Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Russ Warren

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Covid-19
Nationality  American
Known for  Painting, Printmaking
Period  American modernism
Name  Russ Warren

Russ Warren Les Yeux du Monde Art Gallery Artists Russ Warren Images
Born  December 29, 1951 (1951-12-29) Washington, D.C.
Notable work  Texas Pride, The Temptation, Goodnight Little Cerberus, Mare: A Work in Progress
Movement  Neo Expressionism,[Magical Realism], American Modernism, [Regionalism]
Patron(s)  The New Orleans Museum of Art, The North Carolina Museum of Art

Education  University of St. Thomas

Adopting a new perspective monday morning jumpstart s3 e11 russ warren


Russ Warren (born 1951) is a contemporary figurative painter who has exhibited extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad, notably in the 1981 Whitney Biennial and the 1984 Venice Biennale. A painter in the Neo-Expressionist style, he has drawn inspiration from Spanish masters such as Velázquez, Goya and Picasso, as well as from Mexican folk art and the American southwest. Committed to his own Regionalist style during his formative years in Texas and New Mexico, he was picked up by Phyllis Kind in 1981. During those years he transitioned to a style characterized by "magical realism", and his work came to rely on symbol allegory, and unusual shifts in scale. Throughout his career, his paintings and prints have featured flat figures, jagged shadows, and semi-autobiographical content. His oil paintings layer paint, often incorporate collage, and usually contain either figures or horses juxtaposed in strange tableaux.

Contents

Formative years 1969–1973

Born in 1951 in Washington, D.C., Russ Warren began his studies under Earl Staley at the University of St. Thomas in Houston from 1969 to 1971 and finished his B.F.A. at the University of New Mexico in 1973. His earliest paintings reveal a dedicated study of the early Modernists, such as Cézanne, Kirchner, Matisse, and, especially, Picasso. Still Life with Hands (1971) displays an impressive mastery of these influences. The cutouts of the artist's own hands, placed centrally within and over newspaper clippings of the day points to an autobiographical component that will resurface periodically in his work. In 1981, Eva Hesse noticed this in her review of his first solo show in New York, calling the works "private autobiographical paintings that create a mystique of the self."

Regionalism 1973–1979

After graduating from the University of New Mexico in 1973, Warren moved into his own studio in Houston (1973-5) and worked again with his mentor at St. Thomas, Earl Staley, on an installation from the Beaumont Art Museum in which he created huge papier-mâché sculptures of Texas Longhorn, oilmen, businessmen, oversized Stuckey's ash trays in the shape of the state, and other Pop-like images.

In graduate school at the University of Texas, San Antonio (1975–77), he participated in a program designed as an equivalent to a Ph.D. for artists. He received his M.F.A. in 1977, after completing an in-depth thesis on Regionalism, beginning with the WPA works of the late 1920s and ‘30s, and continuing through the Chicago, California and Texas art movements of the ‘70s. His belief that an artist did not need to become "mainstream" to "make it" in New York seemed to be upheld when on separate occasions both Marcia Tucker, then director of the New Museum, and Tom Armstrong, then director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, gave him "Best in Show" awards. Their recognition led to his participation in the Whitney Biennial of 1981, gallery representation with Phyllis Kind, and inclusion in the 1984 Venice Biennale, among other important exhibitions.

Funky Figurative 1979–1990

After moving from his native Texas to Florida and then to Davidson, North Carolina, Warren's Regionalism gave way to what he has dubbed "Funky Figurative," and others have called "mad cap surrealist" (Donald Kuspit), False Image, False Naiveté, New Image, New Wave, and Neo Expressionist art. His repeated trips to Mexico and Spain during these years heightened his interest in folk art and the Spanish masters Velázquez, Goya, and Picasso. His animals and figures, now stripped of all particulars, act and interact as in a strange "Magic Theatre" (Barry Schwabsky), taking part in what seem to be epic passion plays, often hovering in catastrophic spaces produced by his exaggerated use of shadow and perspective.

