Artista plástico

Raúl Russo

Artista plástico

Raúl Russo

Raúl Russo (Buenos Aires, 29th December 1912 – 5th December 1984, Paris, France) was an Argentinian painter distinguished by his own style and his great talent as a colourist. He is considered one of the most outstanding representatives of Argentine painting and has also received wide international recognition.

« As Raúl Russo’s work progresses over time, the line becomes freer, colour overtakes form and invades the paintings, and the object becomes diluted in the material. The feeling of strength and spontaneity that his works increasingly reflect with their impetuously saturated colours is, however, the consequence of a calm and ever constant experimentation with the artistic task. A “painter for painters”, Raul Russo has devoted his life to the development of the elements, understanding that only meticulous work with form, with his form, could create art. It is in the dialogue he maintains purely and exclusively with the canvas, in his refusal to subordinate himself to any dominant fashion or aesthetic movement, that Russo’s painting acquires its strength. It is in this way that he has made the autonomy of art a mandate. Far from disempowering him and locking him into an arbitrary or improvised work, his decision to disengage himself from any contextual imposition obliged him, on the contrary, to bind himself to the demands of the pictorial material. For Raúl Russo: “There is a path traced from within (…) this path is unique and must be followed without calculation, without external interference.»
Martina Guevara, 2011

« Without belonging to any groups or brotherhoods, Raúl Russo has imposed his work through the singularity of his talent.
With a perfect mastery of the plastic elements, he has been able to capture a bold synthesis that defines his poetics.
The exaltation of colour with subtlety, the celebration of life, represented on canvas by peremptory brushstrokes, full of frankness. Like what, disguised as sobriety, he proclaimed in his life.
Through the luminous tension of the colours, especially red and blue, he reflects the soul of his art. Without pretension, with the authority of someone who has mastered his craft.
With each stroke of the composition, each splash of colour, Russo achieves an intoxicating harmony. One that makes him one of the greatest exponents of Argentinian painting.
An essential benchmark of this great art, which, without detracting from intellectual dignity, is appreciated for its audacity. »
Sandra Gundin, 2016

There is a path traced from within (...) this path is unique and must be followed without calculation, without external interference.

Quote by Raúl Russo


Born in Buenos Aires on 29th December 1912, on Calle Constitución street, Buenos Aires, Argentina. His parents came from Calvello, a village near Potenza in Basilicata, Italy.

In 1927, he joined the Manuel Belgrano School of Fine Arts. He completed his studies in 1931 and went on to study at the “Ernesto de la Cárcova” School of Fine Arts, both in Buenos Aires. He studied mural painting and engraving with Alfredo Guido and painting with Emilio Centurión. At the same time, he studied music.
In 1933, he abandoned the Escuela Superior and began frequenting the studio of the painter Jorge Larco.

He worked as an illustrator and designer at Editorial Atlántida, designed magazine covers for other publishers and decorated the windows of Harrod’s department stores’ (“Arte en la calle”).

In 1942, he set up his studio in the Bencich Tower, Diagonal Norte and Florida, Buenos Aires.
From 1948 onwards, he taught drawing at the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Buenos Aires and, in the 1960s and 1970s, he taught painting at the “Ernesto de la Cárcova” School of Fine Arts.
In 1954, he moved his studio to Cerrito street, next door to his friend and colleague Leopoldo Presas.
From 1953, he spent periods and weekends at his country house in Ranelagh, near Buenos Aires, where he painted many works.

His voyages, even those for leisure, were study trips, which influenced his themes and his palette.
At the end of 1959, he travelled to Europe for the first time and visited museums and galleries in Spain, France, Italy, Morocco and Switzerland, discovering the light of these countries.

In 1970, he moved his studio to Moreno street in Buenos Aires.
Towards the end of the 1960s, he also worked in a studio in the La Boca district of Buenos Aires.

In 1967, he designed stained glass windows for Nuestra Señora de los Inmigrantes, in Catalinas Sur, Buenos Aires.
At the end of that year, he travelled around Europe with his family, visiting Portugal, Spain, France, Brussels, Switzerland and Italy.
In the 1960s, he spent time in Mar del Plata, as well as in Brazil, Tandil, Tornquist and the lakes of southern Argentina.
In 1974, he made a third trip to Europe with his family, passing through France, Amsterdam, London, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy.

