New York

Alexis Rockman

Jay Gorney Modern Art

Alexis Rockman continues to make cheerfully perverse paintings, indulging a taste for purulence and decoration, concupiscence and deformity. What might otherwise be regarded as no more than willful teenage-boy gross-outs become instead strenuously estheticized confections. Scenes of interspecies buggery and pukey rot glow with saturated colors and shimmer with old-masterish varnishes. Rock-man’s precise depictions of kinky sex and icky death might excite the admiration of Frederic Church or Martin Johnson Heade, and his two best paintings—Omission: The Fossil Record and Allosaurus (both 1991)—suggest Lurninist evocations of the primeval bog.

Rockman’s taxonomy/horror-movie paintings have been around for a number of years, but where he previously labored in the margins of acceptable contemporary art, it looks like he’s hit pay dirt with this recent show. The reasons for this have less to do

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