Paso Finos & Picasso 1990–2000

In 1990, while developing an art class on Picasso at Davidson College, Warren become obsessed with Paso Fino horses, and they began to populate his paintings. One of his most ambitious and successful series, Mare: A Work in Progress, consists of twenty oil paintings, each measuring 4’ x 7’ or 4’ x 8’. The huge pregnant mare in these works and the house or temple in works leading up to them become the vessel or metaphor for painting itself. Timeless themes of creation and destruction, light and dark, life and death, exist side by side with tongue-in-cheek references to high and low art, as in Elvis Ain’t No Cubist.

Psychoanalytical Portraits 2001–2007

In 2001, Warren returned to basics and to his sketchbooks for a series he refers to as "Psychoanalytical Portraits". The earliest paintings—oil on panel, mostly in black and white, measuring 20" x 16"—are emblems of personal and/or universal angst, recalling the isolation and pain of Munch's Scream and our post-9/11 world. These "portraits" morph into concise analyses of human attitudes and conditions, from isolation and anxiety to union and joy and back again.

From Magic Mountain 2008 – present

Since 2008, Warren has made a radical departure from the modest in size, jarring in impact, black and white "psychoanalytical portraits" of recent years, paintings that Picasso scholar Lydia Gasman referred to as "brilliant distillations of Picasso," to return to riotous color and large scale. His most recent paintings the artist dubs "humorous nightmares," and they do recall some of his earlier work that Donald Kuspit referred to as "madcap surrealist" in style. For these works he draws freely from his own styles and subjects throughout his 40-year career as well as from some of his favorite artists such as Picasso and Juan Gris. For example, he has painted his own personal version of Picasso's Three Musicians, as well as large still life paintings that reference Juan Gris, in addition to paintings which are reminiscent of some of his earlier work which allude to the magic mountains or magoté (in Zapatec) he encountered while on a sabbatical in Oaxaca, Mexico. The mountains that recur in these paintings, whether as the main subject, a vista through a window, or painting within a painting in a still life, also undoubtedly mirror some of the mountains and views around Charlottesville.

Selected solo exhibitions

2009 Russ Warren: From Magic Mountain, Les Yeux du Monde, Charlottesville VA
2005 Forgive Us Not, Les Yeux du Monde,Charlottesville VA
2004 Of Deaths and Legends, 2000–2002, Van Every Gallery, Davidson College
2003 From the Sketchbooks, Les Yeux du Monde, Charlottesville VA
2001 Elvis Ain’t No Cubist, Van Every Gallery, Davidson College
1999 Mare: A Work in Progress, Les Yeux du Monde at Starr Hill, Charlottesville VA
1999 Mare: A Work in Progress, Van Every Gallery, Davidson College
1999 New Paintings, Hodges Taylor Gallery, Charlotte NC
1992 Caballos de Locura, Christa Faut Gallery, Davidson NC
1991 Classic Fino, Hodges Taylor Gallery, Charlotte NC
1989 Bull!, Hodges Taylor Gallery, Charlotte NC
1988 Recent Prints and Drawings, Hodges Taylor Gallery, Charlotte NC
1987 Recent Works, Jailhouse Gallery, Morganton Arts Council, Morganton NC
1979 - 2007 Recent Paintings, Davidson College Art Gallery, Davidson NC
1986 Russ Warren: Sculpture, Hodges Taylor Gallery, Charlotte NC
1985 North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh NC
1985 Drew University Art Gallery, Madison NJ
1984 Jerald Melberg Gallery, Charlotte NC
1984 Emblems of the Unseeable, Knight Gallery, Charlotte NC
1988, ’84, ’82 Phyllis Kind Gallery, Chicago
1984, ’82, ’81 Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York
1981 High Point Arts Council, High Point NC
1980 University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte NC
1979 Spirit Square Art Gallery, Charlotte NC
1978 Store Front Gallery, Tampa Bay Arts Council, Tampa FL
1977 San Antonio Museum of Modern Art and University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio TX
1975 University of St. Thomas Art Gallery, Houston TX
1972 First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque, Albuquerque NM
1972 First National Bank Gallery of Art, Albuquerque NM
1972 Old Town Studio, Albuquerque NM

