Ross Bleckner (American, b.1949) is a New York-based painter who decided to become an artist after seeing an exhibition called The Responsive Eye at the MoMA in 1965. He went on to study with Sol LeWitt and Chuck Close during his time at New York University, where he received his BA in 1971. He then went on to earn an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 1973.

In 1974, Bleckner moved into a Tribeca loft building in New York City. Three of the floors were rented by painter Julian Schnabel, and, from 1977 to 1983, the building also housed the Mudd Club, a nightclub frequented by musicians and artists. He held his first solo exhibition in 1975 at Cunningham Ward Gallery in New York. In 1979, he began what was to become a long association with Mary Boone Gallery in New York. In 1981, Bleckner met Thomas Ammann of Thomas Ammann Fine Art AG, an influential Swiss art dealer who became a major collector of Bleckner's work.

For the last 20 years, his art has been largely an investigation of change, loss, and memory, often addressing the subject of AIDS. Bleckner uses symbolic imagery rather than direct representation, and his work is visually elusive, with forms that constantly change focus. While much of Bleckner's work can be divided into distinct groups or series with motifs repeated from painting to painting, he is also known for combining old motifs. Works by the artist are held in collections around the world, including The Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, CA; Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo, Norway; the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, Spain; and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, NY.

Bleckner is currently a clinical professor of studio art at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. In May 2009, he was awarded the title of Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations.

Timeline

1949
Born in New York, NY
1971
BA, New York University, New York, NY
1973
MFA, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA
Lives in New York

