The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Monday, July 28, 2014


Major Retrospective of Paintings by Alexis Rockman Opens at the Smithsonian American Art Museum
Alexis Rockman, Manifest Destiny, 2003–2004. Oil and acrylic wood. Courtesy of the Artist and Waqas Wajahat, New York. © Alexis Rockman Photo courtesy of the artist.
WASHINGTON, D.C.- “Alexis Rockman: A Fable for Tomorrow” can be viewed at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., from Nov. 19 through May 8, 2011. The exhibition is the first major survey of the artist’s work with 47 paintings and works on paper that trace his career from early works in the mid-1980s to the present.

Alexis Rockman (b. 1962) has been depicting the natural world with virtuosity and wit for more than two decades. He was one of the first contemporary artists to build his career around exploring environmental issues, from evolutionary biology and genetic engineering to deforestation and climate change. His work expresses deep concerns about the world’s fragile ecosystems and the tension between nature and culture. These concerns are communicated through vivid, even apocalyptic, imagery. Rockman has garnered attention for embracing these issues, as well as for the epic quality of his projects, including several monumentally scaled paintings.

The title of the exhibition, “A Fable for Tomorrow,” is taken from the opening chapter of Rachel Carson’s influential 1962 book Silent Spring. In it, Carson combines two seemingly incompatible literary genres—mythic narrative and factual reportage. Rockman approaches his paintings with a similar intent. He achieves his vision through a synthesis of fantasy and empirical fact, using sources as varied as natural history, botanical illustrations, museum dioramas, science fiction films, realist art traditions dating back to the Renaissance and firsthand field study. The exhibition is organized by Joanna Marsh, The James Dicke Curator of Contemporary Art.

“Alexis Rockman’s cross-disciplinary approach is well suited to the Smithsonian’s long tradition of embracing science and art as complementary ways of understanding our world,” said Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

“During the past 25 years, Rockman’s art and attitudes have evolved from a focus on the mysteries of nature to the machinations of mankind,” said Marsh. “His artworks demonstrate a steadfast belief in the power of art, literature and film to raise consciousness about key environmental issues. Rockman stands out among the generation of artists who have taken up the mantle of environmental activism for the originality of his vision and the urgency of his message. Through the use of emotionally charged visual ideas—death, decay, ruin and renewal—Rockman has created a stunning body of work that is a reflection of our times and a portent of events to come.”

Throughout his career, Rockman has developed subjects and themes in series.

“Alexis Rockman: A Fable for Tomorrow” marks the first time that key paintings from different projects are exhibited together, beginning with the lyrical “Pond’s Edge” (1986), drawn from the artist’s earliest series exploring the field of natural history, to “The Reef” (2009), part of his most recent body of work titled “Half Life,” which combines color-field abstraction and environmental concerns.

Throughout his career, Rockman has developed subjects and themes in series. “Alexis Rockman: A Fable for Tomorrow” marks the first time that key paintings from different projects are exhibited together, beginning with the lyrical “Pond’s Edge” (1986), drawn from the artist’s earliest series exploring the field of natural history, to “The Reef” (2009), part of his most recent body of work titled “Half Life,” which combines color-field abstraction and environmental concerns.

The exhibition includes three large-scale paintings that are ambitious turning points in Rockman’s artistic development. “Evolution” (1992), Rockman’s first mural-sized painting, is a panoramic sweep that owes as much to a pop cinema stylistic sensibility as it does to actual prehistory. “Manifest Destiny” (2003-2004), commissioned by the Brooklyn Museum of Art, depicts an apocalyptic vision of the Brooklyn waterfront submerged as the result of global warming. “South” (2008), an epic panorama drawn from the artist’s observations while on a trip to Antarctica, documents every aspect of iceberg geology through simultaneous views above and below the water’s surface.

