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Stavropole, Ukraine born 1963

  • to United States of America 1992

To be object of attentions 2004 Place made: Massachusetts, United States of America
Materials & Technique: ceramics, porcelain with underglaze painting

Dimensions: 54.0 h x 42.0 w x 40.5 d cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2005
Accession No: NGA 2005.1189
Image rights: Photographer Katherine Wetzel

Sergei Isupov’s painted figural works alarm us at first glance, as we realise that they are revealing only one of several contradictory faces to us. Heads sprout secondary figures, horns and hybrid animal limbs, while faces and bodies become screens for a flotilla of painted figures that seem to have escaped from the world of Hieronymous Bosch. Isupov’s heads exude calm repose and his figures languidly disport themselves as if stretching after exercise, making the theatre of anguished humanity painted on them even more poignant. Russian born and trained in classical painting and ceramics, and a resident of the United States since 1993, Isupov has personal experience of two very different cultures. His graphic visualisation of that duality is encapsulated in To be object of attentions, with its two faces looking in opposite directions, apparently unaware of each other but linked by figures that seem to have materialised from a shared imagination.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra