biography of Morgan RUSSELL (1886-1953)

Birth place: NYC

Death place: Ardmore, PA

Profession: Painter, sculptor

Studied: Paris & Italy, 1906; ASL with sculptor J.E. Fraser, 1906; R. Henri, A. Dasburg, 1907; Paris (under Matisse?) 1908; E. Tudor-Hart, 1911.

Exhibited: Salon des Ind├ępendants, Paris, 1913; in 1913, he & S. MacDonald-Wright mounted the first major Synchromist exhs.: in June at Der Neue Kunstsalon, Munich, and in October at Bernheim-Jeune Gal., Paris; Armory Show, 1913; Carrol Gals., NYC, 1914; Forum Exh. of Modern Am. Painters," Anderson Gals., NYC, 1916; Oakland Art Gal., 1927 (with S. MacDonald-Wright); LACMA, 1927, 1932 (with S. MacDonald-Wright)."

Work: LACMA; WMAA; MoMA; NMAA; San Diego Mus; Cornell Univ.; Munson-Williams-Proctor Inst.; NY Univ.

Comments: Important modernist who together with S. MacDonald-Wright in Paris, 1913, invented Synchromism," a style in which form was generated by color. Russell was already part of progressive art circles in Paris in 1909 when he met Gertrude and Leo Stein, who introduced him to Matisse and Picasso. Russell met MacDonald-Wright in 1911 and soon began investigating color as a generator of form while studying with Canadian color theorist Ernest Tudor-Hart. His first Synchromy was a figurative work, "Synchromie en Vert" (1912-13, now lost), the first abstract Synchromy dates from 1913 (his study for Synchromy in Deep Blue-Violet," LACMA). Russell visited America in 1916 but returned to Paris the next year and remained there, producing non-objective works which the artist now called "Eidos." In the years following, he also painted representational works, including landscapes, nudes, and classical subjects. In 1931, Russell briefly joined the staff of the Chouinard School of Art in Los Angeles but soon returned to Europe. After WWII he settled in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

Sources: Baigell, Dictionary; Gail Levin, Synchromism and American Color Abstraction (WMAA, 1978); Abraham Davidson, Early American Modernist Painting, 1910-1935, 128-32; Hughes, Artists in California, 484."