Alan Ross

Alan Ross

  • Introduction

  • CV

For Alan Ross, the “wild west” is truly wild – and infinitely vast and untouched: landscapes that seem to defy human civilization.

The black-and-white photographs of Ansel Adams’s assistant Ross explore the landscapes of the American West and celebrate the sublime grandeur of natural phenomena. Clearly structured in fore-, mid-, and background, Ross always focuses on an object in the center of the image, which may look tiny before the giant mountains and makes the sublimity of the landscape so impressively visible. A tree, clinging by its roots to the sparse steppe, is silhouetted against the monumental mountain range beyond. Jagged ice floes glide across the rippled surface of a lake in a lonely high valley. A stream seems to tug at the smoothly rounded stones in its midst. Ross deftly captures nature’s dangerous dynamic.

These wondrous landscapes were found primarily in Yosemite Park, one of America’s foremost national parks in which visitors can admire the country’s awe-inspiring nature. Ross’s concern, much in the spirit of Ansel Adams, is to pay tribute to the breathtaking natural beauty and to let it shine through his photographs.

Naturally, Ross’s sense of aesthetics was shaped by Ansel Adams. In the tradition of “straight photography,” which aimed to be a counterpart to realism in painting, these images contain no unfocussed areas and draw out the complete tonal range of the medium of photography. At the same time, Ross has developed a style all his own, which he describes as such: “I am a classicist but not a purist.”

The photographs by Ross hang in numerous museums and collections across the globe, such as the San Francisco Museum of Art and the collections of Princeton and Yale Universities, just to name a few.

1949 - 1979Assistant to Ansel Adams

Lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Collections (Selection)

Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga TN
Exchange Bank, Chicago IL
Polaroid Corporation; Yale Museum of Art
K-Mart Corporation
Center for Creative Photography, Tucson AZ
AT&T; Western Electric Co.
Rochester Institute of Technology
Insulectro/Quintec Corp.
Seagate Technology; Bank of America; Pacific Telesis Corp.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
University of Michigan Museum of Art
Princeton University Art Museum, Kaiser Foundation
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Kalamazoo Museum of Art

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