Judith Joy Ross

Biography

“Judith Joy Ross has, as an artist, no formula. She starts over again each time – the riskiest way to do it. She has a style, of course, but it is austere. […] Ross’s work is beautiful in its transparency.“ (– Robert Adams in: Why People Photograph?, 1994)


Since the early 1980s, the American photographer Judith Joy Ross has dedicated her work to the medium of portraiture. She is best known for her sensitive, deeply personal, yet authentic portraits of various groups of people at the center of American society: school children and teachers, soldiers, visitors to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. and U.S. Congress members of the Republican and Democratic parties. The photographs, which Ross contextualizes by arranging them in series, offer both an aesthetic and a humanitarian approach to photography.


Judith Joy Ross’s work shows references to photographers like August Sander, Eugène Atget, Walker Evans or Diane Arbus in her documentary style and her use of technical equipment. She photographs with an 8×10 inch view camera, which due to long exposure times and the need to set up a tripod forces her to concentrate on her subjects and does not allow for snapshots. The subjects are usually strangers to the photographer and so the photograph itself becomes an intense encounter.


August Sander is often mentioned as a major influence. Both, Ross and Sander focus on facial expressions, gestures and posture of their subjects. However, while Sander’s famous photographs from the series People of the 20th Century is staged and aims at categorizing certain social groups, Ross does not give directions to her subjects and thus achieves an immediacy that characterizes her approach and style. It makes the viewer think about the inner reality of the person by using their own social experience in order to relate to the people she portraits, thus stressing the individuality of each subject over their association with a specific group. Judith Joy Ross describes her intention as follows: “The world outside oneself is bigger than ones idea of it. One tries to align oneself with that bigger world in making a picture”.


Biography

Born in 1946 in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, USA.

Lives and works in New York, USA.

Education

1964 – 1968

Bachelor degree in Art education, Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1968 – 1970

Master degree in Photography, Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois

Grants and Awards

2017

Lucie Awards for Achievement in Portraiture, New York

2000

Anonymous Was A Woman Award

1998

Andrea Frank Foundation Award

1993

Fellowship, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Pennsylvania

1992

Charles Pratt Memorial Award, The George Fund Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio

1988

Felloship, City of Easton / Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Pennsylvania

1986

Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, D.C.

1985

Fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, New York

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2023

Judith Joy Ross, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania, USA

2022 – 2023

Judith Joy Ros – Portraits of America, Fotomuseum Den Haag, The Hague, The Netherlands

2022

Judith Joy Ross. Photographs 1978-2015, Le Bal, Paris, France

Judith Joy Ross. Portraits, Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne, Germany

2021 – 2022

Judith Joy Ross. Photographs 1978-2015, MAPFRE Fundación, Madrid, Spain

2017

Judith Joy Ross. Some Americans, Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne, Germany

2013

Judith Joy Ross. The Devil Today and Reading to Dogs, Fondation Stichting A, Brussels, Belgium

2011 – 2012

Judith Joy Ross. Photographien seit 1982, Die Photographische Sammlung / SK Stiftung Kultur, Cologne, Germany; Kunstmuseum Kloster unserer lieben Frauen, Magdeburg, Germany and Fondation Stichting A, Brussels, Belgium

2009

Judith Joy Ross. Living with War, Martin Art Gallery, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania

and Museum für Photographie, Braunschweig, Germany

2008

Judith Joy Ross. Photographs, Davison Art Center, Middletown, Connecticut

Judith Joy Ross. Living with War, C/O Berlin, Berlin; Quadrat Bottrop, Josef Albers Museum, Bottrop

and Galerie der Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig, Germany

Judith Joy Ross, The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky

2006

Judith Joy Ross: Stories, Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York

2003

Judith Joy Ross, Quadrat Bottrop, Josef Albers Museum, Bottrop, Germany

1997

Judith Joy Ross. Retrospective, Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, Pennsylvania

1996

Judith Joy Ross. Portraits, Sprengel Museum, Hanover, Germany

Portraits from the Hazleton Public Schools: 1992-1994, Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts

and James Danziger Gallery, New York

1993

New Work. Photographies by Judith Joy Ross, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California

1988

Judith Joy Ross. Easton Portrait, Young Women’s Christian Association, Easton, Pennsylvania

1987

Judith Joy Ross. Portrait of the United States Congress, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia

and Lehigh University Art Galleries, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

1985

Photographs by Judith Joy Ross. Eurana Park Series, Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, Pennsylvania

Selected Group Exhibitions

2022 – 2023

Timestamp: The Photography Of Larry Fink And Judith Joy Ross, Allentown Art Museum, Pennsylvania, USA

2022

Diane Arbus and Judith Joy Ross: Portraits, Zander Galerie, Cologne, Germany

Menschen auf der Straße, Märkisches Museum, Witten, Germany

2020

Emotion and Structure, Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne, Germany

Uniform: Into the Work / Out of the Work, Fondazione MAST, Bologna, Italy

2019

Re-Visions, Pinakothek der Moderne, Sammlung Moderne Kunst, Munich, Germany

2017

The American Dream – American Realism 1945-2017, Kunsthalle Emden, Germany and Drents Museum, Assen, Netherlands

