Clifford Ross was born in New York City in 1952, and graduated from Yale University in 1974, where he received a BA in Art and Art History. Ross began his career as a painter and sculptor, and in 1994 became deeply involved with photography and other media. His singular goal has been to create work that relates to the sublime in nature. Using both realistic and abstract means to achieve this goal, he often develops radically new approaches to existing media.
Ross began his well-known Hurricane Wave series in 1996, entering the surf during extreme weather, often up to his neck, while tethered to an assistant on land. His photographic techniques have expanded over time, using digital methods and inkjet printing.
In 2002, Ross invented and patented his revolutionary R1 Camera to photograph Mount Sopris in Colorado, which allowed him to produce some of the highest resolution large-scale landscape photographs in the world – his Mountain series. More recently, Ross has developed new techniques for generating computer-based videos.
The artist’s collaborations include work with Pan Gongkai, renowned ink painter and President of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, Chinese composer and musician, Wu Tong, and work with architects Mack Scogin and Merrill Elam on the Austin Federal Courthouse where he created The Austin Wall, a 3.5 ton, 28′ x 28′ stained-glass wall. The building and Ross’s Wall were recognized with an Honor Award for Federal Design from the U.S. General Services Administration in 2014.
Ross’s works have been exhibited in museums around the world, and are in many collections including the Museum of Modern Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.