Sergei Isupov


(b. 1963) Stavropole, Ukraine, lives and works in Cummington, MA, USA and Tallinn, Estonia

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 ceramic using traditional hand building and sculpting techniques to combine surface and form with narrative painting using stains and clear glaze.

“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.”

Isupov has a long international resume with work included in numerous collections and exhibitions, including the National Gallery of Australia, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (TX), Museum of Arts and Design (NY), Racine Art Museum (WI), Museum of Fine Arts Boston (MA), and the Erie Art Museum (PA), at which he presented selected works in a 20-year career survey Hidden Messages in 2017 and Surreal Promenade in 2019 at the Russian Museum of Art (MN).

Isupov teaches workshops and lectures internationally at conferences, universities, museums and art centers. Important to his career have been the short and long-term artist residences at Archie Bray Foundation (Helena, MT), The International Ceramics Studio (Kecskemét, Hungary), and Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center (Skælskør, Denmark).

Isupov graduated from the Art Institute of Tallinn, Estonia with a BA/MFA in Ceramics in 1990. He immigrated to the United States in 1994, first in Louisville (KY) which was followed by 6 years in Richmond (VA). Isupov has lived and worked at Project Art in Cummington (MA) since 2006. Starting in 2010, Sergei, along with his wife Kadri Pärnamets, and their daughter Roosi divide their year between Estonia and the USA. Isupov is represented by Ferrin Contemporary.




“Surreal Promenade,” Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis, MN

“Directions”, Ferrin Contemporary, North Adams, MA
“Sergei Isupov: Selections from Hidden Messages”, Ferrin Contemporary, North Adams, MA
“Sergei Isupov: Hidden Messages”, Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA
“Head On,” de Menil Gallery, Groton School, Groton, MA
“Sergei Isupov”, Kasher | Potamkin, New York, NY
“Promenade”, Perimeter Gallery, Chicago, IL
“Collection Focus: Sergei Isupov”, Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI
“New Work: Sergei Isupov”, Perimeter Gallery, Chicago, IL
“Sergei Isupov”, Ferrin Contemporary at Independent Art Projects, North Adams, MA
“Here and There”, International Biennial of the Vallauris Institute, Hôtel de Ville, Vallauris, France
“Here and There, solo exhibition, HOP Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia

“Call of the Wild”, Barry Friedman Gallery Ltd., New York, NY
“Here and There”, HOP Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia

“He + She”, Barry Friedman Ltd., New York, NY
“Firmly Standing”, Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design, Tallinn, Estonia

“Androgyny”, Solo Exhibition, Mesa Contemporary Arts Center, Mesa, AZ; Daum Museum of Art, Sedalia, MO

“Androgyny”, The Preview, Solo Exhibition: Sculpture, Painting, Drawing; Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA

“Sculpture, Painting, Drawing”, Ferrin Gallery, Lenox, and Pittsfield, MA

“Sculpture”, Ferrin Gallery, Lenox, MA

Solo Exhibition, Connell Gallery, Atlanta, GA
Solo Exhibition, Marta Hewett Gallery, Cincinatti, OH

Solo Exhibition, Mosabaka Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
Solo Exhibition, Vasa Gallery, Falun, Sweden




Project Sands X: Beyond the Blue – An Exhibition of Ceramic Extraordinaire”, ART MACAO: Macao International Art Biennale 2021


 “About  Face”, Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi, TX and Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA


“Cool Clay: Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Ceramics”, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA

“Composing Form”, Helen Day Art Center, Stowe, VT

 “About  Face”,  Montgomery  Museum  of  Fine  Arts,  Montgomery,  Alabama


April 28–July 22, 2018
Ferrin Contemporary
“Masters  in  Craft” , Strohl  Art  Center,  Chautauqua  Institute,  Chautauqua,  NY
“Animal Kingdom”, William Baczek Gallery, Northampton, MA
“Sabbath: The 2017 Dorothy Saxe Invitational”, Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA
“Alice in Wonderland,” Guldagergaard, Skælskør, Denmark
“Alice in Wonderland“, Officinesaffi, Milan, Italy
“EXPOSED: Heads, Busts, and Nudes”, Ferrin Contemporary, North Adams, MA
“Selected Work from Current Projects”, Ferrin Contemporary, North Adams, MA
NCECA pre-conference, exhibition & workshop, Lawrence Art Center, Lawrence, KS
“Recent American Ceramics from the Collection”, Daum Museum, Sedalia, MO
“GrowlerFest”, Lawrence Art Center, Lawrence, KS