Exhibitions

2010
Mary Boone Gallery, NYC, NY. (solo)
2008
East Coast Perspectives, Imago Galleries
2008
The 30th Anniversary, PART II, Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm
2008
Genesis - Die Kunst der Schopfung, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern
2008
Empires and Environments, The Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MA
2008
Expenditure, The Busan Biennale, Busan
2008
Genesis - Die Kunst der Schopfung, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern
2008
Empires and Environments, The Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MA
2007
Black and White and Red - All Over, Michele Mosko Fine Art, Denver, CO
2007
All the More Real: Portrayals of Intimacy and Empathy, Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY
2007
Timer 01, Triennale Bovisa, Milan
2007
Speed #1 - natura naturata - velocidad sin movimiento, IVAM - Institut Valencia d'Art Modern, Valencia
2007
Cais gallery, Seoul, Korea (solo)
2007
Ross Bleckner - Thomas Ammann Fine Art AG, Zurich (solo)
2007
I Love My Scene 3, Mary Boone Gallery, New York (solo)
2006
Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki (aolo)
2006
View Nine: I Love My Scene / Scene 3. Mary Boone Gallery, NY, USA
2005
Picturing America. Selections from the Whitney Museum of American Art, Nagasaki, Japan
2005
Prefectural Art Museum, Nagasaki, Japan
2005
Zoo Story. Fisher Landau Center for Art. Long Island City, New York, USA
2005
East Village USA, New Museum of Contemporary Art
2005
Galerie Ruzicska, Salzburg, Austria (solo)
2004
Perspectives at 25, Contemporary Arts Museum. Houston
2004
Birdspace: A Post-Audubon Artist's Aviary, Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, New York
2004
Cultivating Landscape, Scott White Contemporary Art, San Diego
2004
Dialogue with Space, Esbjerg Art Museum, Denmark
2004
Flowers, Mary Boone Gallery, New York
2004
Flowers Observed, Flowers Transformed, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2003
Mary Boone Gallery, New York
2003
Lehmann Maupin, New York (solo)
2003
Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, Colorado (solo)
2003
New Abstract Painting Painting Abstract Now, Museum Morsbroich Leverkusen
2002
Studio d'Arte Raffaelli, Trento (solo)
2002
Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm (solo)
2002
Alain Noirhomme Gallery, Brussels (solo)
2002
Guild Hall Collects: Artists of Hampton Bohemia, Guild Hall Museum, New York
2002
Skin to Bones. Painting Since 1970, Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University, Waltham
2002
Mary Boone Gallery, New York
2002
Self and Soul: The Architecture of Intimacy, Asheville Art Museum, North Carolina, USA
2002
Church of San Giorgio in Poggiale, Bologna, Italy
2001
Operativo, Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City
2001
Wilma Tolksdorf Gallery, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (solo)
2001
Galleria in Arco, Turin, Italy and Galleria Raffaelli, Trento, Italy (solo)
2001
Mary Boone Gallery, New York (solo)
2001
Absolut Modern, Modern Art Museum Fort Worth
2001
Mythic Proportions. Painting in the 1980s, Museum of Contemporary Art Miami
2001
Jasper Johns to Jeff Koons. Four Decades of Art from the Broad Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
2001
Roundup, El Paso Museum of Art
2000
Art at Work. Forty Years of the Chase Manhattan Collection, Queens Museum of Art New York
2000
In the Power of Painting, Moderna Museet, Stockholm / Alesco, Zurich (cat.)
2000
On Canvas. Contemporary Painting, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
2000
Vaknin Schwartz Gallery, Atlanta (solo)
2000
Victoria Miro gallery, England (solo)
2000
Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta (solo)
2000
Rebecca Camhi Gallery, Athens, Greece (solo)
2000
Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland (solo)
2000
Mario Diacono Gallery, Boston (solo)
2000
Lococo Mulder Fine Art, Germany (solo)
2000
Interim Art, London (solo)
2000
Wetterling Teo, Singapore (solo)
2000
Works in Light, Galerie Beyler, Germany
2000
Drawings 2000, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York
1999
Emiliomazzoli, Galleria d'Arte Contemporanea Modena, Italy
1999
Welterling Gallery Kungstradgarden 3, Stockholm, Belgium (solo)
1999
Martin Browne Fine Art Sydney (cat.) (solo)
1999
The Storytellers, Itochu Gallery, Japan
1999
