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Ross Bleckner is an American painter. Bleckner was born May 12, 1949 in New York City and is an influential contemporary artist. Perhaps best known for his paintings dealing with loss and memory, Bleckner notably tackled the emotional toll brought by the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. “Life is short. Life goes fast,” he has said. “And what I really want to do in my life is to bring something new, something beautiful and something filled with light into the world.” His poetic works often employ recurring symbolic imagery, such as candelabras, doves, and flowers, rendered with a blurred, glowing sense of light. Bleckner began exhibiting with Mary Boone gallery in 1979, and was the subject of a retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1995. His work can be found in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, among others. Bleckner lives and works in New York, NY. 

Not only has Mr. Bleckner had a profound impact of shaping the New York art world, his philanthropic efforts have enabled many community organizations to perform their vital work. For ten years, Mr. Bleckner served as president of AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA), a non-profit community-based AIDS research and treatment education center. More recently, he has been working with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Northern Uganda to help rehabilitate and raise money for ex-child soldiers. In May 2009 Mr. Bleckner was awarded the title of Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations.

Recently exhibitions include Architecture of the Sky at the Bohme Chapel in Cologne, which was a selection of Dome and Architecture of the Sky paintings from 1992–2013; and Ross Bleckner: Find a Peaceful Place Where You Can Make Plans for the Future, a survey exhibition of recent work at the Dallas Contemporary.

b. 1949, New York City

Ross Bleckner lives and works in New York.


2017      Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, TX

2016      Bohm Chapel, Cologne, Germany

              Leila Heller Gallery, Dubai, UAE

2015      Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, CO

2014      Maruani & Mercier Gallery, Brussels, Belgium

              Mary Boone Gallery, New York, NY

2012      Jablonka Galerie, Cologne, Germany

2011      Maruani & Noirhomme Gallery, Brussels, Belgium

              Scott White Fine Art, San Diego, CA

2010      Mary Boone Gallery, NYC, NY

              Emilio Mazzoli gallery, Modena, Italy

              Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland

2009      Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, CO

2008      Imago Galleries, Palm Springs, CA

2007      Cais Gallery, Seoul, Korea

              Mary Boone Gallery, NYC, NY

2006      Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland

2005      Ruzicska Gallery, Salzburg, Austria

2004      Dialogue with Space, Esbjerg Art Museum, Esbjerg, Denmark

2003      Lehman Maupin Gallery, NYC, NY

              Mary Boone Gallery, NYC, NY

2001      Mary Boone Gallery, NYC, NY

2000      Mario Diacono Gallery, Boston, MA

              Galerie Ernst Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland

              Maureen Paley/Interim Art, London, England

1999      Mary Boone Gallery, NYC, NY

1997      Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris, France

              Bawag Foundation, Vienna, Austria

1996      Mary Boone Gallery, NYC, NY

1995      Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NYC, NY

              Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo, Norway

              I.Y.A.M.. Centre Julio Gonzalez, Yalencia, Spain

1994      Mary Boone Gallery, NYC, NY

1993      Galerie Max Metzler, Koln, Germany

              Guild Hall, East Hampton, NY

1991      Kolnischer Kunstverein, Koln, Germany

              Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

              Mary Boone Gallery, NYC, NY

1990      Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada

              Kunsthalle Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

1989      Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI

              Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX

              Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA

1988      San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA

              Mary Boone Gallery, NYC, NY

1987      Mary Boone Gallery, NYC, NY.

1986      Mario Diacono Gallery, Boston, MA

              Mary Boone Gallery, NYC, NY

1983      Mary Boone Gallery, NYC, NY


2016      Phantom Bodies: The Human Aura in Art, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN

              Art Aids America, The Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA

2015      Ross Bleckner and Volker Eichelmann, Sargent's Daughters, NYC, NY

2014      In the Beginning/End States, Sgorbati Projects, NYC, NY

              Repetitive Motion, SHFAP at Projector Gallery, NYC, NY

2013      Paint Hotel, Joe Sheftel Gallery, NYC, NY

2012      Conceptual Abstraction, Hunter College Time Square Gallery, NYC, NY

2011      Surrounding Bacon and Warhol: Selections from the Astrup Fearnley Collection, Astrup Fearnley Museum of MOdern Art, Oslo, Norway

              Pop Art 1960's-2000's From Misumi Collection, Kawaguchiko Museum of Art, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan

              Magic Hand, ARTBLOGARTBLOG, NYC, NY

              An Instance of Vibration, Anonymous Gallery, NYC, NY

2010      Your History is not Our History, Haunch of Venison, NYC, NY

              Selections, LA Art House, West Hollywood, CA

              Other as Animal, Danese Gallery, NYC, NY

              America: Here and Now, traveling exhibition

              Stream of the Unknown: Selections from the Collection, Fisher Landau Center for Art, Long Island City, NY

              In Dialogue, Anonymous Gallery, NYC, NY

2009      A Tribute to Ron Warren, Mary Boone Gallery, NYC, NY

2008      Genesis- The Art of Creation, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Switzerland

              Empires and Environments, The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA

2007      Time .01: I Love My Scene/Scene 3, Mary Boone Gallery, NYC, NY

2006      View Nine: I Love My Scene/Scene 3, Mary Boone Gallery, NYC, NY

2005      Picturing America: Selections from the Whitney Museum of American Art, Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum, Nagasaki, Japan.

