Morgan Russell

Marilyn S. Kushner, Author, Montclair Art Museum, Other Rizzoli International Publications $50 (221p) ISBN 978-1-55595-046-0
Aided by monthly stipends from Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Morgan Russell (1886-1953), a New Yorker working in Paris, pioneered the short-lived Synchromistok movement with his friend Stanton Macdonald-Wright. Their swirling discs of color--exploding spectrums abuzz with rhythm and movement--blazed an indelible impression on modernist abstraction. But Russell, a pupil of Matisse, finally reached an impasse with his ``Synchromies.'' He then sought inspiration in religion and classical music, but eventually retreated to a farm in the French countryside and shifted to a figurative style. His female nudes are mythic goddesses; his male nudes, inspired by heroic figures from Leonardo and Titian, are idiosyncratic, as are the later monumental figural and religious compositions. Kushner, a curator at the Montclair Art Museum, N.J., has penned an eye-opening monograph, scanning all facets of an artist who deserves to be better known. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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