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In a series of paintings on paper, Rockman depicts massive weather systems that loom over miniature rural landscapes. The paintings convey the awe-inspiring and destructive power of nature and are hauntingly beautiful. These works depart from Rockman’s earlier hyper-detailed style, employing sweeping, watery brushstrokes. They send the message that no matter how much human beings try to control nature, nature is more than capable of striking back.
Despite his interest in preserving nature, Rockman is aware of the fact that many of the materials he uses can do just the opposite.
“I don’t think you can cross the street without living with the contradiction of living on planet Earth,” he said. “I take responsibility for what I do. When I get on a plane to go talk about global warming, the irony doesn’t escape me.”
“Alexis Rockman: A Fable for Tomorrow” will be on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Eighth and F streets Northwest) until May 8.