“Selfies: 50 at 50”, Southwest School of Art, San Antonio, Texas
“Fashion in Art”, Abmeyer + Wood Fine Art, Seattle, WA
“Convergence and Transcendence”, Icheon Special Exhibition at “Color: Ceramic Spectrum”, Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale 2015, Republic of Korea
“Of Earth + Sea: Contemporary Artists Respond to the New Bedford Whaling Museum Collection”, New Bedford Whaling Museum, New Bedford, MA
“Family Affair: Sergei Isupov, Kadri Parnamets, Roosi Parnamets”, Independent Art Projects, North Adams, MA
“Revealing Identity”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA2015
“ErotiCLAY”, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia
“Selected Works from Current Projects”, Ferrin Contemporary at Independent Art Projects, North
Adams, MA
“Selected Works from Current Projects”, Ferrin Contemporary, New York Ceramics Fair & Glass
Fair, New York, NY
“Everything is All White”, Kasher | Potamkin, New York, NY
“Immersion: Becoming You,” Kate Shin Gallery, Waterfall Mansion, New York, NY
“InCiteful Clay,” touring exhibition, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, Topeka, KS, CSU
Dominguez Hills, Carson, CA

“Intangible Beauty: Beautiful Women and the Endless Void,” Kasher | Potamkin, New York, NY
“Craft Matters,” Schick Art Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY
“Promenade,” Perimeter Gallery, Chicago, IL
Collection Focus: Sergei Isupov, Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI
“InCiteful Clay,” touring exhibition, Foosaner Art Museum, Mebourne, FL, Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR, Woodbury Art Museum, Orem, UT
“Collaboration and Revelation,” Kohler Arts and Industry 40th Anniversary Exhibition, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI
“TEN-IN-ONE,” Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ
“Contemporary Figure,” Deedee Shattuck Gallery, Westport, MA
“Body Language,” Albany International Airport, Albany, NY
“The Bacchanalistas: Passions + Pleasure,” Bohemian Hall, New York, NY

“Animal Stories”, Gardiner Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

“Body and Soul”, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY
“Clay Bodies,” Barry Friedman Ltd., New York, NY
“Animal Stories”, Gardiner Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
SOFA: CHICAGO, presented by Barry Friedman, Chicago, IL

“Clay & Prints, 8 artists 2 medium,” Davidson Galleries, Seattle, WA
“Covet,” Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA
Heated Exchange, Alabama School of Fine Arts, Birmingham, AL

“Pursuit of Porcelain”, Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA
Art Miami, presented by Ferrin Gallery, Miami, FL
“Collective Minds: Selections from the Contemporary Ceramic Collection of Patrick Doust and
Richard North,” Springfield Museum of Art, Springfield, IL
“Claybodies: Reinterpreting the Figure,” Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton, NJ
“Luminous Impressions: Selections from Littleton Studios,” The Art Galleries, Florida Gulf Coast
University, Fort Myers, FL

“The Perfect Fit: Shoes Tell Stories,” Albany Institute, Albany, NY
“Nude in Chicago,” Perimeter Gallery, Chicago, IL
“Different Lines: Drawings by Craft Artists,” Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA
“Couples,” Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA
“The Hermaphrodites: Living In Two Worlds,” Wexler Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
“Transcending the Figure: Contemporary Ceramics,” The Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH
“Corporeal Manifestations,” Mutter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
“Illumination,” Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Great Barrington, MA

“Figuration to Fragmentation: The Human Form in Contemporary Ceramic Sculpture,” Morlan Gallery, Transylvania University, Lexington, KY
“The Perfect Fit: Shoes Tell Stories,” Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA
“Steeped in History: The Art of Tea,” Fowler Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

“Voices,” 2008 NCECA Invitational Exhibition, Pittsburgh, PA
“Permanently MAD: Revealing the Collection,” Museum of Arts + Design, New York, NY

“Shy Boy, She Devil, and Isis: The Art of Conceptual Craft,” Selections from the Wornick Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
The Diane and Sandy Besser Collection: A Gift to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

“Harvey K. Littleton and Friends: A Legacy of Transforming Object, Image and Idea,” Western Carolina University Museum of Fine Art, Dullowhee, NC
Resident and Invited International Artist Exhibition, Archie Bray Foundation: North Gallery, Helena, MT
“Surface Tension,” JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design, Adelaide, South Australia
“Life Insight: The Human Experience,” The Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft, Louisville, KY
“The Body Ceramic,” Morlan Gallery, Transylvania University, Lexington, KY
“The Edges of Grace: Provocative, Uncommon Craft,” Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA

“The Artful Teapot: 20th Century Expressions from the Kamm Collection,” Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA, Curator, Garth Clark
“A Tale to Tell,” John Michael Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, WI
Transformations: the Language of Craft,” National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia
“120 Definitions of Temptation,” Korea Cheongju International Craft Biennale 2005, International Invitational Exhibition, Cheongju Arts Center, Cheongju City, Republic of Korea
“30 Ceramic Sculptors,” John Natsoulas Gallery, Davis, CA
“Portraiture: Patron, Artist, Subject,” Ferrin Gallery, Lenox, MA
“House of Wonder: Surrealism + Still Life + Objects of Curiosity,” Ferrin Gallery, Lenox, MA
“Terra Sutra: Erotica II,” Montage Gallery, Baltimore, MD
“Excess: A Group Exhibition,” The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
“Faunatical: Ceramic Artists and the Forms of Nature,” 35th Annual Ceramics Exhibition, Crossman Gallery, Whitewater, WI
“Particles of Passion: The Art of Clay,” Academy of Art Museum, Easton, MD

“Standing Room Only,” Scripps 60th Ceramic Annual, Williamson Gallery, Scripps College, Claremont, CA
“A Family of Artists,” Ferrin Gallery, Lenox, MA
“New Prints 2004,″ International Print Center New York, NY

“Triennial 9 Form and Content: Corporal Identity,” Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY & Museum fur Angewandte, Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany
“Trans-Mission,” Museum of Arts & Sciences, Macon, GA
“Short Stories,” Ferrin Galley, Lenox, MA
“Subject-Me-Object,” Ferrin Gallery, Lenox, MA
“Vivat! Chamotte,” Baltimore Clayworks, Baltimore, MD
“Clay Works: American Ceramics from the Everson Museum of Art,” USB Paine Webber Art Gallery, New York, NY
“Being Human: The Figure Expressed,” Signature Gallery, Atlanta, GA
“Erotic Life of Clay – Sex Pots,” San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA

“Tastefully Tawdry,” Wexler Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
“Major Figures: Group Show of Figural Ceramics,” Ferrin Gallery, Lenox, MA
“The Figure in Ceramic,” Lewis & Clark College; Portland, OR; Catalogue
“Figural Ceramics,” Gallery Camino Real, Boca Raton, FL
“Big Head: Ceramic Sculpture on a Heroic Scale,” Southwest School of Art & Craft, San Antonio, TX
“Biological Mutiny,” Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA
“Terra Sutra: 21st Century Erotic Ceramics,” Incubator Gallery, Kansas City, MO
“Being Human: The Figure Expressed,” Signature Gallery, Atlanta, GA
“Modern Bestiary: Artists View the Animal Kingdom,” Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, Racine, WI

“American Ceramic Art at the New Millenium,” World Ceramics Exposition, Seoul, Korea; Catalogue
“Clay 2001,” Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte, NC
National Clay Invitational, Blue Spiral 1, Asheville, NC
“Erotica in Ceramic Art II,” Gallery Camino Real; Boca Raton, FL
31st Annual Ceramics Exhibit, Crossman Gallery, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, WI
“Expressing the Human Form,” Baltimore Clayworks, Baltimore, MD
“Allan Chasanoff Ceramic Collection,” Mint Museum of Craft + Design; Charlotte, NC

Everson Ceramic National, The 30th Ceramic National Exhibition, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY; Catalogue
“Color and Fire: Defining Moments in Studio Ceramics, 1950 – 2000,” Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Catalogue
“Masterworks from the Collection, Mint Museum of Craft & Design,” Charlotte, NC; Catalogue
“Confrontational Clay: The Artist as Social Critic,” A Touring Exhibit with Exhibits USA curated by Judith Schwartz; University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, January 2000 – October 2001; Catalogue
“Bridge VI,” Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA
“New Sculpture,” Dorothy Weiss Gallery, San Francisco, CA

“Body Parts,” Group Show, Pewabic Pottery, Detroit, MI
“The Nude in Clay II,” Perimeter Gallery, Chicago, IL, Wustum Museum of Fine Art,
Racine WI, curator Karen Johnson Boyd

“Self Portraiture in Contemporary Art,” Group Show, J.B. Speed Museum, Louisville, KY
“5th Scripps Ceramic Annual,” Scripps College, Claremont, CA, curator Cindy Kolodziejski
“Fletcher Challenge Ceramics Award,” Auckland Museum, Auckland, New Zealand, Juror Torbjorn Kvasbo
“To Have and To Hold,” Spruill Center Gallery, Atlanta, GA
“Dress Up,” Wustum Museum of Fine Art, Racine, WI

“New Clay,” Two Person Show, Dorothy Weiss Gallery, San Francisco, CA
“All Figural: Many Media,” Contemporary Art from the Kamm Collection, California State University, Northridge, CA
“Go Figure: A National Ceramic Invitational,” Montgomery College, curator Kevin Hluch, Rockville, MD

“Altered States: Contemporary American Ceramics,” Denver Center for the Visual Arts, Denver, CO
“Bags and Baggage: New Form/New Function,” Arrowmont School for the Arts, Juror, Ruth Cloudman, Gatlinburg, TN

