Transcendent Light: the Chandeliers of Bob Russell
I believe that every room that is lived in today should have an element of now about it. Sometimes, the of-the-moment element is a modern object or work of art. Other times, it is a collection of antique items that look fresh because they have been recombined for the present. Then there are the occasions I find objects that are new that transcend the old and new. I think Bob Russell, artist and craftsman, makes light fixtures that are transcendent in just this way.
I was reminded of his work when a long time client asked that the Russell chandelier we supplied some 15 years ago for her first apartment be conserved and moved to her new place. The piece is centered on a cobalt sphere and has candle arms to hold real candles. For daily use, it has a canopy of halogen lights wreathed in crystal that gives the fixture a celestial shimmer. I know it will look fantastic in its new home when it is hung this week.
I illustrate that fixture here in its original setting, along with some examples of Bob's other work.
Jane Stubbs, a dealer in books and prints, introduced me to him some 20 years ago, and our mutual friends, Albert Hadley and Bunny Williams, also value his work and share our admiration for him.
Every time I see his works of sculpture and decorative art, I am amused by their innate whimsy and their combination of the old and new.