Judith Joy Ross: Stories
April 6–May 13, 2006
32 East 57th Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY
Pace/MacGill Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of over thirty 8x10-inch toned gelatin silver prints (1992-2004) by Judith Joy Ross. The show highlights recent bodies of work such as voters and workers at the polls during the 2004 presidential election in suburban Pennsylvania, in addition to past series like Ross’s portraits of children in Hazleton’s public schools (1992-4) for which she is best known.
Though her subjects range from residents of working-class Freeland, Pa. (1998-9), to former Ugandan child soldiers in New York City’s Washington Square Park (2001), Ross’ photographs bear the distinct stamp of her vision of people and place and the ensuing story each captured image reveals. An heir to cultural documentarians such as Diane Arbus and August Sander, the personal connection Ross is able to forge with her subjects is unmistakable and results in pictures that are sensitive reflections of both empowerment and vulnerability. With the remarkable ability to cross and transcend socio-economic boundaries with ease, Ross creates touching portraits characterized by their candor, their naturalism, and their fidelity to each subject’s sense of self. They are revelations not only of individuals but humanity at-large.
A graduate of the Hazleton school system herself, Yale University Press published Ross’s second monograph, Portraits of the Hazleton Public Schools, in December 2005. A selection of pictures from the Hazleton book will be included in the exhibition.
Judith Joy Ross (b. 1946, Hazleton, Pa.) graduated with a BS from the Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, in 1968 and received a MS degree two years later from the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. Ross has been exhibiting her photography in the United States and abroad for the past two decades. Her work has been the subject of solo shows, including “New Work” at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1993), “Selections from Portraits at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington D.C., 1983-84 and Portraits of the United States Congress, 1986-87” at the Sprengel Museum, Hannover (1996), and “Portraits from the Hazleton Public Schools: 1992-1994” at the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Mass. (1996). In 1997 the Allentown Art Museum in Pennsylvania organized Ross’s first retrospective. Her work has been featured in over 50 group shows, including: “The Persistence of Photography in American Portraiture” at the Yale University Art Gallery (2000); “Open Ends: Innocence and Experience” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2000); “Making Faces: The Death of the Portrait” at the Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne and the Hayward Gallery, London (2003-04); “Portrait/Photography: Lee Friedlander, Nicholas Nixon, Judith Joy Ross & Thomas Ruff” at the Sammlung Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung, Berlin (2005-6); and “Click DoubleClick: the Documentary Factor” Haus der Kunst, Munich (2006).
Ross is a recipient of numerous honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship (1985), a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (1986), a Charles Pratt Memorial Award (1992), and an Andrea Frank Foundation Award (1998).
Ross’s work can be found in numerous permanent collections, including the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Mass.; the Birmingham Museum of Fine Arts, Ala.; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum Ludwig, Cologne; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the August Sander Archive, Cologne; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Sprengel Museum, Hannover; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.