Botanica: Contemporary Art and the World of Plants, Tweed Museum of Art, University of Duluth Duluth, ME
1998
Puntos Cardinales, Museo Alejandro Otero Caracas, Venezuela
1998
Paper Thin, Stephen Wirtz Gallery San Francisco, CA
1998
Julie M. Gallery Tel Aviv
1998
Lehmann Maupin New York, NY
1998
Mary Boone Gallery New York, NY
1998
Glenn Horowitz Bookseller East Hampton, NY
1998
Ross Bleckner: The Last Decade, Patrick Painter Santa Monica, CA
1998
Galerie Aglutinador Havana, Cuba
1997
Bawag Foundation Vienna, Austria
1997
Galerie Larsen Stockholm, Belgium
1997
Galerie Ghislaine Hussenot Paris, France
1997
Galerie Daniel Templon Paris, France
1997
Robert McClain & Company Houston, TX
1997
Galleri Larsen Stockholm, Belgium
1997
Turner & Runyon Gallery Dallas, TX
1997
A Reversal of Scale, Turner & Runyon Gallery Dallas, TX
1997
Ross Bleckner, Mark Francis, Leigh Martin, Mervyn Williams, GOW Langsford Auckland, New Zealand
1997
Intimate Universe (Revisited), Robert Steele Gallery New York, NY
1997
Identity Crisis: Self-Portraiture at the End of the Century, Milwaukee Art Museum Milwaukee, WI
1997
Table Tops: Morandi's Still Life's to Mapplethorpe's Flower Studies, California Center for the Arts Museum Escondido, CA
1997
Birth of the Cool: American Painting, Kunsthaus Zürich Zürich, Germany
1997
After the Fall: Aspects of Abstract Painting since 1970, Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art Snug Harbor, Cultural Center, Staten Island, NY
1996
Blind Spot: The First Four Years, Paolo Baldacci Gallery New York, NY
1996
The Modern Landscape, Queens Library Gallery Jamaica, NY
1996
Nuevas Abstracciones, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
1996
On Paper II, Schmidt Contemporary Art Saint Louis, MO
1996
Painting-Singular Object, The National Museum of Modern Art Kyoto, Japan
1996
Mary Boone Gallery New York, NY
1996
Galleria S.A.L.E.S. Rome, Italy
1996
Larry Gagosian Gallery Beverly Hills, CA
1996
Galerie Kyoko Chirathivar Bangkok, Thailand
1996
Baldwin Gallery Aspen, CO
1995
University Art Gallery University of CA, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
1995
Rebecca Camhi Gallery Athens
1995
Off Shore Gallery East Hampton, NY
1995
I.V.A.M., Centre Julio Gonzalez Valencia, CA
1995
Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst Oslo, Norway
1995
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York, NY
1995
Mario Diacono Gallery Boston, MA
1995
Barbara Davis Gallery Houston, TX
1995
Passions Privees, Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris Paris, France
1995
Ross Bleckner, Peter Cain, Judith Eisler, Jack Pierson, Juan Usle, Christopher Wool, Galleri K Oslo, Norway
1995
American Interiors, Knoedler & Company New York, NY
1995
New York Abstract, Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, LA
1995
Making a Mark: Drawings of the 1980s, The Bruce Museum Greenwich, CT
1995
Critiques of Pure Abstraction, Sarah Campbell Blaffer Gallery University of Houston, Houston, TX
1995
In a Different Light, University Art Museum, University of California Berkeley, CA
1994
Painting, Nina Freudenheim Gallery Buffalo, NY
1994
Desire, Charles Cowles Gallery New York, NY
1994
Abstract Works on Paper, Robert Miller Gallery New York, NY
1994
Painting and Sculpture: recent Aquisitions, The Museum of Modern Art New York, NY
1994
30 Years-Art in the Present Tense, The Aldrich Museum of Modern Art New York, NY
1994
Inaugural Group Show, Off Shore Gallery East Hampton, NY
1994
Absence, Activism and the Body Politic, Fishbach Gallery New York, NY
1994
Against All Odds: The Healing Powers of Art, The Ueno Royal Museum Tokyo, Japan
1994
The Inward Eye: Ross Bleckner, Richmond Burton, Julian Lethbridge, Laura Carpenter Fine Art Santa Fe, NM
1994
Isn't It Romantic?, On Crosby Street New York, NY
1994
From Media to Metaphor: Art About AIDS, Grey Art Gallery, New York University New York, NY
1994
New York on Paper, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris, France
1994
Galerie Ghislaine Hussenot Paris, France
1994
Mary Boone Gallery New York, NY
1994
Turner & Byrne Gallery Dallas, TX
1994
Galeria Soledad Lorenzo Madrid, Spain
1993
Kohn Abrams Gallery Los Angeles, CA
1993
Guild Hall Museum East Hampton, NY
1993
Galerie Max Hetzler Köln, Germany
1993
Galerie 56 Budapest, Hungary
1993
Baumgartner Galleries Washington, D.C.
1993
Jason Rubell Gallery Miami Beach, FL
1993
New York on Paper, Galerie Ernst Beyeler Basel, Switzerland
