Judith Joy Ross

Issue 34

Over the course of the past thirty years, Judith Joy Ross (b. 1946) has produced a remarkable oeuvre focusing on portraiture. She has been working in series since 1982, when she began her artistic career with photographs of Eurana Park, a small-town municipal park. Drawing on her own biography, she often makes references to universal social issues. For instance, in her home state of Pennsylvania and in the surroundings of the towns in which she was born and lived, she sought out all of the schools she had attended and took pictures of teachers and students in their everyday teaching and learning environments. This resulted in a series of intensive portraits, which say a great deal about being a child and about growing up, about equal opportunities that are for the most part equal in name only, and about life in the American province. In general, there is also nothing spectacular about the settings she chose for her portraits: the premises of a supermarket, a gas station and garage, a baseball field, the city library, or simply the street. Ross attracted attention with a series of portrait studies she took in front of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The variety of the reactions and feelings revealed in the faces of the anonymous visitors to this memorial is striking. Both psychological and political aspects are equally brought to bear in this series, which is continued in a no less impressive way in the portraits of members of Congress or antiwar protestors.

Judith Joy Ross, who uses a large-format camera and works in both black and white and color, has received numerous awards for her work and carries on the tradition of August Sander or Walker Evans’ “documentary style.”

Text by Gabriele Conrath-Scholl and Claudia Schubert, Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur from Judith Joy Ross: Photographs published by Schirmer/Mosel Verlag

Images curated by Susan Kismaric

Judith Joy Ross is a Pennsylvania based photographer.
To view more of Judith Joy Ross' work, please visit Pace/MacGill Gallery

  Untitled, Portraits at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C., 1983 

Untitled, Portraits at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C., 1983 

  Untitled, Portraits at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C., 1984 

Untitled, Portraits at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C., 1984 

  Untitled, Portraits at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C., 1984 

Untitled, Portraits at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C., 1984 

  Untitled, Portraits at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C., 1984 

Untitled, Portraits at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C., 1984 

  Untitled, Portraits at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C., 1984 

Untitled, Portraits at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C., 1984 

  First Year Teacher, H.F. Grebey Junior High School, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, 1992 

First Year Teacher, H.F. Grebey Junior High School, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, 1992 

  Tara Schwenk's Book Report, My Dog Gets Hurt, A.D. Thomas Elementary School, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, 1993 

Tara Schwenk's Book Report, My Dog Gets Hurt, A.D. Thomas Elementary School, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, 1993 

  Randy Sartori, 1st Grade, A.D. Thomas Elementary School, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, 1993

Randy Sartori, 1st Grade, A.D. Thomas Elementary School, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, 1993

  John Lonczynski, Mr. Joseph Rosato's Band Class, Hazleton Area High School, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, 1994 

John Lonczynski, Mr. Joseph Rosato's Band Class, Hazleton Area High School, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, 1994 

  Robert Gaudio, 10th Grade English Teacher, Hazleton High School, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, 1992 

Robert Gaudio, 10th Grade English Teacher, Hazleton High School, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, 1992 

  Blond Woman at Asbury Park, 1990 

Blond Woman at Asbury Park, 1990 

  Mike, Jobs, 1990 

Mike, Jobs, 1990 

  Pathmark, Allentown, Pennsylvania, 1984 

Pathmark, Allentown, Pennsylvania, 1984 

  Pathmark, Allentown, Pennsylvania, 1984 Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 1996 

Pathmark, Allentown, Pennsylvania, 1984 Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 1996 

  Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 1996 

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 1996 

  Mona Park, Allentown, Pennsylvania, 1996 

Mona Park, Allentown, Pennsylvania, 1996 

  Untitled, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1998 

Untitled, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1998 

  Young Ducks and Girl Scouts, 2009 

Young Ducks and Girl Scouts, 2009