Alexis rockman: Oceanus

alexis rockman: oceanus

May 27, 2023, through April 28, 2024

Collins Gallery, Thompson Exhibition Buildign

Alexis Rockman: Oceanus is a major exhibition featuring ten large-scale watercolors and an 8-by-24-foot panoramic painting, all commissioned by the Museum to become part of the permanent collection. The project represents a shift in perspective at the Museum to raise awareness and inspire conversations around the critical global issues that face our oceans due to the impacts of maritime activities as part of our collective cultural, social, and economic heritage.

The central work, Oceanus, takes the viewer on a journey of global discovery beneath the world’s changing seas, deftly weaving natural history, archeology, adventure, political analysis, and science into a story about the human condition. Oceanus features twenty-two vessels, sixteen of which were inspired by models of watercraft in the Museum’s collections. The boats and ships presented help to show the history of human activity in relation to the ocean, including their direct ties to the exploitation of resources in the world’s waters. The ten watercolors, with their large swaths of intense fluid colors, explore some of the most pressing issues of our time, from the biodiversity crisis, pollution, and marine invasive species to extinction and climate change.

Oceanus will also serve as the anchor in a Museum-wide initiative to educate visitors on marine invasive species. Programming and educational opportunities throughout the run of the show will harness the many resources of the Museum and partner organizations and the expertise of the Museum staff to address the science and impact of this most pressing issue.

As we look to our global maritime heritage, which Mystic Seaport Museum is committed to preserving, this project and these remarkable works will spark critical discussions on a crisis that faces us all—inspiring productive conversation and a rethinking of what has been and shall be our maritime legacy.

The exhibition is accompanied by Alexis Rockman: Oceanus, a 160-page publication by Rizzoli and Mystic Seaport Museum, featuring interviews and essays by Robert D. Ballard, Christina Connett Brophy, James T. Carlton, Sylvia A. Earle, Michael R. Harrison, Alexis Rockman, Helen M. Rozwadowski, and Nari Ward. 

Mystic Seaport Museum has engaged with Museums.Co to offer fine art prints of the artworks in the exhibition. The Museums.Co archival print collection is an exclusive offering of artwork presented in a museum quality format. Through extensive color matching and artist proofing, these reproductions are incredible representations of the original works. Mystic Seaport Museum and the artist, Alexis Rockman, receive a portion of the sale for each print purchased. By clicking the button below, you will be re-directed to the Museums.Co website where the prints may be purchased.

ALEXIS ROCKMAN: OCEANUS is made possible, in part, by the generous support of Mystic Seaport Museum Members. For underwriting and sponsorship opportunities please contact Chris Freeman at chris.freeman@mysticseaport.org.