              Zoo Story, Fisher Landau Center for Art, Long Island City, NY

2004      Flowers, Mary Boone Gallery, NYC, NY

              Flowers Observed, Flowers Transformed, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA

              A Celebration of the Guild Hall Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Honorees in -

              the Visual Arts, Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, NY

              North Fork/South Fork: East End Art Now/Part ll, Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY

2003      Me & More, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne, Switzerland

2002      Art Downtown: New York Painting and Sculpture, 48 Wall Street, NYC, NY

2001      Mythic Proportions: Painting in the 1980s, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL

              Jasper Johns to Jeff Koons: Four Decades of Art from the Broad Collection, Los Angeles, CA

              County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

2000      In the Power of Painting, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

              On Canvas: Contemporary Painting, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NYC, NY

              In the Power of Painting, Alesco, Zurich, Switzerland

1999      The American Century: Art and Culture 1950-2000, Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC, NY

1997      Birth of the Cool: Amerikanische Malerei, Kunsthaus Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

1996      Nuevas Abstracciones, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain

1995      Passions Privees, Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France

1994      Painting and Sculpture: Recent Acquisitions, The Museum of Modern Art, NYC, NY

1992      Slow Art: Painting in New York Now, P.S. 1 Museum, Long Island City, NY

1991      Mito y Magia en America: Los Ochenta, Museo de arte contemporaneo de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico

              Metropolis, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany

              Devil on the Stairs: Looking Back on the Eighties, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA

1989      1989 Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC, NY

              Prospect 89, Frankfurt Kunstverein and Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, West Germany

1988      Biennial of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

              The Image of Abstraction, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA

              The Binational/Die Binationale, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

              Art at the End of the Social, The Rooseum, Malmo, Sweden

              Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA

1987      1987 Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC, NY

1985      Currents, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA

1984      The Meditative Surface, The Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

1981      "New York in Black and White, The Museum of Modern Art/Penthouse, NYC, NY

1979      New Painting/New York, Hayward Gallery, London, England


Exposito, Frank, Ross Bleckner/500 Words,, Oct 22, 2012

Kennedy, Randy, For Child Soldiers, a Chance to Wield Brushes, not Arms, The New York Times, April 28, 2009

Harrison, Helen A., An Artist's Investigation of Loss and Memory, The New York Times, January 2, 2005

Sheets, Hilarie M., Ross Bleckner, Lehmann Maupin, Artnews, Summer 2003

Johnson, Ken, Ross Bleckner, Lehmann Maupin, The New York Times, April 11, 2003

Mar, Alex, Arts & Letters: Gallery Going, The New York Sun, April 3, 2003, p. 16

Cameron, Dan, 80s Then, Ross Bleckner Talks to Dan Cameron, Art Forum, March 2003

Oksenhom, Stewart, The Blending of Bleckner, The Aspen Times, February 15 & 16, 2003

Scanlon, Jessie, Some Health-Looking Numbers, Wired, December 2002, p.80

Mar, Alex, Ross Bleckner,Lehmann Maupin, The New York Sun, April 11, 2002

Fabrican, Florence, Art Over the Bar, The New York Times, March 6, 2002

Herbert, Martin, Ross Bleckner,Lehmann Maupin, Tema Celeste, Novembe- December 2001, p.83, (Enhancers, illustrated in color)

Coles, Alex, Ross Bleckner, Art Monthly, No. 242, December- January 2001

Yablonksy, Linda, Ross Bleckner, Time Out New York, June 7-14, 2001, p. 58. (Little Blue Sky, illustrated in Color)

Morly, Simon, Ross Bleckner, Maureen Paley Interim Art, The Independent on Sunday, Culture, November 19, 2000

Coomer, Martin, Ross Bleckner, Interim Art East End, Time Out London, November 8-15, 2000, (New Radical, illustrated in color)

Von Ziegesar, Peter, Loft Life, Out, February 2000, p. 69-75

Diehl, Carol, Ross Bleckner, Artnews, March 1999

Schwabsky, Barry, Ross Bleckner, Lehmann Maupin/Mary Boone, Art Forum, March 1999

Ebony, David, Ross Bleckner at Mary Boone and Lehmann Maupin, Art in America, March 1999, p. 139

Scobie, Lisa, Biological Beauty,, December 4, 1998

Levin, Kim, Voice Choices: Ross Bleckner, The Village Voice, December 1, 1998

Smith, Roberta, Evocative Cells: Uptown, Downtown, All Around, The New York Times, November 27, 1998

Vincent, Steven, Bleckner at Mary Boone and Lehmann Maupin, Art & Auction, November 16, 1998

Gener, Randy, A Study in Contrasts, HX, November 13, 1998

Critic's Picks, Cell Mates, Time Out New York, November 5-12, 1998

Muschamp, Herbert, Culture View: Art, Setting and the Architecture of the Heart, The New York Times, March 26, 1995

White, Edmund, Brightness Visible, Vanity Fair, March 1995, pp. 82-86

Napack, Jonathan, Falling Birds, The New York Times Magazine, February 20, 1995

Carrier, David, Critical Camp, Mourning Glory: Ross Bleckner in Retrospect, Art Forum, February 1995

Wakefield, Neville, Easy Virtue, Mourning Glory: Ross Bleckner in Retrospect, Art Forum, February 1995