Ackland Art Museum presents two new exhibitions: Alexis Rockman and Art from the Art Bridges Art Collection
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Ackland Art Museum presents two new exhibitions: Alexis Rockman and Art from the Art Bridges Art Collection
Sheila Gallagher (b.1966). Plastic Lila, 2013. Melted plastic on armature. Courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas.

CHAPEL HILL, NC.- The Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is announcing two new summer exhibitions: "Alexis Rockman: Shipwrecks," and "Houseguests: American Art from the Art Bridges Collection Loan Partnership,". Both exhibitions close on September 4.

Alexis Rockman (American, born 1962) created his dramatic series, "Shipwrecks," depicting historic sea disasters, to explore the impact of transportation and migration — from goods and people to plants and animals — on our planet and its waterways.

"Rockman's large-scale oil paintings and watercolors remind us of the shadow of potential disaster that looms over ocean voyages. He places these concerns in a global narrative, but they have a special resonance in North Carolina, where the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” has claimed thousands of ships since record keeping began in the sixteenth century," said Lauren Turner, Associate Curator for Contemporary Art and Special Projects.

While many of the catastrophes to which Rockman alludes have receded into history, his works point to how our interconnected world has generated significant global changes. Some experts now refer to our age as the Anthropocene, a term coined by biologists for the time period in which human activity has dominated and fundamentally altered Earth’s natural systems. However, Rockman’s works in this gallery often prioritize omitting actual humans from the scenes, focusing instead on the representation of other flora, fauna, and material culture that bear witness to humankind’s impact.

"Alexis Rockman: Shipwrecks" is on view at the Ackland from July 8-Sept. 4, 2022.

"Houseguests: American Art from the Art Bridges Collection Loan Partnership" showcases fourteen outstanding works of American art, generously lent by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art as part of the Art Bridges’ Collection Loan Partnership initiative, an innovative art lending model. After the joint presentation in this exhibition, selected works will be integrated at different times in varying juxtapositions into our permanent collection galleries through early May 2023.

The exhibition includes works by Alexander Pope, Max Weber, Stuart Davis, George Bellows, Edward Melcarth, Theodore Stamos, Julian Stanczak, Tom Wesselmann, Leon Polk Smith, Mark Tansey, Sheila Gallagher, Dave Greber, Kelsey Brookes, and Elizabeth Alexander.

"We are delighted to be able to share these exceptional works with our visitors and to put them into dialogue with works from our permanent collection. Our houseguests will enrich the Ackland's presentation not only of modern and contemporary art, but also art of other periods and places," said Peter Nisbet, Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs.

Art Bridges is the vision of philanthropist and arts patron Alice Walton. The mission of Art Bridges is to expand access to American art in all regions across the United States. Since 2017, Art Bridges has been creating and supporting programs that bring outstanding works of American art out of storage and into communities.

Art Bridges partners with a growing network of nearly 190 museums of all sizes and locations to provide financial and strategic support for exhibition development, loans from the Art Bridges collection, and programs designed to educate, inspire, and deepen engagement with local audiences.

"Houseguests: American Art from the Art Bridges Collection Loan Partnership" is on view at the Ackland from July 15-Sept. 4, 2022.

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