Lynn Paula Russell is the most-visited artist on the honesterotica website; if you like Paula’s work, and especially if you are interested in buying one of her original works, here is your chance!
The gallery she shows her work with, London-based Talisman, is currently hosting an important online exhibition and sale of her work, which you will find here. This is your rare opportunity to buy an original piece of art by one of the most outstanding and celebrated late twentieth century erotic artists.
Talisman’s Director Lindsay Wells has kindly provided this illustrated introduction to the exhibition.
Lynn Paula Russell – Retrospective, 1985–2020
I first met Paula about twenty-five years ago. I had become aware of her work as an artist and was very glad to make contact with her through an intermediary at the Society for Art of Imagination, founded by Brigid Marlin in 1961 – Paula was to go on to be one of their annual prize-winners. I had ceased to keep an actual physical art gallery and had moved to putting Talisman Fine Art online. Our main specialities were, and still are, works on paper from the Symbolist and Art Nouveau era, and from the Art Deco period. Talisman has also always had a special interest in original erotic fine art. Such art is too easily dismissed as being of lesser status, simply because of the subject matter. In fact, when it is good, it requires considerable ability from the artist in the drawing of the human figure, perhaps more so than in any other genre. It therefore often proves the credentials of the artist, figure drawing being to my mind one of the principal criteria of artistic skill.
Lynn Paula Russell is a tremendous artist of the nude, and able to do so when the figure is in action – somewhat a necessity in depicting the erotic. So, I met Paula, but at that time she was only interested in Talisman showing and selling reproduction prints of her ‘Bodyscape’ paintings. Great images, but since we very rarely deal in reproductions, we were not able to take anything further at that stage.
A few years went by until I invited Paula to a Talisman Fine Art lecture that I was staging. It was about the narrative and symbolism of Homer’s Odyssey. Given that Paula had a book of her own work published – Lynn Paula Russell: A Sexual Odyssey – I thought it may be of interest to her. It is actually the case that the classical mythological subject matter would have interested her anyway. She came to the talk and it was very good to see her again. From that time on we have worked together as she gradually released drawings and paintings from her own personal archive. We are most fortunate that Paula very carefully preserved most of the original drawings that were used for reproduction in various publications – and her output was prolific. Works for the Erotic Print Society played an important part; various adult illustrated stories (bandes dessinées); and magazines such as Februs, for which she created many, many drawings. As well as being its principal artist, she was also the editor of Februs, a very well-produced 1990s erotic S/M magazine. It felt to me that we suddenly had access to a hidden treasure trove! Since then, we have sold many of these drawings, but as Paula has looked after her personal archive so well, she continues to amaze and delight me as drawings from that period still materialise – and very good ones too.
But it is not only the work from those earlier years. Paula is still a full-time artist. I doubt very much that she could stop! Over the last couple of years, she has become very involved in the paintings of trees. This might seem like a considerable departure from her earlier erotic work, but the sensuality of those drawings can still inform her depictions of nature. Her very accomplished paintings of trees and plants contain a successful and satisfying combination of the sensual, the natural and the spiritual.
It is important to mention that latter component – the spiritual; it plays an important part in Paula’s life and the metaphysical interest is clearly evident in her painted designs for the deck of Kairos Sexual Tarot cards.
Most recently, there has been another combination of styles which reintroduces the erotic as a subtle, but major, component. It is mixed with themes of the poetic, the mythological, and the pastoral.
I must admit to these pastoral erotic paintings at present being my favourites, but I love all of her work, and it has been a great pleasure and privilege to gather together our present exhibition, ‘Lynn Paula Russell – A Retrospective and Sale’. We have in this online exhibition all aspects of her mature work, from the explicitly erotic to the spiritual and poetic, and dating back to 1985. It includes a number of works that are for sale, as well as those that are no longer available but that can still be enjoyed as examples of her remarkable creative life.
Talisman Fine Art specialises in Symbolist and Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Pastoral and Visionary Art, and contemporary artists whose work is influenced by these traditions. Talisman began twenty-five years ago with a gallery in West Hampstead, London. It is now mainly an internet gallery with appointments that can be made, if required, in central London. The name derives from the symbolic associations to the word ‘talisman’, and also from a painting by the French artist Paul Sérusier.
Talisman’s website can be found here.