Estonian-American, b. 1963 Stavropole, USSR,
Sergei Isupov is an Estonian-American sculptor internationally known for his highly detailed, narrative works. Isupov explores painterly figure-ground relationships, creating surreal sculptures with a complex artistic vocabulary that combines two- and three-dimensional narratives and animal/human hybrids. He works in ceramics using traditional hand-building and sculpting techniques to combine surface and form with narrative painting using colored stains highlighted with clear glaze.
Isupov has a long international resume with work included in numerous collections and exhibitions, including the National Gallery of Australia, Museum Angewandte in Kunst, Germany, and in the US at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Crocker Art Museum, Everson Museum of Art, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, Museum of Arts and Design, Museum of Fine Arts–Boston, Museum of Fine Arts–Houston, Mint Museum of Art, and Racine Art Museum. In 2017, his solo exhibition at The Erie Art Museum presented selected works in a 20-year career survey titled Hidden Messages, followed by Surreal Promenade, another survey solo in 2019 at the Russian Museum of Art in Minnesota.
In 2001 was awarded the Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Award. He works in porcelain using traditional hand building and sculpting techniques to combine surface and form with narrative painting using stains and clear glaze.
“I am a student of the universe and a participant in the harmonic chaos of contrasts and opposites: dark – light; male-female; good – evil. Working instinctually and using my observations, I create a new, intimate universe that reveals the relationships, connections and contradictions as I perceive them. I find clay to be the most versatile material and it is well suited to the expression of my ideas. I consider my sculptures to be a canvas for my paintings. All the plastic, graphic and painting elements of a piece function as complementary parts of the work.”
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