"For every new artist I work with, I ask myself, ‘Could their art hang next to a Picasso?’ That answer must always be yes,” says Lisa Russell, owner of the Russell Collection Fine Art Gallery in Austin’s West End. Whether highlighting emerging artists like Chuck Voelter, Olga Porter and Rimi Yang, to name just a few, or exhibiting masterworks from Picasso, Chagall, Rembrandt and Matisse, it’s the collective balance of periods, knowledge—Russell and her staff thoroughly research everything they showcase—and curating that resonates most with her mission. “What displays on the walls here has a deeper meaning once you get to know the artist,” she explains. “I feel a great sense of accomplishment putting these collections together.” Russell, who also hosts lectures, visiting artists and themed international exhibits, says she’s most gratified by the impact she has on her clients’ lives. “The smile on someone’s face after making a connection with a piece of art is truly amazing.”
LX: I Became Interested In Art…
LR: At a young age. My maternal grandmother was a sculptor and watercolorist, my mother an interior designer, and my father a collector.
LX: What Do You Collect?
LR: Everything from the old masters to contemporary artists: Renoir, Leonor Fini, Luis Royo, Lélia Pissarro and America Martin.
LX: Work Approach:
LR: I’m focused, driven and inspired on a daily basis by each and every artist I encounter, whether represented by me or not.
LX: Greatest Find:
LR: Charles Umlauf. I was introduced to one of his sons, Louis, five years ago, and since then we’ve had the honor of representing the family in three shows. If you’ve ever been to the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, you’ll understand the importance of this Texas treasure.
LX: Most People Don’t Know:
LR: I love to fly-fish! It’s the most peaceful form of movement I’ve ever experienced.