Martha Russo (b. 1962, Milford, Connecticut) earned her BA in developmental biology and psychology from Princeton University in 1985. A world-class athlete, she suffered a career-ending injury in 1984 while vying for a spot on the United States Olympic Field Hockey Team. After recovering from surgery, Russo was attracted to the physical nature of sculpture and began studying studio arts in Florence, Italy in 1983 and continued studying ceramics at Princeton University. In 1995, she earned her MFA at the University of Colorado Boulder. Russo’s sculptures and installation have been exhibited nationally. Through the socially and politically based art collective, Artnauts, she has shown her 2-dimensional works in hundreds of exhibitions in 18 countries since joining the group in 1996. In addition to her studio practice, Russo is currently a Visiting Lecturer at University of Colorado Boulder and before that she taught Fine Arts at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design in Denver for 19 years. Russo is represented by the Claudia Stone Gallery in New York and Goodwin Fine Art in Denver. She lives in the mountains northwest of Boulder, Colorado with her husband and two children.
Before children have the language and cognitive skills to name an object, they explore the world with all of their senses. For instance, a chair is not a “chair” but rather something to climb on, to crawl under, and, perhaps, even to lick. With the acquisition of language and the awareness of the purpose of something, the investigations dwindle and the senses simmer. My hope is that people approach my work and stay with it because they are not quite sure what it is: What are the forms? What are they made out of? How are clinging to the wall or suspended in space?
In essence, I make abstract sculptures and installations to give people a place to let language and purpose slip away and allow the senses to delight and to muse and the mind to wander and to wonder.