Michelle Ross makes paintings out of a variety of materials in order to conjure a physical record of being in the world. She seeks fitting arrangements that reflect the physical and emotional intelligence harbored in our bodies. Working out ways to reimagine modernist legacies, she uses decorative, geometric and material-based languages of color and form to interrupt the overt visibility of bodies and the assumptions often lodged in depiction, including the resultant biases around gender and sexuality. Modes of abstraction provide her a method for generating alternative forms of visualizing embodiment. Notions of queer abstraction provide a model for presence, resistance and nuance within the familiar visual tropes of modernist abstraction.
In 2020 Ross completed a suite of four architecturally site-specific paintings for the Standard Insurance Company. She was recently a resident at Yucca Valley Material Lab (California) and at Iris Projects in Venice Beach (California). Ross has received a Hallie Ford Fellowship (Oregon), a MacDowell Fellowship (New Hampshire), a Portland Art Museum Contemporary Northwest Art Award (Oregon) and was named a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome (Italy). She received her MFA in painting and drawing from Washington State University, in Pullman.
Her work has been exhibited at venues throughout the United States and in Italy, including at Canada Gallery, (New York) Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery at the University of Nevada, Reno (Nevada); Shaw Gallery at Weber State University (Utah); Portland Art Museum (Oregon); The Art Gym, Marylhurst University (Oregon); Nine Gallery (Oregon); Lumber Room (Oregon); New Mexico State University (New Mexico); Barrett House Galleries (New York); and Rome International University (Italy). She has been curated in print by Jennifer Blessing at the Guggenheim (New York); by Lowery Sims at the Museum of Arts and Design (New York); and by Jessica Morgan at the Tate (UK).