Russian ceramics artist hosts lecture in Pogue Student Center

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 at 5:00 PM

Students, faculty and members of the community crowded into room 303B in the Frank G. Pogue Student Center to hear the lecture by visiting ceramics artist Sergei Isupov.

Born in Russia in 1963, Isupov graduated from the Art Institute of Tallinn, Estonia in 1990 with both a Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Fine Arts degree in ceramics. He then immigrated to the United States in 1994— first living in Kentucky, then in Virginia, and then settling in the countryside of Massachusetts.

On Isupov’s website, his artist statement says that he is “a student of the universe and a participant in the harmonic chaos of contrasts and opposites: dark — light; male — female; good — evil.” What you wouldn’t learn from his website is that Isupov learned from Russian painter David Miretsky while he attended the Kiev Art Institute. Miretsky immigrated to the U.S. in 1975. Years later, when Isupov also immigrated, he met up with his former teacher.

Isupov reminisced about tricks he learned from Miretsky, including how to get a good slice of butter by sketching in line, which in turn made people assume he was part of the KGB.

Isupov said he doesn’t always remember why he creates a piece, so sometimes he makes up a story on the spot.

Isupov explores both the three-dimensional aspect of ceramics and the two-dimensional aspect of drawing or painting. He started out with functional teapots, which soon turned into non-functional teapots. Then, Isupov moved into non- functional sculptures.

Isupov’s work changes and reflects his environment. When he went through a divorce from his first wife, his work became devoid of color and reflected his anguish. Another time his work changed a lot was when he was working in a studio that was very tall and narrow; his figures lost their arms. 

Isupov has a large body of work that has been in “numerous collections and exhibitions, including the National Gallery of Australia, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, Racine Art Museum in Wisonsin and Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.”

In 2001, Isupov won the Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Award for his pieces titled, “Statuettes: Group of Figures,” created in 2001, and “Togetherness,” a work that was done in 2000.

Isupov brought a slide show, which included different pieces: “Petty Thief,” “Sacrifice,” “Blood Tie,” “Youth,” “Celibacy,” “History of Lovers,” “Lift: Monkey,” “The Challenge,” “Beneath e the Sky Giants” and “Sight S Unseen.” 

Isupov recently opened a P solo exhibit called “Hidden h Messages” at the Erie Art n Museum. The exhibition will
be open until April 2, 2017.

You can find more st information on Sergei Isupov C and his works online at is sergeiisupov.com.

Rachel Shirey is a staff writer for The Spectator.

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