Clifford Ross

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Clifford Ross
Clifford Ross 2011 Shankbone.JPG
Ross at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival Vanity Fair party
Born (1952-10-15)October 15, 1952
New York City, NY, USA
Nationality United States American
Education Yale University, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture
Known for Photography, Video Art

Clifford Ross (born October 15, 1952) is an American artist who has worked in multiple media, including sculpture, painting, photography and video. His work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Biography[edit]

Born in New York City, Ross earned a Bachelor of Arts in Art and Art History from Yale University in 1974, with a residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1973. Following an early career in painting and sculpture, Ross began his photographic work in 1995. A major milestone in his work is the Hurricane Series, begun in 1998. The black and white images in the series depict large-scale ocean waves shot by Ross from the water while tethered to an assistant on land.

In 2002, in order to photograph Mount Sopris in Colorado, Ross invented and received a patent for the R1 camera, and then went on to make some of the highest resolution large-scale landscape photographs in the world. In 2005, he designed and built the R2 360 degree video camera, as well as the i3 Digital Cyclorama, with Bran Ferren and other imaging scientists at Applied Minds, Inc. These creative steps into the digital world eventually led him to 3D computer generated animation and the creation of “Harmonium Mountain”, a video with an original score by Philip Glass.

In 2009, the Austin Museum of Art exhibited a ten year survey of Ross’ work “Outside Realism: Clifford Ross Photography”, and “Clifford Ross: Mountains and Sea” opened at the MADRE/Naples National Archaeological Museum in Italy.

Works[edit]

“Hurricane” Series[edit]

The series was originally photographed from 1998–2001 and then extended by Ross in 2008, when he chose to capture the imagery with a digital camera instead of film. All the waves in the series were generated by hurricanes which were shot while the artist was in the surf, often up to his chest, tethered to the shore with a safety rope.

The Hurricane Series led to two other bodies of work, the Horizon Series and Grain Series. The Horizons are small images of a placid ocean with a low horizon line, which show minimal waves in the foreground and large expanses of sky above. In the Grain Series, perhaps the most abstract and minimal photographs ever made, photography was reduced to pure tonality, the subject reduced to light and the “grain” of the film’s emulsion.

Taken as a group, the Hurricanes, Horizons and Grain series compose a trilogy known as “Wave Music”, which was the subject of an eponymous book of Ross’ images that includes an essay by Arthur Danto and an interview by A.M. Homes (Blind Spot/Aperture 2005).

“Mountain” Series[edit]

Typical of Ross’ dialectical working process, he found his next subject, far from the ocean in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado: Mount Sopris. For Ross, his experience of the sublime upon viewing the mountain scene was tied to his ability to see the overwhelming number of details that combined to create the majestic landscape in front of him. Ross’ desire to create a “you are there” experience for those who had not visited Mount Sopris drove him to push the “reality quotient” in photography past previous technical boundaries. Realizing the limitations of existing film and digital cameras, he invented the R1 high-resolution camera system, which uses military aerial film and a unique digital post-production process, capable of capturing the individual shingles on a barn from two miles away. The resulting photographs – the "Mountain” series – are among the highest resolution single shot landscapes in the world.

“Mountain Redux” and “Harmonium Mountain”[edit]

In a path similar to the one he took after the “Hurricane” series, Ross chose to recreate his experience of Mount Sopris in more abstract and poetic terms, focusing on elements of the original image and re-combining them in an array of dramatic and colorful structures. To create the “Mountain Redux” series of prints, Ross deployed complex computer-generated animation in new and inventive ways and printed them on custom manufactured paper from Japan.

His animation work then extended into video art when he built an extensive library of animated studies that provided the basis for the 5:26 short video known as “Harmonium Mountain”, for which Philip Glass created an original score.

“Harmonium Mountain” premiered at the Site Santa Fe International Biennial in 2010. Its second public showing, at the City University of New York, included a discussion with Robert Storr, Dean of the Yale School of Art and former curator at the Museum of Modern Art.

The film’s official New York premiere was at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2011, in the animated short films category.

Big Picture Summit[edit]

In late 2004, Ross convened the first “Big Picture Summit” at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University. The two-day meeting was attended by 25 imaging and visualization scientists representing a number of institutions from across the United States, including Sandia National Laboratories, NYU and MIT. This first summit led to the publication of a scientific white paper “Big, Bigger, Biggest: Inventing Systems for Immense Digital Images (and Beyond) ” and two subsequent summit meetings at the University of Southern California and the National Geographic Society in 2005 and 2006.

i3 Cyclorama[edit]

Since 2004, Ross had been developing the i3 Digital Cyclorama with Bran Ferren and Applied Minds, Inc. It is a 360 degree immersive, high-resolution, rear projection theater with full surround audio and lighting. It is designed to enable artists, educators, scientists, and other content providers with a dramatic new media to display their work and their message.

Federal Courthouse in Austin, Texas[edit]

Ross has been commissioned to execute a public art project for the new Federal Courthouse bordering Republic Square Park in Austin, Texas, designed by architects Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects for the General Services Administration.

Ross’ high-resolution photograph of the Texas Hill Country is the basis for the imagery of the 28’ x 28’ stained glass wall he has designed. It includes massive hydraulically controlled doors, which open to combine two large-scale interior spaces for public events. It is being executed in conjunction with Franz Mayer & Co. of Munich, with whom Ross worked to combine centuries old stained glass techniques with 21st-century digital technology.

“Clifford Ross: Through the Looking Glass” by Hirmer Publishers, will include illustrations from all phases of design and construction of the stained-glass project, from pencil sketches and computer renderings to documentary photographs. The book will include an essay by celebrated architecture critic Paul Goldberger.

Lectures and Teaching[edit]

Ross has lectured in many university settings, including Princeton, Yale, and New York University. Since 2004, he has been a visiting artist in residence at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.

Ross is a member of the Yale School of Art Dean’s Advisory Board, which includes artists Chuck Close, Richard Serra, Byron Kim, and Sheila Hicks.

He is an advisor to "Under the Great Wide Open", an innovative, practice-based project which explores the convergence of Performance Arts, Design, and Technology, conceived by Parsons The New School for Design, in partnership with The Old Vic Tunnels.

Published Works[edit]

Clifford Ross is the author of books on Abstract Expressionism and Edward Gorey, and is a contributing editor to BOMB (magazine) and Blind Spot magazine.

References[edit]

Audio/Video[edit]

External links[edit]