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SELECTED REVIEWS


ARTPRESS review of Russell Connor's 1991 exhibition, Nikki Diana Marquardt Gallery, Paris

Let's imagine that the millions of reproductions of paintings that circulate around the world by means of books, postcards, posters leave their original support to mix in an immense assembly of masterpieces, creating the most unexpected unions, overthrowing the best established certitudes of art history, destroying, as if with an enormous laugh, the complex architecture of treatises on art.

The work of Russell Connor suggests such scenarios. Except that the rapprochements he brings about between works of art are in no way accidental. On the contrary, the images are associated in a way to liberate their sense and construct rapports that are at the same time amusing and subtly disturbing . The titles contribute to defining the works as visual witticisms. The gently irreverent attitude of the artist, his bantering spirit, his humor and waggish inventiveness bring a shot of oxygen to the closed world of art history, where masterpieces, as the new icons, are the object of a veritable cult.

Repainting Rembrandt, Gericault or Manet, the artist joyfully appropriates models that he loves and reunites. The freshness and apparent na´vetÚ of his work have the virtue of reviving our perceptions of the works, allowing us to apprehend them anew as pictorial acts, and not as definitive moments of a fixed history.

Manuel Jover




"Russell Connor marvelously mixes fun and fine art. This book tosses one giddily back and forth between laughter and admiration." - Heywood Hale Broun



"Russell Connor's approach to art history is that of a magician on canvas. Instead of rabbits out of a hat, he gives us masterpieces out of sync, sleight of art instead of sleight of hand. Wry, witty, thoughtful, and disarming." - Jules Feiffer



"An artist who is extremely gifted himself, Russell Connor gleefully befuddles viewers with paintings that they have seen - or feel they ought to have seen." - Brendan Gill