Mark Dion and Alexis Rockman:¬

Journey to Nature's Underworld

Mark Dion and Alexis Rockman: Journey to Nature's Underworld

Alexis Rockman, Departure, 2018. Oil on Dibond aluminum composite sheet. 44 x 56 in. Barbara and Jonathan Lee, Courtesy the artist and American Federation of Arts. Photo by Adam Reich


February 9, 2024-June 9, 2024

Mark Dion and Alexis Rockman: Journey to Nature’s Underworld unites over 30 sculptures and paintings by two renowned artists who have explored humanity’s strained relationship with the environment for over 30 years. Both Dion and Rockman have achieved international prominence for their own distinctive practices. They conduct intensive research, using allegory, dark humor, and popular culture to convey their message. Each subverts the authority and objectivity of museums of art and natural history. They ground their studio practice in science and close observation but present it as theater.

The title, “Journey to Nature’s Underworld,” holds various meanings, including mythic abodes, archaeology, Earth’s subsurface, and unconscious beliefs about nature. Dion and Rockman reflect on our culture’s harmful course, balancing the wonder and woe of nature’s condition.

Mark Dion and Alexis Rockman: Journey to Nature’s Underworld was curated by Suzanne Ramljak Chief Curator of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and organized by the American Federation of Arts.


Artist talk with Mark Dion and Alexis Rockman

Moderated by Cali Mitchum and Salomé Walker, students from the Virginia Beach City Public Schools Environmental Studies program at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Brock Environmental Center



As an ever-changing museum, Virginia MOCA relies on unique and diverse perspectives to further our shared understanding of contemporary art. This audio tour includes the voices of students from Brock Center VBCPS Environmental Studies Program, a community organizer, and representatives from First Landing State Park, Norfolk Botanical Garden, Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, Virginia Wesleyan University, and the Virginia Zoo. Each brings a unique perspective to our exploration of Mark Dion and Alexis Rockman: Journey to Nature’s Underworld.