Clifford Ross Makes a Splash with Light | Waves at the Parrish Art Museum

Clifford Ross "Digital Waves" outside the Parrish Art Museum
Clifford Ross “Digital Waves” outside the Parrish Art Museum, Photo: Courtesy Parrish Art Museum

On view at the Parrish Art Museum through October 15, this year’s Parrish Platform exhibition, Light | Waves displays the work of photographer Clifford Ross throughout the building, both inside and out.

Platform is an open-ended invitation giving one artist carte blanche to consider the entire Parrish Art Museum as a potential site to show their work, transcending disciplinary boundaries and encouraging new ways to experience art, architecture and the landscape outside.

Ross has engaged several areas of the museum, including, as many passersby have already seen, the exterior south wall facing Route 27. The photographer has two distinct areas of interest in the exhibition. His Hurricane Waves series features large-scale photographs of mighty ocean waves printed directly on sheets of warm-toned maple veneer, which match the images with their lively wood grain. Meanwhile, Ross’ Digital Waves are dynamic videos of waves presented on those massive LED walls facing the road.

“Clifford Ross’ fascination with the ocean off the shore of Long Island gains new meaning with his immersive installation at the Parrish that places the viewer into the midst of crashing hurricane waves in a building situated between two bodies of water,” Parrish Art Museum Director Terrie Sultan says. “Using new media of his own invention, Ross creates a tension between representation and imagination, realism and abstraction, and ultimately reveals a different ‘truth’ about the ocean.”

Clifford Ross, "Wave LIV (Wood)"
Clifford Ross, “Wave LIV (Wood),” Photo: Clifford Ross Studio

The multimedia artist graduated from Yale University in 1974. He became interested in photography after years of painting and sculpting during his college years. He then started his Hurricane Series in 1996. In 2002, Ross invented the R1 camera, using his creation for the ‘Mountain Series’ comprising large Chromogenic Color Prints of Mount Sopris in Colorado.

In conjunction with the Light | Waves exhibition, the Parrish is offering various programs through the end of summer and into the fall. As part of the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival on Monday, August 14 at 6:30 p.m., concertgoers will travel to the museum for a musical tribute to Ross’ photographs. The a wide-ranging program includes water-influenced works by Ravel and Debussy, music by Phillip Glass (who wrote an original score for Ross’s 2010 video “Harmonium Mountain I”), and Arvo Pärt’s reflection on reflections, “Spiegel im Spiegel,” or “Mirror in Mirror.” Learn more at

On Friday August 25 at 6 p.m., Ross joins “Art Basel Conversations” host and author András Szánto for a discussion about his work and Light | Waves at the museum.

On September 22, the Parrish is offering a cross-disciplinary event, Water and Climate Change. Guests can engage in panels, discussions and workshops about these important topics.

“Bringing together artists with experts from diverse disciplines including architects, designers, policy makers, farmers, fisherman, technologists and scientists is a means to engage the artist as the conduit to finding creative solutions to water management and protection on Long Island’s East End and beyond,” Curator of Special Projects and event organizer Corinne Erni explains.

The Parrish Art Museum is located at 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. Call 631-281-2118 or visit

Clifford Ross "Digital Waves" outside the Parrish Art Museum
Photo: Carl Timpone/

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