Alexis Rockman: A Fable for Tomorrow features 47 artworks from private and public collections that trace the artist's career from Pond’s Edge (1986) to The Reef (2009). Inspired by 19th-century landscape painting, science fiction film, and firsthand field study, Rockman’s paintings proffer a vision of the natural world that is equal parts fantasy and empirical fact. This new volume highlights the artist’s unique synthesis of art and science, along with his meticulous attention to detail and striking use of colour. Rockman’s three monumental paintings—Evolution, Manifest Destiny, and South—exemplify the boundless imagination and extraordinary skill that go into every painting. The compelling mix of intensely coloured realism, scientific detail, and environmental concerns results in a stunning body of work that is a reflection of our times and a portent of events to come. Author Joanna Marsh examines the evolution of Rockman’s career over three decades, convincingly linking his artistic development to the history of America’s environmental movement. Rockman’s ability to blur the boundary between fact and fiction appeals to both scientists and art critics. In two further essays art historian Kevin Avery considers the 19th-century-painting references in Rockman’s work, and Thomas Lovejoy offers the perspective of an expert on biodiversity and climate change. Accompanied the exhibition Alexis Rockman: A Fable for Tomorrow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., November 19, 2010 – May 8, 2011, travelling to the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio, September 24, 2011 - January 1, 2012.
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