Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle

Organized by the Grand Rapids Art Museum; Coordinated at MOCA Cleveland by Deputy Director Megan Lykins Reich

October 19, 2018January 27, 2019

MOCA Cleveland hosts the exhibition, Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle. Organized by Grand Rapids Art Museum, the exhibition is Rockman’s most ambitious body of work to date. Rockman, an acclaimed painter and environmental activist, creates ecologically-focused works that seduce and provoke with equal verve. Blending extensive research, diverse techniques, and site-specific materials like sand or soil, Rockman’s paintings document history while also imagining future environments.

The exhibition includes five new, mural-sized paintings; a constellation of flora and fauna “field drawings”; a suite of watercolors; and a documentary film that all portray the evolution of the Great Lakes—which are among the world’s most beautiful, economically significant, and ecologically complex regions on the planet. Rockman’s new series celebrates the natural majesty and global importance of the Great Lakes while exploring how they are threatened by factors such as climate change, globalization, invasive species, mass agriculture, and urban sprawl. The exhibition affords MOCA an opportunity to connect relevant contemporary art practice with urgent environmental issues in ways that expand awareness, engagement, and community partnerships.