In 1994, Rockman journeyed into the dense South American jungle of Guyana. Several paintings from this series, including “Bromeliad: Kaieteur Falls” (1994), “Kapok Tree” (1995) and “Host and Vector” (1996), are on display in the exhibition. These paintings are distinguished from Rockman’s other work by his decision to invent nothing and paint only the flora and fauna found in the rain forest. Elements in the works recall 19th-century Hudson River school landscapes by John Kensett and the paintings of Martin Johnson Heade. Rockman returned to Guyana in 1998, when his previous interest in field observation was replaced by a fascination with pop-culture representations of ecotourism and the exotic allure of adventure travel. The resulting series, titled “Expedition,” includes paintings such as “The Hammock” (2000), which includes compositional elements that recall classic science fiction films.

Rockman’s “Big Weather” drawings from 2005 to 2008 mark a major stylistic shift toward abstraction. Executed on heavily gessoed sheets of paper, the painted surface is awash in vivid stains, pours, pools and drips. Rockman’s new focus on process is also evident in the artist’s most recent body of work, “Half-Life.” The “Half-Life” paintings, inspired by the techniques of Color Field artist Morris Louis (1912-1962), are dominated by large veils of viscous pigment and loose, improvisational brushstrokes.

Smithsonian American Art Museum | Alexis Rockman | Joanna Marsh |


Last Week News

November 19, 2010

Richard Avedon's Most Prized Photographs for Sale Saturday at Christie's in Paris

The Philadelphia Museum of Art Announces Acquisition of 3,000 Works by Paul Strand

MoMA Announces Exhibition of Picasso's Iconic Guitar Sculptures From 1912-1914

Prehispanic Decapitated Ballgame Player Sculpture Discovered by Archaeologists in Mexico

Phillips de Pury Announces Two Senior Appointments in Photographs Department

Exhibition Reveals Artist's Passionate Commitment to His Carefully Defined Practice

Sculptural and Textile Works by Wolfgang Joop at Galerie Michael Schultz

Internationally Acclaimed Abstract Artist, Nathan Oliveira, Dies in Stanford at Age 81

Robert De Niro Sr. Prize Created to Honor American Artists for Achievements in Painting

Dinosaur Egg Found by the Real Indiana Jones Hoes on Display at World Museum in Liverpool

Frank Gehry-Designed Mississippi Museum Highlights Sculptor George E. Ohr

Rare Works by Irving Penn and Robert Frank Featured in Swann Galleries' Auction

Retrospective of the Works of One of the Most Important Photographers of Our Time

The Royal Academy of Arts Announces Cindy Sherman as Honorary Member of the Royal Academy

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts Presents salt 2: Sophie Whettnall

Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad Named Next Director of the Schomburg Center For Research in Black Culture

The Unilever Series: turbinegeneration is Awarded UNESCO Patronage

November 18, 2010

A Selection of Shanghai's Diverse Contemporary Art on View at Kunstmuseum Bern

"Charles Marville" Exhibition and New Discoveries Announced by National Gallery of Art

Archive of Photographer Richard Nickel Goes to the Art Institute of Chicago

Metropolitan Presents Exhibition on Haremhab, Ancient Egyptian General Who Became Pharaoh

Guggenheim Museum Announces Nominees for Rob Pruitt's 2010 Art Awards

Exhibition at the Getty Research Institute Refracts Ancient Mexican Art and Archaeology

Jimi Hendrix's Epiphone FT79 Guitar for Sale at Bonhams' Memorabilia Auction

Cain Schulte Explores the Diverse and Innovative Creations of International Artists

Old Master Brueghel Campaign Approaches 900,000 as Painting Returns to Yorkshire

MoMA Debuts Free iPad App in Conjunction with the Exhibition Abstract Expressionist New York

Previously Unseen Work by Dante Gabriel Rossetti to Be Shown in Birmingham

Exhibition Examines Noguchi's Ties to Key Figures in Art, Theater, Design, and Architecture

American International Fine Art Fair 2011: Highlights Announced for February Edition

Botanical Sculptures by Paula Hayes Installed in Museum of Modern Art's Lobby

Mexicans Celebrate Food as Intangible Heritage

National Gallery Receives Major Donation for New Education Centre

Estate of Television and Business Pioneer Maria Helen Smith Brings More than $3-Million at Bonhams & Butterfields