International Art Expo, Exhibition Center, Seoul, Korea
International Symposium, St. Petersburg, Russia
International Symposium, Kecskemet, Hungary
“From Dreams to Reality,” Northern European Art, traveling the Baltic’s, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark

“Eastern European Ceramics,” The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA, Traveling USA

“New Soviet Art,” Fourth Dimension Gallery, San Francisco, CA
“USSR Ceramists,” Charity Exposition, Hammer Center, Moscow
Oslo International Ceramics Symposium, Norway

2013 Ceramics: Art and Perception  – “Breaking Through Illusions”
Artist Profile By David Jones

2012 Ceramics: Art and Perception – “The Pursuit of Porcelain”
Group Show Review By Colette Copeland

2010 Ceramics: Art and Perception – “Transplanted and Transformed”
Artist Profile (with Akio Takamori)By Judith Schwartz

December 15, 2010 “He + She” The Ceramics of Sergei Isupov
Artist Profile By Bobbie Leigh

August 7, 2010 Sergei Isupov: Estonia’s Daily News
Artist Profile By Tanel Veenre

July 25, 2009 Financial Times – “Nature is Right Outside My Door”
Artist Profile By Sonya Bekkerman

November 5, 2006 Chicago Tribune – “Art Show a Study in Body Language”
SOFA Chicago 2006 Review By Mary Daniels

2001 Sergei Isupov, Essay By Susan Barry

1999 Erotica in Ceramic Art: Sexual, Sensual & Suggestive, Exhibition Article By Leon Nigrosh

Whirlwind Unguarded Love Teapot, Essay By Timothy Anglin Burgard

Figure – Ground: Illustrated Sculpture Workshop with Sergei Isupov, Project Art, Cummington, MA
Figure – Ground: Illustrated Sculpture Workshop with Sergei Isupov, Project Art, Tallinn, Estonia
Figure – Ground: Illustrated Sculpture Workshop with Sergei Isupov, Project Art, Cummington, MA
Master Potter Series: Sergei Isupov “Layered in Surreality,” Workshop, Walnut Creek Center for Community Arts, Walnut Creek, CA
Lecture, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
Lecture, Sierra Nevada College, Holman Arts and Media Center, Incline Village, NV

NCECA Pre-conference Workshop, Providence, RI
Visiting Artist Workshop, Community Clay Association at the College of Lake County, Grayslake, IL

Artist-in-Residence and workshop presenter, Blue Line Arts, Roseville, CA

Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA, Lecture and Juror of annual exhibition

Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center, Skælskø, Denmark

February 16 – 19, Alabama Clay Conference, Birmingham, AL
March 16 – 18, Travel Arte, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
April 21, Greenwich House Pottery, New York, NY

Mesa Contemporary Arts Center, Mesa, AZ
Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedalia, MO

James Renwick Alliance Distinguished Workshop: Corcoran College of Art + Design, Washington, DC
Metropolitan State College of Denver, CO
James Renwick Alliance Distinguished Lecture, Renwick Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

International Ceramics Studio, Artist Residency, Kecskemet, Hungary
Estonia, University of Tallinn, Artist in Residence

Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia, Artist Talk
JamFactory, Adelaide, South Australia, Artist in Residence
Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT, Artist in Residence, International Symposium
Penland School of Craft, Penland, NC, Figurative Sculpture in Porcelain, three-week session

New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Art
Yixing Conference, Yixing, China, Guest Artist

Hawaii Craftsmen Society, Honolulu, HI
Kawai Crafts Guild, Kawai, HI

John Michael Kohler Arts Center Arts/Industry Program at Kohler Company, Kohler, WI
Artist in Residence, Littleton Studios, Spruce Pine, NC
Clay Art Center, Port Chester, NY, Workshop Presentation
Santa Fe Clay; Santa Fe, NM; Visiting Artist
American Craft Council Southeast Regional Conference, Longwood College, Farmville, VA, Workshop Presentation

NCECA, Charlotte, NC, demonstrating artist
State University of New York, New Paltz, NY

Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, Workshop Presentation
Figurative Sculpture in Porcelain, Penland School of Craft, Penland, NC, Two-week session
Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY, Ceramic National Panel
Lill Street Art Center, Chicago, IL, Lecture and Demonstration
Carnegie Museum of Art and Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA, Lecture
Littleton Studios, Spruce Pine, NC

workshop presentation, SOFA New York, NYC, Interview with Judith Schwartz University of Akron, Myers School of Art, Akron, OH,
Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL

Spruill Center for the Arts, Atlanta, GA
Greenwich House Pottery, New York, NY
New York University, New York, NY
Scripps College, Los Angeles, CA

Renwick Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, Workshop Presentation, Washington DC
SOFA Miami 1997, Miami, FL, Slide Presentation

Indiana State University Southeast, New Albany, IN



Sergei Isupov is represented by Ferrin Contemporary.

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