Selected Group Exhibitions

2005 Equus II, curated by Sarah Sargent, The Arts Center in Orange, Orange VA
2004 Gallery Artists, Les Yeux du Monde, Charlottesville VA
2004 The Figure, Inside and Out, Hodges Taylor Gallery, Charlotte NC
1998 Moving into the Millennium: Light, Les Yeux du Monde, Charlottesville VA
1999 Moving into the Millennium: Darkness, Les Yeux du Monde, Charlottesville VA
2001 Reconstructing Eden: Contemporary American Landscape Painting, Hodges Taylor Gallery, Charlotte NC
2000 North Carolina 20th-Century Masters, Lee Hansley Gallery, Raleigh NC
1992 Somar Invitational Exhibition, Waterworks Visual Art Center, Salisbury NC
1992 Lithography: True Fine Art of Printing, Hickory Museum of Art, Hickory NC
1991 Graphic Figures – Figurative Graphics, 7 American Artists in Cologne, Germany
1991 Art and Social Vision, Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art, Greensboro NC
1990 Images of Faith, Kentucky Museum, Northport AL
1989 Looking South: A Different Dixie, Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham AL
1989 Made in America, Virginia Beach Center for the Arts, Virginia Beach VA
1989 North Carolina Artists Invitational, Hickory Museum of Art, Hickory NC
1988 Vitreographoen, Kunstsammlurger der Veste, Coburg, West Germany
1988-90 41st Corcoran Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
1987 Fact/Fiction/Fantasy: Recent Narrative Art in the Southeast, Ewing Gallery, University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN
1987 Warmer Climate—Cool at Night, Spirit Square Arts Center, Charlotte NC
1987 Drawing Redefined, Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art, Greensboro NC
1987 North Carolina Artists Exhibition, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh NC
1987 The Crayon Show, Southeast Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem NC
1987 Luminous Impressions: Prints from Glass Plates, Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte NC
1986 Hickory Museum of Art, Hickory NC
1986 Bon a Tirer, Winstone Press and the RJR Gallery, Winston-Salem NC
1986 Dream Faces, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York NY
1986 5th Annual North Carolina Sculpture Invitational, Northern Telecom, Durham NC and Hickory Museum of Art, Hickory NC
1986 Southern Contemporary Artists Invitational, Jacksonville State University and Anniston Museum of Natural History, Anniston AL
1986 Black and White: A Drawing Exhibition, Gallery 29I, Atlanta GA; the Georgia Museum of Art, Athens GA; and Ewing Gallery, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee
1986 The Printed Image: More Than Meets the Eye, Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art, Greensboro NC
1986 Artists Outside Chicago, Phyllis Kind Gallery, Chicago IL
1986 Kind at Koplin, Koplin Gallery, Los Angeles CA
1986 in Public Places, Wilmington NC
1986 Four North Carolina Artists, Comma Gallery, Morganton Arts Council, Morganton NC
1986 Prints From Glass, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee NC
1986 Drawings, Knight Gallery, Spirit Square Arts Center, Charlotte NC
1985 New Figurative Painting, Asheville Art Museum, Asheville NC
1985 Artists Fellowship Exhibition, North Carolina Arts Council, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem NC
1985 The Figure: Form and Expression, Waterworks Gallery, Salisbury NC
1984 USA: Portrait of the South, Palazzo Venezia, Rome, Italy
1984 Here and Now, Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville SC
1984 Venice Biennale, US Information Agency and New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, Venice, Italy
1984 SECCA VII, Southeast Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem NC
1983 Southern Fictions, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston TX
1983 Southern Fervor: Religious Iconography in Contemporary Southern Painting, Anderson Gallery, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond VA
1983 On the Leading Edge, General Electric Company, Fairfield CT
1983 Painting in the South, Virginia Museum, Richmond VA
1983 Group Show, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York NY
1983 Intoxication, Monique Knowlton Gallery, New York NY
1982 New Painting I: American, Middendorf-Lane Gallery, Washington, D.C.
1982 Beast, P.S. 1, New York
1982 Painting and Sculpture Today, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis IN
1982 Magic in Art, Spirit Square, Charlotte NC
1982 Agitated Figures: The New Emotionalism, Albright-Knox Gallery of Art; Hallways Gallery; and Hal Bromm Gallery, New York NY and Buffalo NY
1982 Figurative Images, Georgia State University Art Gallery, Atlanta GA
1982 The Human Figure in Contemporary Art, Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans LA
1981 Currents: A New Mannerism, Jacksonville Art Museum, Jacksonville FL
1981 Changing Visions, Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles CA
1981 Printmaking Group Show, Southeast Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem NC
1981 Figures: Forms and Expressions, Albright-KnoxGallery, Buffalo NY
1981 Contemporary Drawings, University of California at Santa Barbara CA
1981 Whitney Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of Art, New York NY
1980 New Orleans Triennial, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans LA
1980 Tragicomedy, Mystery, and Humor, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh NC
1980 Dog Show, Raleigh Museum of Art, Collectors Gallery, Raleigh NC
1980 48th Southeastern Competition, SECCA,Winston-Salem NC
1979 Rutgers Drawing ’79, Rutgers University, Camden NJ
1979, ’78 Shelby Annual Juried Exhibition, Shelby NC
1979 Regional Exhibition, Arts Festival of Atlanta GA
1979 Appalachian National Drawing Competition, Farthing Art Gallery, Boone NC
1979 Boston Printmakers 31st Annual, Boston MA
1979 Biennial Exhibition, Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte NC
1979 Recent Prints, Winthrop College, Rock Hill SC
1979 Chiaha Regional Exhibition, First National Bank, Rome GA
1979 Charlotte Printmakers Exhibition, Charlotte Observer Building, Charlotte NC
1979, ’77, ’76 Houston Area Exhibition, Sarah Cambell Blaffer Gallery Annex, Houston TX
1979 Art of the Carolinas traveling exhibition, Spring Mills, Fort Mill SC
1977 Amarillo Art Competition, Amarillo Art Center, Amarillo TX
1977 Bosch Bash, University of St. Thomas, Houston TX
1976 Artists Invitational, Beaumont Art Museum, Beaumont TX
1976, ’75 Winners Exhibition and Artists Biennial, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans LA
1976 Christmas Print and Drawing Exhibition, San Antonio Museum of Modern Art, San Antonio TX
1975 Southeast Texas Collective, Beaumont Art Museum, Beaumont TX

Selected catalogues

  • Equus II, curated by Sarah Sargent for the Arts Center in Orange, November–December 2005
  • The 41st Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting, by William S. Fagaly, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1989
  • North Carolina Artists Exhibition 1987, with a conversation with Roberta Smith, Guest Curator, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh NC, 1987
  • Luminous Impressions: Prints From Glass Plates, essay by Jane Kessler, Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte NC, 1987
  • Prints From Glass, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee NC, 1986
  • 5th Annual Exhibition of North Carolina Sculpture, Research Triangle Park NC, 1986
  • Emblems of the Unseeable, by Carter Ratcliff, Knight Gallery, Charlotte NC, 1984
  • Beast, P.S.I., New York NY, 1983
  • Painting in the South, 1540 - 1980, by Donald Kuspit, Virginia Museum, Richmond VA, 1983
  • Southern Fictions, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston TX, 1983
  • Painting and Sculpture Today: 1982, Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1982
  • Agitated Figures, New Emotionalism, Hallways Gallery, New York NY, 1982
  • Figures, Forms, and Expressions, Albright-Knox Gallery, New York NY, 1982
  • Contemporary Drawing, University of California at Santa Barbara, 1981
  • 1981 Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York NY, 1981
  • 1980 New Orleans Triennial, by Marcia Tucker and the NOMA, 1980
  • Rutgers National Drawing ’79, by Virginia Stell and Rutgers University, 1980
  • 1975 Artists Biennial Winners Exhibition, New Orleans Museum of Art, 1975
  • 1975 Artists Biennial, by NOMA and Jane Livingston, 1975
  • Southeast Texas Collective, Beaumont Museum of Art, Beaumont TX, 1975
  • Selected reviews

