Morgan Russell (1886-1953)
Morgan Russell (1886-1953)


Morgan Russell (1886-1953)
oil on canvas
18 x 15 in. (45.7 x 38.1 cm.)
Painted circa 1913-14.
Rose Fried Gallery, New York.
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Schiff, New York, by 1967.
Davis & Long Company, New York.
The Ertegun Collection Group, New York.
[With]Terry Dintenfass, Inc., New York.
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 1986.
M.S. Kushner, Morgan Russell, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1990, pp. 7, 101, no. 80, illustrated.
W.C. Agee, et al., The Scharf Collection: A History Revealed, New York, 2018, pp. 29, 35, 181, pl. 16, illustrated.
New York, M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York, Synchromism and Color Principles in American Painting, 1910-1930, October 12-November 6, 1965, p. 52, no. 47.
New York, Museum of Modern Art, Synchromism and Color Principles in Related American Painting, 1910-1930, January 1967-June 1968.
New York, Whitney Museum of American Art; Houston, Texas, Museum of Fine Arts; Des Moines, Iowa, Des Moines Art Center; San Francisco, California, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Syracuse, New York, Everson Museum of Art; Columbus, Ohio, Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, Synchromism and American Color Abstraction, 1910-1925, January 24, 1978-March 24, 1979, p. 143, pl. 91, illustrated.

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Lot Essay

The highly conceptual theories behind Morgan Russell's Synchromist paintings distinguish them as some of the most important Modernist inventions of the twentieth century. Russell began his professional life as an architect, but abandoned that career to become an artist as soon as he arrived in Paris on his twentieth birthday in 1906. At this time, the bold color and forceful lines of the artists of the Fauve movement were astonishing the art world. From this point onward, as Russell developed his artistic style, color became increasingly important to him, taking on new significance. In an introduction written for the catalogue for their 1913 Bernheim-Jeune exhibition, Russell and his friend and fellow artist Stanton Macdonald-Wright "stated that their art was different from anything else presently being done. As synchromists, they wrote, they were not interested in color as a means to copy the 'literal likeness' of an object: 'our dream for color is of a nobler task. It is the very quality of form that we mean to express and reveal through it.'" (M.S. Kushner, Morgan Russell, New York, 1990, p. 69)

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