The folk and the fine

By GREG COOK  |  June 16, 2008

It’s like the Weather Channel’s greatest hits, with shout-outs to the 19th-century landscape paintings by the Hudson River School (those fellows who thought nothing was more sublime than getting caught in a downpour). All told, there are four great paintings here, several good ones, and a bunch of mediocre pieces. Too often Rockman’s brushwork and compositions feel generic.

But the great ones are pretty great. In Multi-Waterspout (2006), a sunny blue sky is interrupted by a line of blue tornados spearing down from black clouds and exploding upon a blue-gray sea. Rockman deploys oil paint via brushes, sticks, turkey basters, palette knives, and whatever else he can get his hands on. What grabs you is how he did the clouds — the paint was poured in very wet, so it puddled and flowed, swirled and pooled across the heavy watercolor paper, driven by gravity. This natural force manifest in the microcosm of his painting speaks to the grand forces he’s depicting. And the clouds look as if they were haunted by ghosts. As Rockman paints it, dragons are off prowling some distant prairie or far out at sea, for now — but the monsters are coming.

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  | 
  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Entertainment, Music, Culture and Lifestyle,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY GREG COOK
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   BEAUTY AND RUIN  |  July 30, 2014
    You’ve surely seen Providence painter Agustín Patiño’s work.
  •   EVOLVING PERSPECTIVES  |  July 23, 2014
    Somewhere around the 1950s, Florence Leif drastically changed her style.
  •   DOODLES, LIGHTS, AND DREAMS  |  July 16, 2014
    Gibson Prouty has found a muse — classic yellow pencils with pink erasers on the end.
  •   SEEING ANEW  |  July 09, 2014
    The aim of the RISD Museum’s eight newly renovated galleries for its permanent collection of fashion and Egyptian and Asian art seems to be “quiet contemplation.”
  •   BRIGHTNESS AND DARKNESS  |  June 25, 2014
    Constellations of mirror ball clouds dangle from the ceiling on pink cords at the center of the room and slowly rotate and sparkle. You’re invited to peer though weird, lumpy crystal-telescope-things.

 See all articles by: GREG COOK