  • "Russ Warren," Vivien Raynor, New York Times, December 28, 1985
  • "Russ Warren's Magic Theatre, " Barry Schwabsky, Arts Magazine, April 1985
  • "Russ Warren," Jane Kessler, Atlanta Art Papers, November/December 1984
  • "Russ Warren's Emblems of the Unseeable, Jane Grau, Arts Journal, November 1984
  • "Intoxication," Nicolas A. Moufarrege, Arts Magazine, April 1983
  • "Russ Warren," Ronny Cohen, ARTnews, February 1983
  • "Russ Warren, Susan A. Harris, Arts Magazine, January 1983
  • "Changing Visions," Merle Schipper, Images & Issues, Summer 1982
  • "The Whitney and Guggenheim," Ellen Schwarts, ARTnews, April 1981
  • "Biennial Blues, Roberta Smith, Art in America, April 1981
  • "How Emerging Artists Emerge," Grace Glueck, ARTnews, May 1981
  • "Curatorial Conceptions, Carrie Ricky, Artforum, April 1981
  • "Russ Warren," Jesse Murray, Arts Magazine, May 1981
  • "Russ Warren, Xray Visions," Elizabeth Hess, Village Voice, June 3–9, 1981
  • Selected collections

  • Victoria Beck and James Newman, Buffalo NY
  • Amos Cahan, New York NY
  • Barbara Gladstone, New York NY
  • Chase Manhattan Bank, New York NY
  • Chemical Bank, New York NY
  • General Electric Company, Fairfield CT
  • Gibbes Art Museum, Charleston SC
  • Dorothy Hodges, Charlotte NC
  • Howard Holtzman, Kildeere, Illinois
  • Mr. and Mrs. Morton Hornick
  • Nanette Laitman, New York NY
  • Sydney and Francis Lewis Foundation, Richmond VA
  • Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte NC
  • New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans LA
  • The North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh NC
  • Palmer Museum of Art, Palmer Museum of Art, University Park PA
  • Princeton University, Princeton NJ
  • A. G. Rosen NJ
  • Martin Sklar, New York NY
  • Holly Solomon, New York NY
  • University of Virginia Museum of Art, Charlottesville VA
  • Related Links

    Russ Warren's Music and Magic, an interview with Virginia Modern, February 18, 2013]

    [http://publications.catstonepress.com/i/97088. Cindy Marks, “Artist Profile: Russ Warren,” The Artizen Traveler, Fall 2012, 11 – 19.

    Brendan Fitzgerald, “Magic Touch, Inside the funny scary world of Russ Warren,” cover story, C-ville, August 9 – 15, 2011.

    [http://www.c-ville.com/Checking_in_with_Russ_Warren/#.UhkNkxZu820 “Checking in with Russ Warren,” Cville, June 29, 2010.

    Catherine Malone, “He’s a Magic Man,” C-ville Weekly, 2009. http://www.c-ville.com/From_Magic_Mountain_Russ_Warren_Les_Yeux_du_Monde/#.UhkQ-hZu820]

    References

    Russ Warren Wikipedia


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