1993
Italy-America Abstraction Redefined, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna San Marino, Italy
1993
Extravagant: The Economy of Elegance, Tony Shafrazi Gallery New York, NY
1993
I am the Enunciator, Thread Waxing Space New York, NY
1993
Intimate Universe, Nina Freudenheim Gallery New York, NY
1992
Intimate Universe, Michael Walls Gallery New York, NY
1992
Transmodern, Baumgartner Galleries Washington, D.C.
1992
Slow Art: Painting in New York Now, P.S. 1 Museum Long Island City, NY
1992
Then and Now, Phillippe Staib Gallery New York, NY
1992
Contemporary Masterworks, Feigen Gallery Chicago, IL
1992
Theoretically Yours, Chiesa di San Lorenzo di Aosta Italy
1992
Recent Abstract Painting, Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art Cleveland, OH
1992
A Passion for Art: Watercolors and Works on Paper, Tony Shafrazi Gallery New York, NY
1992
Easel Painting, Perry Rubenstein Gallery New York, NY
1992
The City Influence: Ross Bleckner, Peter Halley, Jonathan Lasker, Museum of Contemporary Art Wright State University, Dayton, OH
1992
Devils on the Stairs: Looking Back on the Eighties, Newport Harbor Art Museum Newport Beach, CA
1992
Galerie Samia Saouma Paris, France
1992
Galerie Ghislaine Hussenot Paris, France
1991
Jason Rubell Gallery Palm Beach, FL
1991
Fred Hoffman Gallery Santa Monica, CA
1991
Mary Boone Gallery New York, NY
1991
Moderna Museet Stockholm, Belgium
1991
Devils on the Stairs: Looking Back on the Eighties, Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, PA
1991
The New Abstraction, Sidney Janis Gallery New York, NY
1991
Outrageous Desire, Rutgers University Rutgers, NJ
1991
Anni 80: Aristi a New York, Palazzo delle Albere Trento, Italy
1991
La Metafiscia della Luce, John Good Gallery New York, NY
1991
From Media to Metaphore: Art About AIDS, Independent Curators Incorporated New York, NY
1991
Nayland Blake, Ross Bleckner, Donald Moffatt, Simon Watson Gallery New York, NY
1991
Metropolis, Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin, Germany
1991
Mitto y Magia en America: Los Ochenta, Museo de arte contemporaneo de Monterrey Monterrey, Mexico
1991
Who Framed Modern Art or the Quantitative Life of Roger Rabbit, Sidney Janis Gallery New York, NY
1991
Weitersehen, Museum Haus Esters and Museum Haus Lange Krefeld, Germany
1991
Inconsolable, Louver Gallery New York, NY
1991
The Last Decade: American Artists of the 80s, Tony Shafrazi Gallery New York, NY
1991
Token Gestures (A Painting Show), Scott Hanson Gallery New York, NY
1991
10 + 10: Contemporary Soviet and American Painters, Tsentralnyi Zystavochnyi Zal Leningrad, USSR
1990
10 + 10. Contemporary Soviet and American Painters, Milwaukee Art Museum
1990
Kölnischer Kunstverein Köln, Germany
1990
Kunsthalle Zürich Zürich, Switzerland
1990
Heland Wetterling Gallery Stockholm, Belgium
1990
Galeria Soledad Lorenzo Madrid, Spain
1990
Art Gallery of Ontario Toronto, Canada
1989
Akira Ikeda Gallery Nagoya, Japan
1989
Carnegie Museum of Art Pittsburgh, PA
1989
Contemporary Art Museum Houston, TX
1989
Milwaukee Art Museum Milwaukee, WI
1989
Mario Diacono Gallery Boston, MA
1989
Galerie Max Hetler Köln, Germany
1989
The Silent Baroque, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Salzburg, Austria
1989
Re-presenting the 80s, Simon Watson Gallery New York, NY
1989
Viennese divan: Sigmund Freud Nowadays, Museum of the 20th Century Vienna, Austria
1989
Prospect 89, Frankfurt Kunstverein and Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Germany
1989
1989 Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art New York, NY
1989
Pre-Pop Post-Appropriation, Stux Gallery New York, NY
1989
Epiphanies, Edward Thorp Gallery New York, NY
1988
Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art Pittsburg, PA
1988
Hybrid Neutral: Modes of Abstraction and the Social, Independent Curators Incorporated New York, NY
1988
The Binational/Die Binationale, Kunsthalle Dusseldorf, Germany
1988
The Image of Abstraction, The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, CA
1988
Biennial of Sydney, Biennial of Sydney Sydney, Australia
1988
Art at the End of the Social, The Rooseum Malmö (cat.)
1988
Mary Boone Gallery New York, NY
1988
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art San Francisco, CA
1988
Waddington Galleries London, England
1987
Margo Leavin Gallery Los Angeles, CA
1987
Mary Boone Gallery New York, NY
1987
