Sergei Isupov, Artist Portrait with "Lips Eyes Ear, Eyebrow", 2023, carving on plywood, ceramic, oil ink, 96 x 96". Photo by John Polak Photography. "SERGEI ISUPOV: Alliances", Exhibition Installation at Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery, Keene State College, Keene, NH, October 25-December 6, 2023.


Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery at Keene State College Oct. 25 – Dec. 9, 2023

Oct. 25 – Dec. 9, 2023

Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery
Keene State College
229 Main Street, Keene, NH 03431



Isupov’s artworks form alliances with one another as they move between media, explore scale, and are presented in curated exhibitions. Recent opportunities to create public works like his fire sculpture production and performances, along with solo exhibitions that show the full scope of Isupov’s creative versatility and process, have led to new works on paper, prints and wall installations combining ceramics with other materials. To create the signature work in his exhibition ALLIANCES, Isupov began with a square, eight-foot woodcut print created from two plywood panels, carving the image using power tools. His plywood carving and print installation bring together ceramic sculpture, assemblage, and printmaking practices and feature dimensional ceramic elements inserted into the plywood print plate. This display is flanked by two of his large-scale busts, and surrounded with sculptures by the artist known primarily for his ceramic sculptures.

Humanimals is an ongoing series that combines animal features with the standing human figure. Lined up in a promenade in ALLIANCES, they zig-zag facing the same direction, following one another, led by highly detailed, cloaked figural sculptures.

Isupov first created works in the Humanimal series in the early 2000’s in his Richmond, VA studio. Beginning with a set of singular figures in groups, he followed with dual, four-leg sculptures joined together with one body. He periodically returns to the form and scale to explore new ideas or prepare three-dimensional “sketches” for his monumental, multi-part standing sculptures.

Androgyny, the series of large-scale heads and busts, began during a residency at Kecskemét, Hungary in 2008 and led to Isupov’s first solo exhibitions at Ferrin Gallery (Pittsfield, MA), Mesa Contemporary Arts Center (Mesa, AZ) and the Daum Museum of Art (Sedalia, MO) in 2009. His latest work in the series Heritage was produced in 2023 and is featured in dialog with select works from series in the artist’s archive.

More on the exhibition HERE

More About Sergei Isupov  HERE

Inquire  HERE

Isupov is a master of nonlinear narration. Combined with his unmatched, masterful skills as both painter and sculptor, the resulting works draw from the past and reflect on the present.

Semi-autobiographical, Isupov’s intimate narratives interweave poignant representations of men and women, parents and children, shown alongside one another, their pets pointing to the naive sense of security we hold in our daily lives.

These works explore individual, interior landscapes and the continually expanding dualities of the self within complex psychological relationships. Intensely personal yet universal, these works in the context of the present day, remind and call upon us to value, protect and preserve the precarious balance we all stand to lose at any present moment.

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.



November 18, 2023, 3-5pm

Free and open to the public

Thorne Sagendorph Art Gallery
Keene State College
229 Main Street, Keene, NH 03431

“My work is about contrasts and relationships. I explore contrasts of human condition with my story lines such as male-female and human-animal relationships, and accompanying emotions of warmth and aggression, love and rejection, and nurture and abandonment. Dynamic and interactive narratives are developed using two and three dimensions at the same time with the sculpted form and painted surface. I use a visual vocabulary and classic tools of design, proportion, perspective and silhouette to both sculpt and paint. Eyes show emotional relationships. Facial and figural gestures develop personalities. Illusionary objects and perspectives suggest motion. As a viewer moves around the work, they see each angle and focus point leading to new chapters and story lines. Combined, these clues tell an overall story.”

Copyright© 2023 and published by Thorne-Sagendorph Gallery, Keene State College, Keene, NH

October 25 – December 9, 2023

Catalog Design by Erica Pritchett

All photos by John Polak Photography

Courtesy Ferrin Contemporary

Special thanks to co-curators, Paul McMullan, professor at Keene State College and Leslie Ferrin, director, Ferrin Contemporary and for editorial support by Alexandra Jelleberg, associate director, Ferrin Contemporary.


Additional works may be available to acquire, but not listed here.

If interested in lists of all works and series: Send us a message