Born in Wilmington, Delaware in 1944, Ray Mortenson is a photographer known for his large-scale landscape prints.
Originally trained as a sculptor at the Carnegie Institute of Technology and the San Francisco Art Institute, Mortenson began photographing in 1974 and is largely self-taught. A landscape photographer in the traditional sense, Mortenson has produced expansive images of lakes and mountains as well as precisely rendered intimate studies such as those in the Weeds series. Mortenson can be seen as carrying on the tradition of the 19th century American landscape painters who depicted the majesty of their surroundings. Mortenson is best known for black-and-white photographs of abandoned buildings in The Bronx taken in the early 1980s, and deserted wasteland photographs taken in the New Jersey Meadowlands.
Mortenson has held exhibitions at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, DC), the Museum of the City of New York, and the Cleveland Museum of Art, and his works can be found in the collections of the Zeit Foto Museum (Tokyo), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others. He lives and works in New York.