2016

Blick in die Sammlung, Die Photographische Sammlung / SK Stiftung Kultur, Cologne, Germany

2012

Walker Evans & The American Social Landscape Photographers, Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, Pennsylvania

Der Mensch und seine Objekte, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany

2011

Portraits in Serie. Fotografien eines Jahrhunderts, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany

2010

American Documents, FotoMuseum Provincie Antwerpen, Antwerp, Belgium

Pictures by Women, Museum of Modern Art, New York

2009

Süsser Vogel Jugend, Neue Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany

Das Porträt. Fotografie als Bühne, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria

Face of Our Time, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California

2008

day by day, Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk, Cottbus, Germany

Standort Alltag. Everyday Ideologies, Kunstmuseum Kloster unserer lieben Frauen, Magdeburg, Germany

2007

Girls on the Verge: Portraits of Adolescence, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Art for Yale: Collecting for a New Century, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut

SECOND VIEW – Amerikanische Fotografie, Kunstmuseum Kloster unserer lieben Frauen, Magdeburg, Germany

2006

Click Double Click, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany

Portrait und Menschenbild, SK Stiftung Kultur, Cologne, Germany

2005

Poetic Dialogue Project 2005, ARC Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

Bilanz in zwei Akten – Sammlung Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung, Kunstverein Hannover, Hanover, Germany

Portrait / Photography: Lee Friedlander, Nicholas Nixon, Judith Joy Ross & Thomas Ruff, Sammlung Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung, Berlin, Germany

2004

best of – Blick in die Sammlung ‘Die Photographische Sammlung’, SK Stiftung Kultur, Cologne, Germany

Je t’envisage – La disparition du portrait, Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland and Hayward Gallery, London, UK

2003

Affinities… Now and Then, H&R Block Artspace at Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO

2002

A City Seen, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio

Erwerbungen seit 1995, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany

2000

How you look at it, Sprengel Museum, Hanover, Germany

The Persistence of Photography in American Portraiture, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut

Open Ends: Innocence and Experience, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Modern Starts: Warm, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Walker Evans & Company, Museum of Modern Art, New York

1995

War Works: Women, Photography and the Art of Way, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK

American Politicians: Photographs from 1843-1993, Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francicso, California and Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

1994

The American Portrait, The Art Compley Museum, Duxbury, Massachusetts

1993

Photographs form the Real World, Lillehammer Art Museum, Lillehammer, Norway

1992

Representatives: Women Photography from the Permament Collection, Center for Creative Photography, Tuscon, Arizona

1990

Photography Until Now, Museum of Modern Art, New York

The Indomitable Spirit: Photographers And Artists Respond In The Time of Aids, International Center of Photography, New York

1988

Real Faces, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

1987

Twelve Photographers Look at US, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Recent Acquisitions, Museum of Modern Art, New York

1985

New Photography: Zeke Bermann, Tony Mendoza, Judith Joy Ross, Michael Spano, The Museum of Modern Art, New York

1983

Pennsyvlania Photographers III, Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, Pennsylvania

1981

Pennsyvlania Photographers II, Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, Pennsylvania

1979

Intentions & Techniques 1979, Photographs from the Lehigh University Collection, Lehigh University Art Gallery, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Selected Bibliography

2021

Judith Joy Ross, exhibition catalogue, with essays by Joshua Chuang and Svetlana Alpers, Fundación MAPFRE, Madrid-Spain.

2011

Conrath-Scholl, Gabriele / Schubert, Claudia: Judith Joy Ross. Photographien seit 1982, Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur, Schirmer/Mosel Verlag, Munich, Germany

2009

Judith Joy Ross. Photographs, Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University, MIddleton, Wisconsin

2008

Liesbrock, Heinz: Judith Joy Ross. Living with War – Portraits, Josef Albers Museum Quadrat, Bottrop and Steidl Publishers, Göttingen, Germany

2007

Szegedy-Masak, Andrew: Judith Joy Ross. Protest the War, Steidl Publishers, Göttingen, Germany and Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York

2006

Reynolds, Jack: Judith Joy Ross. Portraits of the Hazleton Public Schools, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, 1992-1994, Yale University Art Gallery, Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut & London, UK

1996

Weski, Thomas: Judith Joy Ross, In: Portraits. Sprengel Museum, Hanover, Germany

1995

Kismaric, Susan: Judith Joy Ross, In: Harry N. Abrams: Contemporaries. A Photography Series, The Museum of Modern Art, New York

1993

New Work, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California

1992

Judith Joy Ross. Annual Report 1992, The George Gund Foundation, West Cleveland, Ohio

Public Collections

J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Australia

Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany

Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur, Cologne, Germany

Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany

Sprengel Museum, Hanover, Germany

Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung, Hanover, Germany

Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK

Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts

Birmingham Museum of Fine Arts, Birmingham, Alabama

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Museum of Modern Art, New York

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut

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