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Alexis Rockman: A Fable for Tomorrow


Photos courtesy of the artist

Alexis Rockman, Cataclysm, 2003
Alexis Rockman: A Fable for Tomorrow
Sept 16, 2011–Dec 29, 2011
This exhibition marks the first major survey of Alexis Rockman's vivid, and visionary work, which delves into evolutionary history, theory, and politics, often mixing fantasy and scientific fact.

With virtuosity and wit, his paintings explore environmental issues ranging from evolutionary biology to genetic engineering to climate change, drawing from such sources as natural history, botanical illustrations, museum dioramas, science fiction films, and realist art traditions dating back to the Renaissance and firsthand field study. This traveling show features nearly 40 paintings, with pieces from 1986 to 2009, including several of Rockman’s monumentally scaled paintings. Columbus critic Jeff Regensburger calls A Fable for Tomorrow "elegant, informed, sophisticated.” Read his thoughtful review on Columbus Underground.

This exhibition continues the Wexner Center’s relationship with Rockman: Two large-scale reproductions of his work were on view in the Wexner Center’s lobby spaces in the 2004–05 season, and he participated in a 2010 Wexner Center panel about climate and culture.

The curator of the exhibition is Joanna Marsh, The James Dicke Curator of Contemporary Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where the show was previously on view. A catalogue accompanies the show, co-published by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and D Giles Limited, London, features essays by Thomas Lovejoy, biodiversity chair at the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, and Kevin J. Avery, senior research scholar at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as a foreword by Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

This exhibition was organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, with generous support from the Cowles Charitable Trust, Kara and Wayne Fingerman, Dorothy Tapper Goldman, Barbara and Jonathan Lee, Nion McEvoy, Pamela K. and William A. Royall Jr., Holly and Nick Ruffin, Betty A. and Lloyd G. Schermer, Sheila Duignan and Mike Wilkins, and an anonymous donor. The C. F. Foundation in Atlanta supports the Smithsonian American Art Museum's traveling exhibition program, Treasures to Go.

The Wexner Center’s fall exhibitions are made possible by a significant contribution from Battelle.

Promotional support for the Wexner Center's presentation of this exhibition is provided by Time Warner Cable.

Gallery Guide

Click through for full image credits.
1) Alexis Rockman
Cataclysm, 2003
Oil and acrylic on wood
Collection of Melva Bucksbaum and Raymond Learsy
© Alexis Rockman
Photo courtesy of the artist

2) Alexis Rockman
The Hammock, 2000
Oil on wood
Collection of Ninah and Michael Lynne
© Alexis Rockman
Photo courtesy of the artist

3) Alexis Rockman
Bromeliad: Kaieteur Falls, 1994
Oil and lacquer on wood
Nestlé USA
© Alexis Rockman
Photo courtesy of the artist
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