MOCA Cleveland Exhibit Paints Damages Done To Great Lakes

Alexis Rockman, Pioneers, 2017, oil and acrylic on wood panel. 72 x 144 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Sperone Westwater, New York.
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A new exhibit at Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art explores the plight of the Great Lakes through several paintings from artist Alexis Rockman.

The Great Lakes Cycle started in 2013 after Rockman was approached by the Grand Rapids Art Museum. When asked by the museum director what his dream project might be, Rockman thought about the Great Lakes.

“It’s in our backyard, we take it for granted,” said Rockman. “It’s been beaten, dumped on, and abused. I knew certainly – well since the 80’s – that freshwater is going to be the oil of the future, and there’s going to be war over it all of that stuff. Why not do something about that?”

Rockman spent six months traveling, researching, and interviewing experts on the Great Lakes. The exhibit includes several murals, watercolors, and field drawings – from depictions of glaciers to invasive species and shipwrecks.

“It’s one big butterfly effect of what happens when there’s too many nutrients, invasive species, and a food chain,” said Rockman.

Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle will be on view until January 27th. After Cleveland, the exhibit will continue onto Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Flint, Michigan.

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