Franklin Parrasch Gallery is pleased to present Motion Parallax, a small survey of select works on paper by Jason Fox and Alexis Rockman from the early 1990’s to the present.
Both artists, born and raised in New York, independently defined their careers and artistic approaches during the past two decades. From 1988-2002 they also shared a studio space—divided by an eight-foot high wall—that kept them physically apart while audibly in close range. Over that wall, a flow of ideas, conversations about life and art, as well as a host of objects were lobbed back and forth on a continuous basis.
For Fox and Rockman, the lure of drawing is in its immediacy and portability, and their work in this medium has often extended beyond their studios’ wall. Though their aesthetic styles rarely merge, both artists’ overriding concerns with themes of pop culture, survival, adaptation, and evolution are urgently explored from divergent points of view.
The characters and scenarios concocted in Fox’s images derive from sources as diverse as super-hero comics, science fiction movies, hard rock album covers, and news photographs. At the same time, he executes a formal sensibility as sinuously informed by Jasper Johns as it is by El Greco. The resulting visions are at once obnoxiously gruesome and perversely alluring.
From the other side of the studio wall, Rockman’s own altered state, eco-centric themes center upon the supernatural re-orientation of the natural. Gargantuan insects, morphed mammals, and carnivorous flora find center stage in his sometimes aggressive, sometimes tranquil, and often humorous landscapes. Deftly shifting techniques, in various combinations, from the sharpness of close-up realism to the looseness of color-field splash, Rockman alerts the viewer that these creatures are his alone, and they exist solely for his art.
Jason Fox / Alexis Rockman: Motion Parallax will be on view at Franklin Parrasch Gallery February 27 – April 25, 2009. Related exhibitions concurrently on view include Jason Fox: The Upper Depths, through March 7 at Peter Blum Gallery (SoHo), New York, Jason Fox / Huma Bhabha: Atlas Mountains, opening March 13 at Andrea Rosen Gallery (Gallery 2), New York, and Alexis Rockman: 1/2 Life, March 7 – April 18 at Nyehaus, New York. In October 2010, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C. will be exhibiting a mid-career survey of paintings and drawings by Alexis Rockman curated by Joanna Marsh.