Soul in a Collage

Mariano Akerman
Jardín indokushi | Hindu Kushi Garden | Jardin Hindou Kouchi
collage, 45 x 25.5 cm
Hosai Rahimi Collection, Islamabad
© MAC. Todos los derechos reservados | All Rights Reserved | Tous droits réservés. Right-click on the image may enlarge it

According to La Font de Saint-Yenne, the historian-painter is the only one who paints the soul; the other painters only paint for the eyes (Réflexions, 1752).

Yes, I paint a personal history, yet mine has to do with the ones of other people as well. The Hindu Kush is a region in Central Asia, one marked by an intense reality. This finds a visual echo in the colors and textures of a 2011 collage, the Hindu Kushi Garden. Central to it is a mango tree, with delicious fruit. In the collage, the root of the mango tree remains visible to the viewer. And there are also four green-and-black plants around the mango tree.
Unmistakably oriental is the conceptual nature of Hindu Kushi Garden, a flat composition of overlapping planes which evoke the structure of a number of Mughal miniatures.
As in oriental art, also here there are some areas where the figure can be easily associated with other compositional elements in the background and vice-versa. In fact, all the leaves of the mango tree and other seven prop-like rectangles (which sustain the whole composition) share the very same textures and colors. Such rich areas are common ground to both tree and garden.
Motifs of trees, plants and flowers are often present in my work since (at least) 1981. It seems that I have been depicting them for some three decades. And such motifs establish sort of a dialog with other elements present in my works (e.g., Friendship, collage, Philippines, 2005). I am aware of the traditional symbolism of the tree and of what some poets describe as its generous nature. Doesn't man and tree present quite a number of common traits? And isn't man the tree of the field? As Zach puts it in a 1999 poem, both of them have much in common,

Because the man is the tree of the field;
Like the tree, man grows up.
Like the man, the tree also gets uprooted,
Because the man is the tree of the field;
Like the tree, he aspires upwards.
Like the man, he gets burnt in fire.
Because the man is the tree of the field;
Like the tree, he is thirsty to water.
Like the man, thirsty he remains.
Because man is the tree of the field.

And, above all, both of them are living beings. In a celebratory manner, the Hindu Kushi Garden presents a lilac background, being this color (at least for me) typical of this area. Such color harmonizes with a purple butterfly visible not far from the mango tree. And you may ask, "why a purple butterfly?" Well, just because la vita è bella. —Mariano Akerman

The Giving Tree
¿No es acaso el árbol un hombre?


Of Roots and Fruits • De raíces y frutos

Mariano Akerman's lectures are certainly the most intellectually lively events I have ever been to in Islamabad.

His breadth of knowledge, not only on Art, but also on Literature and History, allows him to place his views in a global perspective and context. I thought I had a good background in Art History, but I have learned a great deal at every lecture.

What is more, he doesn't take a linear, progressive, approach to his course and topics, so every lecture can stand on its own.

Some of the topics are quirky areas of Art appreciation I had never considered, but all are stimulating, and it is particularly interesting to be drawn into discussion during these lectures, rather than simply taking part in a dry question and answer formula.

This week we are even using Art to consider the meaning of Life!

Mariano is clearly an experienced lecturer, confident in his approach and has a wealth of slides to illustrate his points. We have also studied Architecture in these sessions, since he was also an architect, but the sessions on Architecture were integrated smoothly into his overall view of Art and History.

These sessions keep me pondering all week, and so I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to think outside their own environment, in Islamabad.

Jenny Naseem

Photograph by Mariano Akerman

Las conferencias de Mariano Akerman son sin duda los eventos intelectualmente más animados de los que yo he participado en Islamabad.

Su amplitud de conocimientos, no sólo en arte, sino también en literatura e historia, le permiten colocar su punto de vista en una perspectiva global y en su contexto apropiado.

Yo pensaba tener una buena formación en Historia del Arte, pero he aprendido muchas cosas nuevas en cada conferencia.

Es más, no le hace falta a Mariano Akerman un enfoque lineal progresivo ya que cada uno de los diferentes temas que aborda en su curso tiene valor de por sí.

Algunos de los temas son peculiares zonas para la apreciación del arte a las que nunca antes había considerado, pero todas son estimulantes, y particularmente interesante resulta el debate elaborado en estas conferencias y que aquí reemplaza tanto a la pregunta seca como a la respuesta-fórmula.

Esta semana estamos incluso empleando el Arte para considerar... el Significado de la Vida.

Mariano Akerman es claramente un profesor con experiencia, confianza en su enfoque y posee una gran cantidad de diapositivas para ilustrar los puntos que trata. También hemos estudiado Arquitectura en estas sesiones, ya que él también es arquitecto, pero la sesiones en la Arquitectura se integraron sin problemas en su visión global del Arte y la Historia.

Estas sesiones me mantienen pensando toda la semana, y por eso se las recomiendo a cualquier persona que quiera pensar fuera de su entorno cotidiano.

Dra. Jenny Naseem

Mariano Akerman's "Art from Belgium" lecture at the Belgian Residence (Islamabad, 29.6.2010); his paintings from the exhibition "Les raisons d'être" can be seen in the background.


Let us plant yet another tree.

La Vita è Bella

Art as Tree

"Por sus frutos los conoceréis"
You will know them by their fruits - Matthew 7:16

The Giving Tree

Art in the Picture
Art-Appreciation Lectures, by Mariano Akerman
The Visual Arts Institute
Islamabad, 2011-12

Other resources that may interest you:
Educational events developed by Akerman's initiative, 2005-10
Mariano Akerman: Curriculum Vitae
PDF 2010