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Alexis Rockman

Lost at Sea
8 April, ongoing

For over 35 years, New York City-based artist Alexis Rockman has blended science with informed speculation to deliver a prescient and, at times, apocalyptic vision of the ecological state of the planet. Relying on scientific, as well as historic content, Rockman continues his vision of the challenging collision between civilization and nature in this new body of work, Lost at Sea. Featuring paintings and works on paper, Rockman looks back at the ways in which the world’s waterways have not only transported people and materials, but also culture, religion, disease and plants and animals from region to region. Serving as “highways” for expansionist and colonial exploitation, the history of seafaring tells of a deliberate and unwittingly disastrous ecological and anthropological exchange, which led to a decline of indigenous populations and ecological collapse due to invasive species. He is both fascinated by celebrated and obscure accounts of lost cargo, and is the ideal tour guide to lift up the curtain on stories that blur the boundaries between eyewitness accounts, rumor, tragedy, heroism, humor and mythology. 

Rockman’s first solo exhibition with Sperone Westwater, “Evolution,” was presented in 1992. He has had subsequent solo exhibitions at the gallery in 2013 and 2018.

Selections from this presentation will be included in the forthcoming exhibition, Alexis Rockman: Shipwrecks, organized by Guild Hall and opening summer 2021.

Watercolors are priced at $15,000. Painting prices range from $20,000 to $150,000. If you are interested in purchasing works, please click “INQUIRE” below to email our sales director.

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painting of an empty raft with birds and sharks circling

Alexis Rockman
The Medusa, 2020
oil on wood
40 x 48 inches (101,6 x 121,9 cm)
SW 20058

a kraken's tentacles and a whale tail emerge from a turbulent sea and birds fly overhead as a viking ship approaches

Alexis Rockman
Maelstrom, 2019
oil on wood
68 x 108 inches (172,7 x 274,3 cm)
SW 20069

Inquire
a horse swims away from large ship with four masts

Alexis Rockman
Horse Latitudes, 2019
oil on wood
40 x 48 inches (101,6 x 121,9 cm)
SW 20057

painting with a floating bottle and a frog in the foreground and a sinking ship on fire in the background

Alexis Rockman
The Fate of the Rebel Flag, 2019
oil on dibond
18 x 24 inches (45,7 x 61 cm)
SW 20060

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painting of a side-wheel steamboat on fire n the background with a gator and other wildlife in the foreground

Alexis Rockman
SS Sultana, 2018
oil on wood
32 x 40 inches (81,3 x 101,6 cm)
SW 20059
 

Inquire
painting of an empty raft with birds and sharks circling

Alexis Rockman
The Medusa, 2020
oil on wood
40 x 48 inches (101,6 x 121,9 cm)
SW 20058

a kraken's tentacles and a whale tail emerge from a turbulent sea and birds fly overhead as a viking ship approaches

Alexis Rockman
Maelstrom, 2019
oil on wood
68 x 108 inches (172,7 x 274,3 cm)
SW 20069

a horse swims away from large ship with four masts

Alexis Rockman
Horse Latitudes, 2019
oil on wood
40 x 48 inches (101,6 x 121,9 cm)
SW 20057

painting with a floating bottle and a frog in the foreground and a sinking ship on fire in the background

Alexis Rockman
The Fate of the Rebel Flag, 2019
oil on dibond
18 x 24 inches (45,7 x 61 cm)
SW 20060

painting of a side-wheel steamboat on fire n the background with a gator and other wildlife in the foreground

Alexis Rockman
SS Sultana, 2018
oil on wood
32 x 40 inches (81,3 x 101,6 cm)
SW 20059
 

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Thumb-Show Thumbnails

Alexis Rockman
Egyptian Tomb Bat, 2020
ink on paper
18 x 24 inches (45,7 x 61 cm)
SW 20114

Inquire

Alexis Rockman
Sea Crossing, 2020
ink on paper
18 x 24 inches (45,7 x 61 cm)
SW 20113

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a horse on a small raft loaded with a barrel and luggage below an orange and black sky

Alexis Rockman
Robinson Crusoe's Horse, 2019
watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper
24 x 18 inches (61 x 45,7 cm)
SW 20063

Inquire
tentacles of a kraken emerge from the sea, reaching for an oncoming boat

Alexis Rockman
The Kraken, 2019
watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper
18 x 24 inches (45,7 x 61 cm)
SW 20065

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waterline view depicting a sea turtle below and a dog on a small raft of wreckage above

Alexis Rockman
RMS Lusitania, 2019
watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper
24 x 18 inches (61 x 45,7 cm)
SW 20068

Inquire
split-view watercolor with a flaming ship on the top half and invertebrate sea-life and a pocket watch under the waterline

Alexis Rockman
The Boyd Massacre, 2019
watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper
24 x 18 inches (61 x 45,7 cm)
SW 20061

Inquire
waterline view with a turtle, fish, jellyfish and other sea life with an armada of ships above

Alexis Rockman
The Sargasso Sea, 2019
watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper
24 x 18 inches (61 x 45,7 cm)
SW 20067

Inquire
waterline view of a manatee-like mammal coming up for air and knocking a person from his boat

Alexis Rockman
Steller's Sea Cow, 2019
watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper
18 x 24 inches (45,7 x 61 cm)
SW 20062

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a fish swims for a cracker dipping below the waterline on a fishing hook, the source of which is a raft containing a goat with a rabbit on its back

Alexis Rockman
Hard Tack, 2019
watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper
24 x 18 inches (61 x 45,7 cm)
SW 20066

