Ross Bleckner Examines Contemporary Art
Ross Bleckner received his Bachelor of Arts degree from NYU and his Master of Fine Arts degree from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia California. He is well-known for his large-scale paintings in the art world and his works have been shown in esteemed public collections throughout the world, including MoMA, MoCA, Astrup Fearnley, Museo National Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Mr. Bleckner is also recognized as the youngest artist ever to have a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
In addition to Mr. Bleckner's works, he has taught at many of the nation's most prestigious universities. Additionally, he is president of Community Research Initiative on AIDS (CRIA), a non-profit community-based AIDS research and treatment education center.
Question: What’s most exciting trend in art today?
Bleckner: Unfortunately, I kind of… you lose touch a little. You know, you can’t go in and out. You know, when I move to my studio in Chelsea, I thought I would see more and kind of get back in touch with stuff and the opposite happen. I go to my studio and I leave my studio and I don’t see anything ‘cause I think, oh, I’ll do it tomorrow. When I use to go there, I use to go just to look at stuff. I mean, again, I have to go back to… There are painters that I see, whose names I can’t recall but… You know, I leave this question off on a kind of a very big and very hard to define word. Which there’s work [conceptually], there’s work that I think as being very soulful, very filled with a lot of feeling. And that’s the work I responds with the most. Who could I think of? I mean, it could be hard-edged, it could be… You know, there’re so many different variations on that. But… I mean, you know, very young painters, someone like [Dana Shute] is, to me, a really terrific painter. Someone like… What have I say? I mean, I just saw [Sugumi Sagamoto] show, which I thought was really beautiful. [IB] new paintings has… As he gets older, his paintings get more magical. They, in a way, kind of begin to lose their anchoring. A lot of, you know, photographers that I see, I like. Some of the German photographers, Jim Welling… Man, I still like Barbara Kruger’s work. I like work that’s direct, work… You know, I mean, there’s a… The work that really delivers the… [IB]. The work that delivers the experience, you know, emotionally, perceptually, historically, and talks about this contemporary life.
The painter sees a wealth of art, but Sugimoto and the German school of photography really stand out.