Fall Invitational, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art Ridgefield, CT
1987
Armitage Ballet Benefit, Mary Boone Gallery New York, NY
1987
Ronald Greenburg Gallery Saint Louis, MO
1987
The Ironic Sublime, Galerie Albrecht Munich, Germany
1987
Post-Abstract Abstraction, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art Ridgefield, CT
1987
Awards in the Visual Arts 6, Grey Art Gallery New York, NY
1987
1987 Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art New York, NY
1987
Still Life, Beyond Tradition, Visual Arts Museum New York, NY
1987
Atelier Conversations, John Good Gallery New York, NY
1987
The Antique Future, Massimo Audiello Gallery New York, NY
1986
Intuitive Line, Hirschl & Adler Modern New York, NY
1986
Landscapes, Luhring, Augustine and Hodes Gallery New York, NY
1986
Emerging Artists 1986, Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art Cleveland, OH
1986
End Game: Reference and Simulation in Recent American Painting and Sculpture, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, MA
1986
Paravision II, Margo Leavin Gallery Los Angles, CA
1986
Mary Boone Gallery New York, NY
1986
Mary Boone Gallery New York, NY
1986
Mario Diacono Gallery Boston, MA
1985
Boston Museum School Boston, MA
1985
From Organism to Architecture, New York Studio School New York, NY
1985
Abstract Painting Redefined, Louis K. Meisel Gallery New York, NY
1985
Group Drawing Show, New York Studio School New York, NY
1985
Cult and Decorum, Tibor de Nagy Gallery New York, NY
1985
Vernacular Abstraction, Wacoal Art Center Tokyo, Japan
1985
Paravision, Postmasters Gallery New York, NY
1985
Final Love, Cash/Newhouse New York, NY
1984
Still Life with Transaction II: Former Objects, New Moral Arrangements, and the History of Surfaces, Galerie Jurka Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1984
Sex, Cable Gallery New York, NY
1984
Natural Genre, Florida State University Gallery and Museum Tallahassee, FL
1984
Personal Views, Janus Gallery Los Angeles, CA
1984
The Innovative Landscape, Holly Solomon Gallery New York, NY
1984
Still Life with Transaction: Former Objects, New Moral Arrangements, and the History of Surfaces, International with Monument Gallery New York, NY
1984
Civilization and the Landscape of Discontent, Nature Morte Gallery New York, NY
1984
The Meditative Surface, The Renaissance Society, University of Chicago Chicago, IL
1984
Newscapes-Land and City/States of Mind, One Penn Plaza New York, NY
1984
Modern Expressionists, Sidney Janis Gallery New York, NY
1984
Mary Boone Gallery New York, NY
1984
Nature Morte Gallery New York, NY
1983
Mary Boone Gallery New York, NY
1983
Science Fiction, John Weber Gallery New York, NY
1983
Mary Boone and Her Artists, Seibu Gallery Tokyo, Japan
1983
Contemporary Light, Katherine Markel Gallery New York, NY
1983
Selected Drawings, Jersey City Museum Jersey City, NJ
1983
Drawing It Out, Baskerville + Watson Gallery New York, NY
1982
Mary Boone Gallery New York, NY
1982
Portico Row Gallery Philadelphia, PA
1982
Patrick Verelist Galerie Antwerpen, Belgium
1981
New York in Black and White, The Museum of Modern Art/Penthouse New York, NY
1981
Tenth Anniversary Exhibition, California Institute of the Arts Valencia, CA
1981
Mary Boone Gallery New York, NY
1980
Mary Boone Gallery New York, NY
1980
Mary Boone Gallery New York, NY
1980
Nouva Immagine, Milan, Italy
1979
Four Artists, Hallwalls Buffalo, NY
1979
Mary Boone Gallery New York, NY
1979
New Painting/New York, Hayward Gallery London, England
1979
Mary Boone Gallery New York, NY
1978
University Gallery of Fine Arts Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
1977
Cunningham Ward Gallery New York, NY
1976
John Doyle Gallery Chicago, IL
1976
New Work/New York, Fine Arts Gallery California State University, Los Angeles, CA
1976
Recent Work, The Johnson Gallery Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT
1975
Selected Works: New York, Meadow Brook Art Gallery Oakland University, Rochester, MI
1975
John Doyle Gallery Chicago, IL
1975
Paula Cooper Gallery New York, NY
1975
Contemporary Reflections, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art Ridgefield, CT
1975
1975 Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art New York, NY
1975
Cunningham Ward Gallery New York, NY

Literature

1986
Bleckner, Ross. “Failure, Theft, Love, Plague, Phillip Taaffe.” Pat Hearn Gallery, New York.