new-york

Alexis Rockman

Jay Gorney Mondern Art

Insects have always played a prominent part in the imagination of horror, perhaps because these creatures are the most resistant to being humanized, to taking on characteristics which would make them seem friendly. Their habits are irreducibly disquieting; their life world is necessarily cruel. In our recognition of that, nature becomes a nightmare. Nothing has to be invented. A simple shift in scope and scale will do—we need only to look down to the life below our feet. Alexis Rockman’s recent oil paintings offer compelling glimpses into that world; the grass crawls with insects, blind worms turn through the loam, and clearings in the forest show carcasses of animals that have fallen and rotted. They are landscapes of the grotesque, of that which makes us shudder.

The creatures are remarkably rendered, with a kind of loving attention to each mandible and antenna, hard carapace and blank

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