Inquire

Alexis Rockman
Egyptian Tomb Bat, 2020
ink on paper
18 x 24 inches (45,7 x 61 cm)
SW 20114

Alexis Rockman
Sea Crossing, 2020
ink on paper
18 x 24 inches (45,7 x 61 cm)
SW 20113

a horse on a small raft loaded with a barrel and luggage below an orange and black sky

Alexis Rockman
Robinson Crusoe's Horse, 2019
watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper
24 x 18 inches (61 x 45,7 cm)
SW 20063

tentacles of a kraken emerge from the sea, reaching for an oncoming boat

Alexis Rockman
The Kraken, 2019
watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper
18 x 24 inches (45,7 x 61 cm)
SW 20065

waterline view depicting a sea turtle below and a dog on a small raft of wreckage above

Alexis Rockman
RMS Lusitania, 2019
watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper
24 x 18 inches (61 x 45,7 cm)
SW 20068

split-view watercolor with a flaming ship on the top half and invertebrate sea-life and a pocket watch under the waterline

Alexis Rockman
The Boyd Massacre, 2019
watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper
24 x 18 inches (61 x 45,7 cm)
SW 20061

waterline view with a turtle, fish, jellyfish and other sea life with an armada of ships above

Alexis Rockman
The Sargasso Sea, 2019
watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper
24 x 18 inches (61 x 45,7 cm)
SW 20067

waterline view of a manatee-like mammal coming up for air and knocking a person from his boat

Alexis Rockman
Steller's Sea Cow, 2019
watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper
18 x 24 inches (45,7 x 61 cm)
SW 20062

a fish swims for a cracker dipping below the waterline on a fishing hook, the source of which is a raft containing a goat with a rabbit on its back

Alexis Rockman
Hard Tack, 2019
watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper
24 x 18 inches (61 x 45,7 cm)
SW 20066

painting of an empty raft with birds and sharks circling

The Medusa, 2020, oil on wood, 40 x 48 inches (101,6 x 121,9 cm)

Referencing Géricault’s iconic history painting in the Louvre about the human tragedy, cannibalism, bureaucratic incompetence, class and negligence, The Medusa focuses on the aftermath of the rescue of the survivors off the coast of Senegal. Local sea birds and sharks look for opportunities on the raft before the forces of nature swallow all evidence of the event.

a kraken’s tentacles and a whale tail emerge from a turbulent sea and birds fly overhead as a viking ship approaches

Maelstrom, 2019, oil on wood, 68 x 108 inches (172,7 x 274,3 cm)

A veritable who’s who of mythology from many cultures, a Viking ship, stuck precariously on an enormous wave, finds itself hurled into the oceanic vortex while a churning cast of characters lies in wait. Perhaps the seabirds will find a successful refuge.

a horse swims away from large ship with four masts

Horse Latitudes, 2019, oil on wood, 40 x 48 inches (101,6 x 121,9 cm)

Unable to sail and resupply due to lack of wind, crews often ran out of drinking water. To conserve scarce water, sailors on these ships would sometimes throw the horses they were transporting overboard. Thus, the phrase 'horse latitudes' was born.

painting with a floating bottle and a frog in the foreground and a sinking ship on fire in the background

The Fate of the Rebel Flag, 2019, oil on dibond, 18 x 24 inches (45,7 x 61 cm)

This work is based on a print after paintings by William Baulyn. In a spectacular nocturnal scene, a large warship sinks and burns on a calm sea littered with debris. The flames take on the configuration of the red, white, and blue flag of the Confederacy, the blue field with seven stars being formed by the night sky showing through the flames. Lightning strikes the flag from the upper left, and a bottle used by the Union Army for morphine sits in the foreground.

painting of a side-wheel steamboat on fire n the background with a gator and other wildlife in the foreground

SS Sultana, 2018, oil on wood, 32 x 40 inches (81,3 x 101,6 cm)

Sultana was a Mississippi River side-wheel steamboat, which exploded on April 27, 1865,on Mississippi River seven miles north of Memphis, Tennessee, in the worst maritime disaster in United States history carrying 1,400 released Union prisoners released from Confederate prisons. There were 1,168 casualties. Here we see it from the perspective of the wildlife

an artist hanging works on paper on his studio wall

Born in 1962 in New York, where he lives and works, Alexis Rockman has depicted a darkly surreal vision of the collision between civilization and nature – often apocalyptic scenarios on a monumental scale – for over three decades. Notable solo museum exhibitions include “Alexis Rockman: Manifest Destiny” at the Brooklyn Museum (2004), which traveled to several institutions including the Wexner Center for the Arts (2004) and the Rhode Island School of Design (2005). In 2010, the Smithsonian American Art Museum organized “Alexis Rockman: A Fable for Tomorrow,” a major touring survey of his paintings and works on paper. Concurrent with Rockman’s 2013 exhibition at Sperone Westwater, the Drawing Center mounted “Drawings from Life of Pi,” featuring the artist’s collaboration with Ang Lee on the award-winning film “Life of Pi.” His series of 76 New Mexico Field Drawings was included in “Future Shock” at SITE Santa Fe (2017-18). “Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle,” a major touring exhibition of large-scale paintings and watercolors, as well as field drawings, of the Great Lakes opened at the Grand Rapids Art Museum (2018) and traveled to the Chicago Cultural Center (2018), the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (2018-19), Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University (2019), and Weisman Art Museum (2019-20). It will travel to the Flint Institute of Arts in May 2020. Rockman’s work is represented in many museum collections, including the Baltimore Museum of Art; Brooklyn Museum; Grand Rapids Art Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; New Orleans Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Smithsonian American Art Museum; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; and Whitney Museum of American Art. For more Information, please visit his artist page.