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Judith Joy Ross: The Devil Today and Reading to Dogs

December 8, 2011–January 28, 2012

32 East 57th Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY


Installation Views

Selected Works

NEW YORK, November 22, 2011 – Pace/MacGill Gallery is pleased to present Judith Joy Ross: The Devil Today and Reading to Dogs, on view December 8, 2011 through January 28, 2012. The exhibition showcases Ross's first foray into color photography with over 10 large-scale archival pigment ink prints made in 2010 and 2011. A selection of recent 8 x 10 inch gelatin silver prints will also be on view. The artist will attend an opening reception on Thursday, December 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.

An heir to cultural documentarians like Diane Arbus, Lewis Hine, and August Sander, Judith Joy Ross is widely recognized for her sensitive and penetrating black and white portraits of school children, visitors to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., members of the United States Congress, Persian Gulf War soldiers, and Americans protesting the U.S. war in Iraq. Her latest work explores man's rewarding and challenging relationships with the natural world through carefully composed, vibrant color images of people connecting with animals and grassroots environmental protestors in action.

Taken at wildlife rehabilitation centers, farms, zoos, and libraries, Ross's photographs capture the unique bonds formed between humans and animals. Reading to dogs, Bethlehem Area Public Library, Bethlehem, PA, 2011, for example, subtly observes a nationwide program that encourages the uninhibited development of children's literacy skills by reading to registered therapy dogs and their handlers.

Other works on view address the timely yet controversial issue of hydrofracking for natural gas by documenting civic meetings, protests, and rallies in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. Although Ross's images record current events, they are not photojournalistic; and while her subjects may possess distinct political and ecological views, the pictures are not dogmatic. Rather, they are quiet meditations on the potentially disastrous consequences of environmental interaction, proposing a meaningful re-evaluation of our relationship with the earth and humanity at large.

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. She is the 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 photography has been the subject of solo exhibitions worldwide. Most recently, Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur in Cologne organized Judith Joy Ross: Photographs Since 1982, a retrospective of nearly 150 photographs that will travel to the Kunstmuseum Kloster Unser Lieben Frau Magdeburg and the Fondation A Stichting in Brussels in 2012. Her work can be found in the permanent collections of the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Mass.; the Birmingham Museum of Fine Arts, Ala.; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; 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 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., among others.

Monographs include Judith Joy Ross: Contemporaries/A Photography Series (MoMA, 1995); Portraits of the Hazleton Public Schools (Yale University Press, 2006); Protest the War (Steidl, 2007); Living With War: Portraits 1983-2007 (Steidl, 2008); and Judith Joy Ross: Photographs (Schirmer/Mosel Verlag, 2011).

Ross lives and works in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

For more information about Judith Joy Ross: The Devil Today and Reading to Dogs or press requests, please contact Nicollette Eason at Pace/MacGill Gallery, 212.759.7999 or For general inquiries, please email

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