California Warehouse Fire Began in Neil Young's Car

Sotheby's Latin American Art Evening Sale Totals $ 14,814,500; Sets 8 New Records

November 17, 2010

Cologne Fine Art & Antiques: Showcase Juxtaposes Works of Art from Different Cultures

Art Historian Michael Peppiatt Writes About Giacometti's Studio in New Book     

London's National Portrait Gallery Finds Relics of English King Richard II in Its Basement

Alexandra Munroe Named First Samsung Senior Curator of Asian Art at the Guggenheim

Archaeologists in Egypt Unearth Twelve More Sphinx Statues Along the Ancient Avenue

Kate's Excellent Adventure: A Month at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry

Former President George Bush Breaks Ground on Presidential Center at SMU in Texas

Christie's to Offer One of the Finest Private Collections of Early 20th Century Decorative Art

Paris Louvre Asks Public for Help to Buy Lucas Cranach the Elder's Painting "The Three Graces"

Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Opens "Pioneers of Flight Gallery"

New York Based British Photographer Adam Fuss Exhibits at Timothy Taylor Gallery

Swiss-Based Gallery, Artvera’s Gallery, Helps Crack Artwork Forgery Ring in Germany

Gift from Brody Estate Expected to Yield More than $100 Million for the Huntington

The Field Museum Announces Exhibition of the Machines that Helped Create the Modern World

Announcing the Winners of the Contemporary Art Society Annual Award for Museums, Commission to Collect, 2010

Falmouth Art Gallery Celebrates Top Artists at Ten Year Collecting Retrospective

British Rocker Selling Original Art from First 'Watchmen' Comic Book

Work to Begin on National Mall Levee

Hammer Museum Celebrates 20th Anniversary with 20 Days of Free Admission

November 16, 2010

Extensive Survey of Impressionist Gardens Opens at Museo Thyssen‐Bornemisza

Saint Louis Art Museum Announces Fiery Pool: The Maya and the Mythic Sea

Surrealism, Botero in Latin America Auctions this Week at Christie's and Sotheby's

Paraguay Denied Authorization for British Natural History Museum's Scientific Expedition

Heritage Auctions Announces Pre-Columbian, Photography, Timepieces and Art Glass Sales

Danish Astronomer's Remains Exhumed from Church of Our Lady Before Tyn

Rarities and Rediscoveries: Great Works of Art at TEFAF Maastricht in March 2011

Renowned Milton Robson Collection Achieves $9.2 Million at RM Auctions Sale

Architect Richard Meier: "It's Easier to Buy an Apartment in Brooklyn than in Tel Aviv"

Georges Rouault: The Sacred and the Profane at the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

Neo-Expressionist Painting from Berlin on View at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art     

Fine Meissen Porcelain that Survived the 1945 Dresden Bombing for Sale at Bonhams

London's Cultural Strategy: "We Must Continue to Invest in Creativity" Says London Mayor

American Charged with Stealing Stuffed Birds in UK

Edinburgh International Festival Heads East in 2011

Crystal Bridges Masterworks on Display at Philbrook Museum of Art

Opryland Hotel Reopens in Tennessee After Flood Damage

Chinese Mine in Afghanistan Threatens Ancient Find

November 15, 2010

Kunsthalle in Dresden Opens Exhibition of Works by German Artist Eberhard Havekost

Johan Thorn Prikker: Beyond Art Nouveau at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Rare Photographic Albums and Portfolios Break Records at Swann Galleries' Auction

Geert Mul and Maurer United Architects Transform Bus Stop into a Beacon for the Media Era

14th Annual Boston International Fine Art Show to be Held this Week at The Cyclorama

The Valencian Institute of Modern Art Presents Sculptures by Xavier Mascaro     

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art Announces Details of Its Three Opening Exhibitions

Everson Presents Works by Artists from the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy

The Etchings of Etcher John Taylor Arms on View at the Chrysler Museum of Art

A Selection of Drawings and Paintings by Stephen Farthing at the Royal Academy of Arts

Delaware Art Museum Presents Ultra-Realistic Sculptures by Milwaukee-Based Artist Marc Sijan

