Sergei Isupov: PAST & PRESENT

Ferrin Contemporary, North Adams, MA May 7 - July 9, 2022

May 7 to July 9, 2022

1315 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams MA

Public Reception & Artist Talk
June 4, 4-6 p.m. with Sergei Isupov


North Adams, MA

Ferrin Contemporary is proud to present new works from internationally renowned sculptor Sergei Isupov. Sergei Isupov: PAST & PRESENT features new ceramic sculptures presented with both a multi-dimensional, mixed-media wall installation and independent pedestal-based works. Isupov and Ferrin Contemporary have been working together and presenting exhibitions internationally since 1996 and this will be the artist’s third solo show in our North Adams gallery location.

This exhibition comes at a particularly sensitive time for the artist. Born in Stravapole, Russia in 1963, Isupov is the son of a painter and sculptor. He was raised and educated in Kyiv, Ukraine and Tallinn, Estonia when both of these now separate countries were part of the USSR. Isupov’s family, his father, mother and brother, all established artists, currently reside in Kyiv, Ukraine. With the backdrop of the current war there and threats of Russian aggression in Estonia, Isupov’s recent studio work took on an urgency to counter the overwhelming anxiety and concern for his family facing down threats to their safety and the loss of their formerly peaceful lives. Now, with his wife, artist Kadri Parnaments and their daughter Roosi, they divide their time between two studios/homes in the USA and Estonia.

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.

Isupov pushes the “in the round” idea of a sculpture to its apex by creating a narrative form that is then painted, using stain and glaze, to deepen the story. Like an Eternity pictured here, is a prime example of Isupov’s skill. He sculpts a form that becomes both man ready to fight and another man, or possibly a moon or ghost, in quiet observation. Two couples occupy different landscapes on their journeys, recto and verso of the piece, and their nakedity and or their brightly clothed bodies reveal and conceal their emotional states. Symbols of hope and confusion depicted as decorative shapes feature threatening clouds, caged animals, beams of light. We can’t help but wonder what did, or what will, become of them.

Both of Isupov’s 2022 exhibitions include works in porcelain and mixed-media drawings produced at Project Art in Cummington, MA. Project Art is a former 19th-Century mill building he owns with Leslie Ferrin, Founding Director of Ferrin Contemporary. The space hosts exhibitions, events, workshops, and artist residencies.

Sergei Isupov: PAST & PRESENT

Ferrin Contemporary | May 7 to July 9 2022


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Like An Eternity

Marriage for the Ages

Full Moon Addiction

Momentary Darkness

Nature is Within Us

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.




May 14, 2022 to October 31, 2022

TurnPark Art Space
2 Moscow Rd, West Stockbridge, MA

Public Firing of Earth & Sky at TurnPark Summer Festival

June 11, 4-10 p.m. at TurnPark Art Space

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