ROSS BLECKNER (b. 1949)
Ross Bleckner is an American artist who graduated in 1971 from New York University and earned an M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts in 1973. For the last 20 years, his art has been largely an investigation of change, loss, and memory, often addressing the subject of AIDS. Mr. 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 in the habit of redeploying and combining old motifs. Works by the artist are held in collections around the world including Museum of Modern Art, NY, Museum of Contemporary Art, LA, Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofi´a, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.
In 1995, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum had a major retrospective of his works from the last two decades of exhibitions at acclaimed institutions such as San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Stockholm Moderna Museet, and the Carnegie Museum of Art. Through his philanthropic efforts, Ross Bleckner has enabled many community organizations to perform their vital work. He is on the board of AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA), a non-profit community-based AIDS research and treatment education center. 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. He was the first fine artist to receive the position.