Ross Bleckner’s series of new prints represents a shift from his previous abstract imagery to more representational forms that might be found in the garden. These recognizable images of leaves, with their defined structure, invite a focused contemplation. His interest in using layers of color to achieve a quality of light remains unchanged. Bleckner says of the print’s structure, “The leaves, starting out from the center, and the rotating leaves in different configurations are all very layered; I’m trying to get this shadowy quality of light.” By varying the amount of pigment, he has tried to make the prints look as though they have a vibratory quality, therefore making works which are very optical and luminous within the boundaries of traditional etchings.
Intaglio comes from the Italian word intagliare, meaning “to cut in.” With this print process, the image is cut into a metal plate using either a sharp tool (engraving) or acid (etching). The unique beauty of this type of printing lies in its capacity to allow ink films of different thickness to be deposited on the paper at the same time. An easy way to tell an intaglio print is to look for the platemark—the impression of late on the paper. Although Bleckner makes prints and works as a photographer, his primary medium is large-scale oil painting. His paintings draw and play upon earlier traditions of abstraction, particularly the high modernist styles of postwar Abstract Expressionism.
Born in New York City in 1949 , Ross Bleckner is the youngest artist ever to hold a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum. He earned an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, in 1973. He became one of the first artists to join the Mary Boone Gallery in New York City, where he continues to exhibit today. Bleckner’s work has been exhibited in major group and solo exhibitions at museums throughout the world, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.