polluted waterway with dead whale and sunken boat

Newtown Creek

Alexis Rockman, 2014, oil on wood, 68 x 108 inches, © 2014, courtesy of the artist

Alexis Rockman

What will the future reveal about our choices and attitudes toward the natural world? In his cinematic oil paintings, Alexis Rockman portrays a fermenting world shaped by human excess and environmental corruption. He depicts the future as a saturated dystopia, in which creatures struggle to survive toxic conditions and the onslaught of invasive species. In the depths of this latter-day, primordial soup, Rockman finds the survivors — feral beasts that emerge from the human era transformed and triumphant. In Rockman’s paintings, we do not see human beings. We see memories and vestiges of them in polluted canals, cascading piles of trash, crumbling monuments and mutated animals. We see their absence, and the altered landscapes they have left behind. We search for signs of hope in the post-human world and find them in Rockman’s resilient creatures, who adapt and endure, as natural order returns to traumatized environments. Rockman draws us into this vision of the future with vibrant colors and densely-packed compositions. He commands our attention with crisp details set against loose, gestural washes and hazy horizons. He blends fact and fiction, filling his dream-like landscapes with creatures, landmarks and conflicts, both real and imagined. He invites us to experience this headrush of possibility and urges us to care for our planet before it is too late.

Explore the Gallery

book with bookmark
inkblot in the form of insect with wolf profiles in negative space
image of mountain with reflection in lake
fist that grows into a tree
swamp scene full of wild animals

Battle Royale

Alexis Rockman, 2011, oil and alkyd on wood, 96 x 216 inches, © 2011, courtesy of the artist

wildlife and ruins in post-human aquatic landscape

Manifest Destiny

Alexis Rockman, 2004, oil on wood, 96 x 288 inches, © 2004, courtesy of the artist

Painting of polluted Gowanus canal with strange creatures


Alexis Rockman, 2013, oil on wood, 72 x 90 inches, © 2013, courtesy of the artist

farm with genetically modified farm animals

The Farm

Alexis Rockman, 2000, oil and acrylic on wood panel, 96 x 120 inches, © 2000, courtesy of the artist

Post human landscape with Las Vegas ruins


Alexis Rockman, 2006, oil, mica, clay and sand on wood, 72 x 84 inches, © 2006, courtesy of the artist

Tree full of extinct animals

The Bounty

Alexis Rockman, 1991, oil on wood, 72 x 84 inches, © 1991, courtesy of the artist

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