Russell was the main art criticism writer for more than 50 years for The Sunday Times of London and The New York Times, where he was as respected for his literate style and capacity to appreciate a wide range of styles, The New York Times said.
Russell's wife, Rosamond Bernier, told the newspaper Russell died at a hospice in the Bronx.
Russell joined The New York Times in the 1970s. He published a collection of his journalism in 1989 entitled "Reading Russell," in which he wrote, "Working for The New York Times, I found myself writing about art, as had already been agreed. But I also found myself writing about the centenary of Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the bicentenary of the Battle of Lexington, the special properties of the color green, and the fact that wisteria rhymes with hysteria."
The Times said Russell was known for his high-volume production. Most of his considerable output was devoted to art but he also wrote travel books on Switzerland, London and Paris.