Mark Moore Gallery Announced Its Permanent Relocation from Bergamot Station to Culver City

Babe Ruth Home Run Ball Goes for $264,500 at the Louisville Slugger Museum

The Power Plant Appoints Melanie O'Brian as New Curator of Programs

PHotoEspaña Announces Portfolio Reviews to be Held in Colombia and Nicaragua; Launch a New Online Curating Competition

DeCordova Announces Co-Curators for the 2012 Biennial: Associate Curator Dina Deitsch and Abigail Ross Goodman

"American Tapestry" Exhibition Tells 25 Stories through Collected Objects, Art

Celebrity Painter Rosson Crow and Motorcycles at the Contemporary Arts Center

November 14, 2010

Gemäldegalerie Celebrates 400th Anniversary of Caravaggio's Death with Exhibition

LACMA Announces First Ever Thematic Exhibition of Renowned American Sculptor David Smith

Explore The Strange World of Albrecht Dürer at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

Almost 500 Lots of Russian Art Included in the Russian Art Sale at Christie's

Major Alberto Vargas Retrospective Opens at the San Francisco Art Exchange

Site-Specific Wall Drawing Installation by Renowned Artist Pat Steir at Sue Scott Gallery

First Rank Exhibition Soberly Named Pointillism Opens at Artvera's in Geneva

Collection of 40 Rarely-Exhibited Abstract Prints by Jules Olitski at the Everson Museum of Art

First Retrospective of Designer Hella Jongerius at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Texas-Based Gaston & Sheehan Sells Spoils of Bernard Madoff's Lavish Life in New York

Contemporary Photographer Sally Mann's The Flesh and The Spirit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Curious George: The Art of Margret and H. A. Rey at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

Oasis of Colour in Contemporary Aboriginal Painting at the Art Gallery of South Australia

New Drawings by Robert Morris at Sprüth Magers in Berlin

Poignant Reminder of Harsh Realities of WWI for Sale at Bonhams

Tropical Forest Diversity Increased During Ancient Global Warming Event

Chaired by Michael Portillo, Art Fund Prize Judging Panel Announced for 2011

Gagosian Opens a New Gallery in Geneva

Expert Handwriting Analysis Concludes "Secret Mark" Not a Forgery

Jesus Wasn't Born in Bethlehem, According to Biblical Scholar

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Archaeologists discover Roman 'free choice' cemetery in the 2,700-year-old ancient port of Rome

2.- Romanians must pay 18 million euros over Kunsthal Museum Rotterdam art heist

3.- Hello Kitty designer Yuko Yamaguchi defends cute character as cat turns 40 years old

4.- eBay and Sotheby's partner to bring world class art and collectibles to a global community

5.- Exhibition on Screen returns with new series of films bringing great art to big screens across the globe

6.- Marina Abramović reaches half way point of her '512 Hours' performance at the Serpentine Gallery

7.- The Phillips Collection in Washington introduces a uCurate app for curating on-the-go

8.- United States comic icon Archie Andrews dies saving openly gay character

9.- New feathered predatory fossil, unearthed in China, sheds light on dinosaur flight

10.- Exhibition at Thyssen Bornemisza Museum presents an analysis of the concept of the 'unfinished'

Related Stories



New Installation of Recent Media Art Acquisitions Opens at the American Art Museum

Smithsonian Announces E. Carmen Ramos as Curator for Latino Art

Smithsonian American Art Museum Offers Largest Mission-Based Game Ever Designed

Smithsonian American Art Museum Offers Largest Mission-Based Game Ever Designed

George Lucas and Steven Spielberg Exhibit their Paintings by Norman Rockwell

Kirk Savage is Awarded the 22nd Annual Eldredge Prize

Smithsonian American Art Museum to Present Exhibition That Celebrates "Running Fence"

Major Exhibition of Photographs by Timothy H. O'Sullivan Opens at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Smithsonian American Art Museum to Display Arts and Crafts Made by Japanese Americans in World War II

Smithsonian American Art Museum Presents Retrospective of William T. Wiley



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Rmz. - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site