'Alexis Rockman: A Fable for Tomorrow' traces the artist's career from 'Pond's Edge' (1986) to 'The Reef' (2009), with its timely reminder of the perils of off-shore oil drilling. Superficially easy viewing, Rockman's paintings subvert the optimism of the American dream with their mix of scientific precision and environmental degradation. This vividly illustrated volume highlights the attention to detail and striking use of colour which give Rockman's work an almost cinematic impact that is seldom seen in contemporary art. His compelling mix of intensely coloured realism, scientific detail and strong polemic, result in art that is both a demand for action and an elegy over what has been lost. Author Joanna Marsh worked closely with Rockman on the painting selection and convincingly links the various themes of the artist's work over three decades with the history of America's environmental movement. Highlights include 'Evolution' (1992), his first mural-sized painting, and 'Manifest Destiny' (2003-04), an ambitious large-scale work commissioned by the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Rockman's ability to cross the boundary between fact and fiction appeals to both scientists and art critics.
Joanna Marsh is The James Dicke Curator of Contemporary Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C. Kevin J. Avery is associate curator in the Department of American Paintings and Sculpture at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Thomas Lovejoy is a leading biologist and Biodiversity Chair, The Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment.