Ross Bleckner

I wish I could

new paintings
November 15 - December 21, 2019
Opening Reception Friday November 15, 7-10pm

I wish I could 1
I wish I could 2
I wish I could 3
I wish I could 4
I wish I could 5
I wish I could 6
I wish I could 7
I wish I could 8
I wish I could 9
I wish I could 10
I wish I could 11
I wish I could 12
I wish I could 13
I wish I could 14
I wish I could 15
I wish I could 16

I wish I could 1

I wish I could 1, 2019
installation view

Paul Petro Contemporary Art is pleased to present new paintings by celebrated American painter Ross Bleckner.


Ross Bleckner admits that the idea of beauty has always been a personal fascination, and the result of his compelling interest is the production of bodies of work that aspire towards and achieve the condition of the radiant and the sublime. At the core of his expression is a profound affirmation of the human spirit, and one of its deepest manifestations is a spiritual dimension that has little to do with conventional religiosity and everything to do with an unwavering humanist epistemology.

[...] Throughout his work he has effortlessly moved back and forth between contrasting states, the inside and the outside, the microscopic and the telescopic, the absent and the present. Perhaps nowhere is his skill in this shifting visual architecture more apparent than in his portrayal of light. His intention in all his paintings has been to produce a persistent, internally generated light. He told Border Crossings that he has been “trying through all the chaos to find the space of light and clarity.” Elsewhere he has said, “The main thing for me is how the image is disembodied, almost vaporized, into this continuous pulsating glow that emanates from something.” Bleckner will admit that he doesn’t know how he achieves this disappearing presence, but it is one of the singular achievements of his painting. He has been able to make visible the absent, to embody the disembodied. It is a paradox of considerable depth and it has resulted in paintings of—and we go back to where we started—radiant beauty.

-- Robert Enright, from the intro to his interview with Ross Bleckner in the current issue of Border Crossings.


Ross Bleckner was born in New York City and raised in Hewlett, NY. He received a Bachelor of Arts from New York University in 1971, and a Master of Fine Arts from Cal Arts in 1973. He has taught at many American universities.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of Art held a major retrospective of Bleckner’s work in 1995, summarizing two decades of solo exhibitions at museums including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1988), the Contemporary Arts Museum (Houston, 1989), the Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburg, 1989), the Art Gallery of Ontario (1990), the Moderna Museet (Stockholm, 1991), and the Kolnischer Kunstervein (Cologne, 1991).

Works are held in public collections including the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), the Pulitzer Museum (St Louis), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), the Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst (Oslo) and the Museo National Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid).

Bleckner’s philanthropic efforts include serving as president of the 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 Bleckner was awarded the title of Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations.

Recent exhibitions include Architecture of the Sky at the Bohme Chapel, Cologne (2016), which included a selection of Dome and Architecture of the Sky paintings from 1992 – 2013, Ross Bleckner: Find a Peaceful Place Where You Can Make Plans for the Future, a survey exhibition of recent work at the Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, TX (2017), the group exhibition Blue Black, curated by Glenn Ligon at the Pulitzer Museum, St. Louis (2017), Time of Disquiet, Maruani Mercier Gallery, Brussels (2018), and Ross Bleckner, Palais Schonborn-Batthany, Vienna (2018). Upcoming exhibitions include Ross Bleckner: Bilder 1985-2018 Paintings at the Neues Museum, Nuremberg.

Ross Bleckner lives in New York City.



SOLO EXHIBITIONS:

2019
Neues Museum, Nuremberg
I wish I could, Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto, ON
Weinerroither and Kohlbacher, Vienna
Petzel Gallery, New York
Remediation, Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto, ON

2018
Maruani Mercier & Hadida, Paris
Emilio Mazzoli Gallery, Modena, Italy
Maruani Mercier, Brussels, Belgium

2017
Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, TX.

2016
Leila Heller Gallery, Dubai, UAE
Bohm Chapel, Cologne, Germany

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, Massachusetts.
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, Wisconsin.
Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Texas.
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1988
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California.
Mary Boone Gallery, NYC, NY.

1987
Mary Boone Gallery, NYC, NY.

1986
Mario Diacono Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts.
Mary Boone Gallery, NYC, NY.

1983
Mary Boone Gallery, NYC, NY.


GROUP EXHIBITIONS:

2019
Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco, Empathy Lab
Chateau Shatto, Los Angeles, A Cloth Over a Birdcage

2018
Meditation, Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto, ON
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Welcome to the Dollhouse
The Jewish Museum, New York, Scenes for the Collection
Brintz Galleries, Palm Beach, The Color of Light

2017
Garden Party, Brintz Galleries, Palm Beach, FL.
Blue Black, (curated by Glenn Ligon), Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis, MI
Nocturne, (with Zachari Logan), Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto, ON

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.
12 New Yorkers, Jablonka Maruani Mercier Gallery, Brussels, Belgium

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, New York.

2004
Flowers, Mary Boone Gallery, NYC, NY.
Flowers Observed, Flowers Transformed, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
A Celebration of the Guild Hall Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Honorees in the Visual Arts, Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, New York.
North Fork/South Fork: East End Art Now/Part ll, Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, New York.

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, Florida.
Jasper Johns to Jeff Koons: Four Decades of Art from the Broad Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California.

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, New York.

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, Pennsylvania.

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, California.
The Binational/Die Binationale, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.
Art at the End of the Social, The Rooseum, Malmo, Sweden.
Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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

1985
Currents, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts.

1984
The Meditative Surface, The Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.

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

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


SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo
Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore
Bawag Foundation, Vienna, Austria
Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam
The Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica
Brooklyn Museum, New York
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
Chase Manhattan Bank, New York
Citibank Art Collection, New York
Daros Collection, Zürich
Douglas S. Cramer Foundation, Los Angeles
Dannheisser Foundation, New York
Astrup Fearnley Collection, Oslo
Fisher Landau Center for Art, New York
General Mills, Golden Valley, Minnesota
Sammlung Goetz, Munich
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
Ho-Am Art Museum, Seoul
Jacksonville Art Museum, Jacksonville
The Jewish Museum, New York
Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha
Marx Collection, Berlin
Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin
Museo de Arte Contemporanea, Seville
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Orlando Museum of Art, Florida
Prudential Life Insurance, Newark
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid
The ROC Group, Paris
Rubell Family Collection, Miami
The Saatchi Gallery, London
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California
Smith, Klein and Beckman, Swedeland, Pennsylvania
Tsurukame Corporation, Nagoya
Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota, Duluth
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York