Ross Bleckner paints images that are visually dramatic and subtly representative of the artist's interest in human confrontations with tragedies. Time—and, by extension, mortality—has been a prevailing theme of Bleckner's work since he began exhibiting in the late 1970s. Much of Bleckner's work deals with the AIDS crisis and "the idea that something beautiful, like a cell, can mutate into something treacherous."
His large-scale paintings depict flowers that are profuse and brightly colored, yet deliquesced, scraped away, and abstracted until they become blurs of paint, birds, and human cells floating in dark color fields, as though they were stars cast into the night sky. This prepossession with light and mortality—expressed through symbolic organic forms and painterly abstraction—is a theme that runs throughout Bleckner's thirty-year body of work.