“The historical catastrophes that Rockman references may have receded in our collective memory, but his works point to how our increasingly interconnected modern world has come to be at the expense of the planet,” says Trevor Smith, Associate Director – Multisensory Experience and Curator of the Present Tense. “By making historical events feel urgent and pressing, Rockman invites us to reflect on how our present day ecological activity will be regarded by those in the future.”
“Through the lens of the shipwreck, Alexis Rockman examines the complexity of the human psyche, the rearrangement of material culture and economies, and the exploitation of life, with its intended and unintended consequences. His paintings awaken imagination to the colossal impact of the Anthropocene, and with any luck inspire better stewardship of the planet,” states Andrea Grover, Executive Director of Guild Hall, where the exhibition will be on view June 13 through July 19, 2021.
The exhibition is accompanied by the catalogue Alexis Rockman: Shipwrecks (DelMonico Books, 2021), edited by Andrea Grover, with an Introduction by Daniel Finamore and Trevor Smith, and contributions by Sasha Archibald, Chanda Laine Carey, and Brett Littman.
About the Artist
Alexis Rockman (born 1962) is a contemporary American painter. He studied at the Art Student’s League and the Rhode Island School of Design before earning a BFA at the School of Visual Arts in 1985. He had a mid-career retrospective at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2010. Rockman currently lives and works in New York, NY and Warren, CT.
Climate + Environment
Climate change and environmental crisis directly impacts our community and the lives of millions around the world. As part of a new Climate + Environment Initiative, PEM is hosting special exhibitions and programs about our evolving relationship to the natural world that encourage reflection, inspire conversation, and spark action. We hope you’ll join us as we learn together, exploring topics like sustainable practice, environmental justice, coastal vulnerability, and more. Follow along on social media using #PEMClimate
Alexis Rockman: Shipwrecks is organized by Guild Hall of East Hampton, N.Y. and presented by the Peabody Essex Museum. The exhibition is made possible by the Nancy B. Tieken Memorial Fund and supporters of the Present Tense Initiative, including The Jeffrey P. Beale Fund for Contemporary Art and Matthew and Rebekah Gardiner. Carolyn and Peter S. Lynch and The Lynch Foundation, Jennifer and Andrew Borggaard, James B. and Mary Lou Hawkes, Kate and Ford O'Neil, and Henry and Callie Brauer provided generous support. We also recognize the generosity of the East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum. Support for the Guild Hall exhibition and tour has been provided by Angela Westwater, Sperone Westwater, Fiona and Eric Rudin, Philip Aarons and Shelley Fox Aarons, James E. Cottrell and Joseph F. Lovett, and Hall Art Foundation. The catalogue, Alexis Rockman: Shipwrecks, is funded in part by the Theo and Catherine Hios Publication Fund.
Media Partner: Art New England
High-resolution images are available upon request.
- Alexis Rockman, Maelstrom, 2019. Oil on wood. Courtesy of the artist and Sperone Westwater Gallery.
- Alexis Rockman, The Sinking of the Brig Helen, 2017. Oil on dibond. Courtesy of David Roth and Heifara Rutgers, New York.
PROTECTING HEALTH AND SAFETY
The health and safety of PEM’s staff and visitors is our highest priority. PEM has increased its safety protocols, including the frequency and intensity of its sanitation and disinfection efforts across the museum. Face coverings are to be worn at all times. To learn more, visit pem.org/safety.
ABOUT THE PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM
Over the last 20 years, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) has distinguished itself as one of the fastest-growing art museums in North America. Founded in 1799, it is also the country’s oldest continuously operating museum. At its heart is a mission to enrich and transform people's lives by broadening their perspectives, attitudes and knowledge of themselves and the wider world. PEM celebrates outstanding artistic and cultural creativity through exhibitions, programming and special events that emphasize cross-cultural connections, integrate past and present and underscore the vital importance of creative expression. The museum's collection is among the finest of its kind boasting superlative works from around the globe and across time — including American art and architecture, Asian export art, photography, maritime art and history, Native American, Oceanic, and African art, as well as one of the nation’s most important museum-based collections of rare books and manuscripts. PEM's campus offers a varied and unique visitor experience with hands-on creativity zones, interactive opportunities and performance spaces. Twenty-two noted historic structures grace PEM’s campus, including Yin Yu Tang, a 200-year-old Chinese house that is the only example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States. HOURS: Open Thursdays through Sundays and holiday Mondays, 10 am–5 pm. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. ADMISSION: Adults $20; seniors $18; students $12. Additional admission to Yin Yu Tang: $6 (plus museum admission). Members, youth 16 and under and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission and free admission to Yin Yu Tang. INFO: Call 866-745-1876 or visit pem.org.
ABOUT GUILD HALL
Guild Hall, one of the first multidisciplinary centers in the country to combine a museum, theater, and education space under one roof, was established in 1931 as a gathering place for community where an appreciation for the arts would serve to encourage greater civic participation. For nearly nine decades, Guild Hall has embraced this open-minded vision and provided a welcoming environment for the public to engage with art exhibitions, performances, and educational offerings. Art and artists have long been the engine of Guild Hall’s activities and the institution continues to find innovative ways to support creativity in everyone. Visit guildhall.org.
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