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Russell Connor is an internationally known painter and writer who has contributed covers and illustrated essays to The New Yorker and The New York Times’ Book Review. After study with Josef Albers at Yale, and years painting in Japan and France, he was invited by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to be writer and host of Museum Open House, a nationally televised weekly gallery talk, produced with WGBH for public television for four years. While active as a painter, he also produced award-winning films on art, and was an early champion of video art. In 1970 he curated the world’s first museum exhibition of video art at the Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University, and later collaborated with Nam June Paik, Bill Viola, and William Wegman. Early influence of his grandfather, The New Yorker humorists, and the inspiration of museums and television finally merged to startling effect in his painting. In 1997, Charles E.Tuttle Co., Inc. commissioned him to write Masters in Pieces: The Art of Russell Connor.
Amused by what he calls the muddled mental museum we all carry around, he combines well-known masterpieces in new compositions and new narratives. The New York Times’ review said, “Magically, Connor whisks away the artifice of art history to forge some deeper connections, and makes us smile all the while.”
Toys From My Attic, evolved from a performance the artist gave at the Cornelia St. Café in Greenwich Village, was created in the same spirit.