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Ripley Auctions

Lot 221

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Description: James Spencer Russell
(American, 1915-2000)
Self-Portrait (Times 4)
graphite on paper
signed lower right.

Biography from Indiana State Museum
James Spencer Russell (1915-2000) was born in Monticello, Indiana, but spent much of his life in New York City. He studied with Raymond Johnson at the University of New Mexico where he received his BFA, and with Donald Oenlenger at Yale University where he received his MFA.

Russell exhibited his work in New York City with the Ruth White Gallery at 42 East 57th Street. His first one-man exhibition with the gallery, "Constructions", ran from April 21 through May 16, 1964. The exhibition was reviewed in The New York Times by Brian O'Doherty, the preeminent New York art critic of the era.

Russell continued to exhibit all across the U.S. from 1961 to the 1990s, and was considered a pioneer of set design for conversion to color television, working at NBC Television in the 1950's. His one-man shows of watercolors and drawings resulted in the inclusion of pieces in the movies Midnight Cowboy and John and Mary.

An avid jazz fan, his work was on the cover of Chico Freeman's album titled Chico., and exhibited at the American Federation of the Arts, the Rhode Island School of Design and at Southern Illinois University before he retired to his hometown of Kewanna, Indiana.

Written and submitted by Mark J. Ruschman, Chief Fine Arts Curator, Indiana State Museum
28"H x 21 1/2"W (image), 36"H x 29 1/4"W (frame).

  • Dimensions: 28"H x 21 1/2"W (image), 36"H x 29 1/4"W (frame).
  • Artist Name: James Spencer Russell
  • Medium: graphite on paper

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September 26, 2020 11:00 AM EDT

Indianapolis, IN, US

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