No Exit by Bobby Ross, cropped right


Contradiction is the principle theme in my work. Good battles evil; harmony dances with discord; truth confronts lies. Questions posed are not answered.

I employ an illusionistic narrative form to convey my ideas. The images are compiled in an additive process analogous to collage, unplanned yet reconciled to an internal logic.

My drawings (9" x 12") are executed on Bristol board. The paintings are done in a multi-layered, archival oil-on-canvas technique and ranging up to eight feet long. Both are highly detailed and time-intensive, meant to convey serious messages though tempered with humor.

Life demands great efforts, discipline, honesty, and sacrifice. Making art is the theater in which I struggle to act this out.


Bobby Ross’s work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States. Recently, the exhibition "Contradictions" was shown at three museums across the region with over 75 works. Bobby was represented in four one-person shows at Ovsey Gallery and at Koplin Gallery, both in Los Angeles. In 2012, he mounted an exhibit of drawings at the City of Las Vegas Gallery. He previously presented an extensive drawing show at the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art at Utah State University, and at Artspace Gallery, College of Southern Nevada, in 2010. Other one-person shows include the San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA, the University of Nevada-Reno, and at Ohio University. Also he exhibited at group shows in Chicago, Texas, Kentucky and Iowa. His work has been included in group exhibitions in California and Arizona, most notably: Ceci N’est Pas le Surrealisme: California Idioms of Surrealism, Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California; A Broad Spectrum: Contemporary Los Angeles Painters and Sculptors, Design Center of Los Angeles; The Big Picture: Contemporary Paintings in the Heroic Mode, Riverside Art Museum; Everydayland: Imagined Genre Scene Painting in Southern California, Laguna Art Museum.

Ross’s work has been reviewed on several occasions in the Los Angeles Times, Artweek, and Artspace. He has taught painting, drawing, and design at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Drake University, Carnegie Mellon University, Ohio University, and the Universities of Kentucky, Arizona, and Nevada-Reno. Ross has been awarded The Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant for Painting and the National Endowment for the Arts Award in Painting. Among Bobby Ross’s collectors are Peter and Eileen Norton, Michael Eisner, Charles Sims, Marti Koplin, Neil Ovsey, and the Oklahoma State Museum of Art.

The artist currently resides in Springfield, Missouri, where he continues to work on paintings and drawings that present contemporary narratives and question social attitudes.