Morgan Russell

1886 –1953

Morgan Russell was born in New York in 1886. He came to Paris in 1906 to study art, where he immediately fell into the most progressive artistic circles.

In 1909 Russell met Gertrude and Leo Stein, who introduced him to Matisse and Picasso. He began exhibiting at the Salon des Indépandants in 1913. In June of the same year he and Stanton Mac-Donald Wright had their first Synchronistic exhibition at Der Neue Kunstsalon in Munich, with a follow-up exhibition at Galerie Bernheim-Jeune. Russell also exhibited his paintings at the famous New York Armory Show of 1913.

Synchronism was an early and important innovation in pure abstract painting, which was developed primarily by Russell with contributions from Stanton Macdonald-Wright.

Russell returned to the United States briefly in 1916 where he had an exhibition at the Anderson Galleries in New York City.

Russell returned to Paris and was one of the few forgiven artists to remain in France during the war. He took refuge in the south were he was able to continue to paint. It was around this time Russell wrote to Macdonald-Wright that he had forever abandon Synchronism. His paintings then returned to figurations with strong Expressionists colors and Cubist technique and boldness. Exhibitions of Russell’s paintings and drawings were held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1927 and 1932. After World War Two Russell returned to settle in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

Russell is represented in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, and many others. There was recently a book published illustrating Russell’s extraordinary body of work.