In 1976, he settled permanently in Paris in his studio house on Boulevard Auguste Blanqui, near the Parc Montsouris and the Jardin du Luxembourg.

He died in Paris on 5 December 1984 and is buried in the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris.

  • National Museum of Fine Arts, Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Eduardo Sívori Museum of Plastic Arts, Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat Art Collection, Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Tigre Art Museum, province of Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Provincial Museum of Fine Arts, La Plata, province of Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Genaro Pérez Museum, Córdoba, Argentina

  • Rosa Galisteo de Rodriguez Provincial Museum, Santa Fe, Argentina

  • Municipal Museum of Fine Arts, Juan B. Castagnino, Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina

  • Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes Juan Carlos Castagnino, Mar del Plata, province of Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Museum of Fine Arts, Tres Arroyos, province of Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Municipal Museum of Fine Arts of Avellaneda, province of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

  • Museum of Fine Arts of La Rioja, Argentina
    Timoteo Navarro Provincial

  • Museum of Fine Arts, province of Tucumán, Argentina

  • Fine Arts Museum of Lugo (Spain)

  • Fine Arts Museum of Lima (Peru)

  • National Museum of Fine Arts, Santiago (Chile)

  • Museum of Modern Art, New York (United States)

  • Sao Paulo Museum of Modern Art (Brazil)

  • Museum of Belo Horizonte (Brazil)

  • Museum of Latin American Art, Managua (Nicaragua)

Museums with works by Russo in their collections

Awards and tributes

In 1938 he won second prize at the Salón de Otoño in Rosario, Argentina. Later he will be rewarded by many other prizes, among them:
1942 -First prize at the Salon of Watercolourists and Engravers.

In 1950, he wins the Grand Prize at the same Salon.

1950 – Acquisition Prize at the Salon of La Rioja, Argentina.

1956 – First Prize at the National Salon of Plastic Arts. In 1960, he obtains the Grand Prize of Honour at the same Salon.

1956 – First Acquisition Prize at the Santa Fe Salon, Argentina.

1958 – Gold Medal at the International and Universal Exhibition in Brussels.

1959 – First Prize at the National Salon of Fine Arts, Buenos Aires.
In 1960 – He obtains the Grand Prize of Honour at the same Salon.

1960 – Honorary prize at the Buenos Aires Municipal Fine Arts Fair.

1961 – He receives the Palanza Prize, Argentina’s highest distinction in the plastic arts.

1968 – Appointed member of the Argentine Academy of Fine Arts.

1970 – Awarded the Silver Laurel of the Ateneo Rotariano.

1982 – Named, along with Horacio Butler, Santiago Cogorno, Leopoldo Presas and Raúl Soldi, one of the 100 best figures in the history of Argentine visual arts, in the figurative painting section. Konex figurative painting prize.

1983 – Appointed honorary member of the Argentine Society of Plastic Artists.


In 1984, the National Academy of Fine Arts organised a tribute to Russo at the Wildenstein Gallery in Buenos Aires.

In 1985, the second prize for the acquisition of paintings at the Salón Anual de Bellas Artes in Santa Fé, Argentina, was named “Premio Raúl Russo” in his honour.

He first took part in salons and group exhibitions in 1929, at the age of seventeen. Russo was admitted to the National Salon for the first time, supported by the painters Emilio Centurión and Miguel Carlos Victorica.
His first solo exhibition took place in 1942, at Amigos del Arte in Buenos Aires.

He exhibited in museums and galleries (Peuser, Gente de Arte, Galería Plástica, Galería Witcomb, etc.).

From 1961, he was an artist at the Wildenstein Gallery: exhibitions in 1961, 1964, 1968, 1973, 1979 and others after his death.

From 1942 onwards, he exhibited abroad in the United States, Brazil (São Paulo Biennial), Italy (Venice Biennial and other exhibitions), the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, France, Israel, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico and Uruguay.

In 1958, he took part in the Brussels International and Universal Exhibition, where he won the gold medal.

1979– Solo exhibition at the Wildenstein Gallery, London : “Raúl Russo, recent paintings”.

1980-exhibition “Donations parisiennes pour le Musée d’Art Moderne de Rio de Janeiro”, at the Galerie Debret, Paris.

