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Sergei Isupov (US)Guest Artist Talk & Demo

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This guest artist workshop is now over. We are leaving it on our website for you to see.

The world-renowned artist Sergei Isupov came to Slow Clay Centre for a special artist talk and demo on 19 May, 2019, 2-5pm. Russian-born but based in the United States since 1994, Isupov could rightfully be described as a legend of the ceramic community in the US with a career that has spanned over 3 decades. He is a passionate artist and educator and we were very excited to present him to you in Melbourne!

“Often called an Erotic Surrealist for his daring representations of sexuality, relationships, and human encounter, Isupov takes narrative subject matter and merges it with ceramic sculptural form. Drawing on personal experience, and human observation, he creates works that integrate autobiography with universal narrative. He states, “Everything that surrounds and excites me is automatically processed and transformed into…an artwork. […] The essence of my work is not in the medium or the creative process, but in the human beings and their incredible diversity. When I think of myself and my works, I’m not sure I create them, perhaps they create me.” While the robust, and racially distinct facial traits make each sculpture unique, they also make the body of work capable of representing universal experiences. The bold color palette, heavily tattooed faces, and textured surfaces relate these works to the aesthetics of traditional Russian art, as well as to contemporary styles of illustration.

“In her feature essay for the catalogue “Androgyny” produced in conjunction with Sergei Isupov’s solo exhibition at the Mesa Contemporary Arts Center, Arizona in 2009, Sonya Bekkerman, Vice President of Russian Art at Sotheby’s speaks about Isupov and his artistic style within the context of Russian art history. She states, “Sergei Isupov was born in the ‘60s, a decade in which Russian artists began to actively question and defy the prescribed artistic ideology dictated by the Soviet Union, and he left in 1983, just before the turbulent artistic breakthroughs incited by Gorbachev’s perestroika in 1987. […] Like many of his contemporaries who sought to express their individuality away from party control, Isupov emigrated to the United States, where he has never stopped looking inward and revealing truths, free associations, and sheer id, no matter how cryptic, filtered through an American and Russian lens.” (

Sergei Isupov’s work is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Racine Art Museum, Wisconsin; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Museum of Art and Design, New York; and Museum fur Angewandte, Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany. Isupov has had solo exhibitions at Mesa Contemporary Arts Center, Arizona and The Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Missouri. He has participated in group exhibitions at the 2009 World Contemporary Ceramics Exhibition at the 5th World Ceramic Biennale in Korea; The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft; Fuller Craft Museum, Massachusetts; and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Wisconsin. He lives and works in Cummington, MA, and splits his time between Tallinn, Estonia and Cummington, MA and is represented by Ferrin Contemporary.

Sergei Isupov is visiting Australia as a guest of The Australian Ceramics Triennale, Hobart. His visit to Slow Clay Centre will include a talk with accompanying images about his work and a short demonstration of his sculptural techniques.

When: Sunday 19 May 2019 
Time: 2-4.30pm
Price: Normal $45  Student/UE $38

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