Shipwrecks have long symbolized humans’ inability to control the natural world, and the extreme encounters with nature that can result. In this new body of work, the New York–based artist Alexis Rockman reenvisions shipwreck narratives to focus less on human drama than on the broad planetary implications of the forces behind them, including trade, migration, colonization, and globalization. The artist’s vivid series of large canvases and intimate watercolors points to how an increasingly interconnected world has generated profound ecological change. Rockman is among the most accomplished contemporary eco-artists, having for several decades examined issues at the nexus of natural history, climate change, and biodiversity. With Shipwrecks, he reimagines specific events in maritime history from a perspective that considers all life-forms. Curated at Princeton by Karl Kusserow, John Wilmerding Curator of American Art.
View an online gallery of works in this exhibition.