Russell’s second exhibition at the gallery will be a ceramic still-life installation comprised of multiple elements including fruit bowls, birds and obelisks. The elements have historical references to European decorative arts and monuments as well as natural history and Russell is using a new glaze that mimics the feeling of stone.
Russell describes the impetus for this new body of work: "The essential element of the still life is not the golden goblet or the Ming bowl, or even the pile of luxurious fruit. The essential element of the still life is the bug haunting the fruit bowl, the worm that burrows into the surreally beautiful apple. All still life is haunted. It is haunted with desire and greed, with the past and loss, with ostentation and pride.
I started the work that has become "After the Golden Age" when I got back to the studio from a trip to Paris, the sadness of beauty and grandeur was very strong. The world is so beautiful, there are so many beautiful things, but sometimes it all feels cursed.”
Currently, Russell is completing a commission for the Metropolitan Transit Authority's Arts for Transit office who selected his design proposal for the 9th Avenue Brooklyn Station. The commis- sion includes cast bronze ornamental gates and finials in the shapes of magnified, bee-covered honeycombs and flowers. The motifs of bees and birds and thistles have been carried over from his earlier ceramic work shown here in 2009 and at Wave Hill in 2008.