1981-exhibition of works acquired by the Banco de la Nación Argentina, Paris, at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris.

1981-exhibition “Œuvres offerts au Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Managua”, under the auspices of the French Minister of Culture Jack Lang, and in the presence of Ernesto Cardenal, Nicaraguan Minister of Culture. At the Musée d’Art et d’Essai, Palais Tokyo, Paris.

1982-exhibition “Artisti Latinoamericani in Europa-Creatività tra due Culture. 1845-1982”, at the Museo d’Arte Moderna di Ca’Pesaro, Venice.

After his death, Russo’s works were exhibited in Argentina and Europe, in group and solo shows in museums and institutions and in the Wildenstein galleries, Galería Palatina, Centro Cultural San Telmo, Galería Rubbers, and others:

1985– ” Hommage à Raúl Russo “, exhibition at the Galerie Franklin-Roosevelt, Paris, under the auspices of the Ambassador of the Argentine Republic in Paris.

1985– “Regards Argentins de France”, exhibition organised by the Argentine Cultural Centre in Paris.

1985-Exhibition “Homage” at the Wildenstein Gallery, Buenos Aires.

1986, 1988, etc., until today, “Raúl Russo”, Galería Palatina, Buenos Aires.

1987– “Raul Russo”, Galería Kramer, Buenos Aires.

1987– “Argentinian art, from independence to the present day”, Latin American Institute, Rome.

1988– “Raúl Russo”, Wildenstein Gallery, Buenos Aires.

1991– “Raúl Russo”, National Museum of Fine Arts, Buenos Aires, organised by the artist’s son, Raúl H. Russo and Vera Gerchunoff.

2000– “Russo”, Galería Krass, Rosario, Argentina, organised by the gallery in collaboration with Vera Gerchunoff.

2004-“Raúl Russo”, Sala de la Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA), Buenos Aires, organised by the artist’s son, Raúl H. Russo and Vera Gerchunoff.

2010– “Raúl Russo, the lesson of colour”, Museum of Plastic Arts “Eduardo Sívori”, Buenos Aires, organised by the artist’s son, Raúl H. Russo and Vera Gerchunoff.

2019– “Russo returns to the Belgrano”, Manuel Belgrano School of Fine Arts, Buenos Aires, organised by the artist’s son, Raúl H. Russo and Vera Gerchunoff.


About Raúl Russo


1953: “Pierri, Rossi, Russo, Tiglio”, Colección Artes Plásticas de América, Editorial Pampa, Buenos Aires. Texts by Manuel Mujica Láinez, 16 colour plates.

1954: “Russo, portraits”, text by Manuel Mujica Láinez. Exhibition in Galería Witcomb, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1962: “Raúl Russo” by Eduardo Baliari. Ediciones Culturales Argentinas. Dirección de Cultura, 43 pages, two colour reproductions and 44 in black and white.
1963: “Russo”, critical study by Manuel Mujica Láinez, Ediciones El Mangrullo, Buenos Aires, 110 pages, 40 colour reproductions and 44 in black and white.
1979: catalogue of the “Recent paintings by Raúl Russo” exhibition at the Wildenstein Gallery, London (UK). Text by Pierre Restany, 5 colour plates and 4 in black and white.
1980: “Russo”, by Vicente P. Caride, issue no. 34 in the series Pintores Argentinos del siglo XX, Centro Editor de América Latina, Buenos Aires, 16 pages, 8 colour reproductions and 6 in black and white.
1982: “Raúl Russo”, by Martha Nanni, introduction by Bernard Dorival, published by Dos Amigos, Buenos Aires, 260 pages, 151 colour plates and 78 in black and white.

There are numerous catalogues of his exhibitions in galleries such as Witcomb in Florida Street in the 50s, 60s and 70s, the Galería Wildenstein (Buenos Aires), the Galería Palatina (Buenos Aires) and many others.

He has illustrated several books with gouaches and engravings, even limited editions for bibliophiles, such as works by Jorge Luis Borges and Rafael Alberti, handwritten by their authors, or the “Cartas de una religiosa portuguesa” (Letters of a Portuguese nun).

He appears in several art dictionaries, such as Bénézit or “Les Peintres Célèbres”, encyclopaedias and directories, and countless articles have been devoted to him in newspapers, magazines and on websites.