Born in Jena, Germany in 1934, Peter Ackermann studied at the Free University of Berlin from 1954 to 1956, and at the University of Fine Arts, Berlin, from 1956 to 1962. 

After completing his studies, he worked as a freelance artist in Karlsruhe. In 1966, Ackermann was honored with the German Art Critics Award. In 1971, he received the Villa Romana Prize and in 1972 and 1973, was a Guest Lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe. 

From 1976 to 1977, Ackermann was Professor at the University of Fine Arts, Berlin, and in 1977 was Professor at the of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe. Ackermann died at Valecchie, Italy, in 1977.