Ross Bleckner was born in Brooklyn. He studied Fine Art at New York University in the late sixties alongside the like of Sol LeWitt. Following his graduation in 1971 he enrolled on an MA at the California Institute of Arts where his curriculum focused on photography, video, film and installation art rather than drawing and painting. He returned to New York in 1974. The following year he made his New York debut in a group show at the Paula Cooper Gallery and his first one-man show at the Cuningham Ward Gallery.
Bleckner works with a limited palette, relying on design rather than colour for effect. His work is clearly influenced by the concepts of Minimalism and Conceptualism which were particularly prevalent during the 1970s when his career as an artist began. He also shows a great interest in light, which emanates from various different sources in his paintings.
For the last 20 years, his art has been largely an investigation of change, loss and memory. In the 80’s he produced a series of paintings address the AIDS crisis and indeed many of his paintings suggest an element of the biological conjuring the patterns of cells and disease. “Life is short. Life goes fast,” he said. “And what I really want to do in my life is to bring something new, something beautiful and something filled with light into the world.”. Bleckner uses symbolic imagery rather than direct representation, and his work is visually elusive, with forms that constantly change focus. While much of Bleckner's work can be divided into distinct groups or series with motifs repeated from painting to painting, he is also in the habit of redeploying and combining old motifs.
In1995 Bleckner became one of the youngest artists to receive a major retrospective at The Guggenheim in New York. His work is represented in influential public collections across America including The Museum of Modern Art in New York and The Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh. He continues to live and work in New York.