Colossal oeuvre: Clifford Ross' 'Landscape Seen & Imagined' at MASS MoCA

Landscape Seen
Clifford Ross' exhibition ‘Landscape Seen & Imagined’ is on show at MASS MoCA in Massachusetts. Pictured: Sopris Wall I, 2015
(Image credit: Press)

Most artists are content to depict figures or render abstract designs on canvases or walls but Clifford Ross (opens in new tab) takes his artistry to considerable new heights, as evinced by his current show, 'Landscape Seen & Imagined'. Now on view at MASS MoCA (opens in new tab) as part of the exhibition are his Immersive Harmonium videos – 12 towering, 24-foot high screens in the courtyard of the 13-acre arts complex, located in North Adams, Massachusetts. At dusk, a varied playlist including Satie, Sinatra and Bach accompanies the videos, which are drenched in verdant greens and brilliant blues.

'I wanted the viewer to experience the landscape in all-enveloping ways,' says Ross, who, for his Mountain series of images (also on display here), patented a camera – the R1 – that uses military aerial film to capture some of the highest resolution single-shot landscape photographs ever taken. 

Inside – and under the eaves of one of the 19th century, former brick textile factories – is Wave Cathedral, in which more than a million pulsating green and blue pixels replicate a stormy surf on massive LED screens. Further amplifying the tumult of the ocean, there is a dramatic recording of the pounding water. To conceptualise the piece – and capture images of undulating waves for his large-scale black and white Hurricane series – Ross ventured into the sea off of East Hampton, Long Island in the midst of a violent storm. Inspiration for his compelling images range from Turner and Courbet to the 19th century photographer Gustave Le Gray.

Also noteworthy is Ross' inventive printing of a landscape image on a 114-foot long sheet of veneer, spanning the length of one of MASS MoCA’s largest galleries. ‘I was,' the artist explains, 'influenced by Bierstadt and Frederic Edwin Church’ – seminal American painters also known for their divine, sweeping images of rugged land- and seascapes. 

If that wasn't enough, the courtyard will also play host to a live music performance by the Brooklyn-based band Oneida – in collaboration with Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth – on 8 August, utilising Ross' installation as performance visuals. 

Immersive Harmonium videos

On view are his Immersive Harmonium videos, showing on 12 towering, 24-foot high screens in the courtyard of the 13-acre arts complex

(Image credit: Press)

Immersive Harmonium

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Watch Immersive Harmonium in action

(Image credit: Press)

Wave Cathedral

Wave Cathedral, 2015 – more than one million pulsating green and blue pixels replicate a stormy surf on massive LED screens.

(Image credit: Tom Powell)

Large-scale black and white photographs

Also in the show are these large-scale black and white photographs

(Image credit: The Hurricane series)

The sea off of East Hampton

To capture the images, Ross ventured into the sea off of East Hampton, Long Island in the midst of a tumultuous storm. Pictured: Hurricane L, 2013

(Image credit: Press)

Turner and Courbet

Inspiration for his compelling images ranges from Turner and Courbet to the nineteenth century. Pictured: Hurricane LXXXI, 2008

(Image credit: Gustave Le Gray)

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North Adams, Massachusetts 01247

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