Turin – Italy

The Paintings of Vladimir Isupov 


Vladimir Isupov was born in 1939 in Gorgia and graduated at the Odessa Fine Art School in 1961 and at the Fine Arts Institute of Kiev in 1969.

 The first contacts with the paintings of Vladimir Isupov I had at an Art Galery of Kiev. I was impressed of the unusal expression of his work. Nor Russian style during the old regime when only melancholic or sad landscapes or men or woman with heavy and muscular bodies at work in agriculture were seen, nor modern occidental style painting. With a few well placed pen lines and a few tonalities of water colours, varying only the intensity, he sends his message to the spectator. At the first moment the spectator has no doubt of interpretation of the, in many occasions, sarcastic message. The subjects of his paintings are very various: from erotic positions and desires to religion, to social conflicts and dreams. Many of his paintings emit a great sensuality mainly expressed with the hands and their position. 

A preference of Vladimir Isupov is the mirrored painting of an object (person)in vertical or horizontal. The origin of this preference seems to be a person standing into the water with the mirrored reflection of the person on the water. Some of his paintings show exatly this situation. 

Back in the Hotelroom,I loocked the paintings I bought in the Art Gallery and decided to go back the next day to buy otherones, hoping to meet the artist. I was lucky, I met the wife, Nelli Isupov, also an artist working in ceramics, who brought in a folder new paintings from Isupov to sell which I bought all including the folder. I asked her if I could meet the artist; she phoned at home and got a positive answer. The home was not far from the gallery in center of Kiev. Vladimir Isupov is a tall, silent and very kind man. Communication was very difficult because I do not speak russian and he no occidental language. Looking around in the living and eating room I saw a big library plenty of occidental boocks of modern Art, no occidental painter was missing. Having so many occidental books he must have been also during the old regime a very sponsored artist (sponsored by the government). This became clear when we set on the table where there were two piles, one of fotos and the otherone much higher of paintings. First he showed me some fotos. Now the puzzle of the big library got an answer. During the old regime he sculptered big (up to 6 meter high) wall decorations for government buildings. A foto of part of such a sculpture is shown below together with a portrait foto of Vladimir Isupov. 

The pile of paintings all of about the same size, up to 25 x 40 cm and all painted with water coulors and some together with pen lines as shown hereafter. To my surprise I saw no oil paintings except those by his sons Sergei and Ilya for which the father had a big admiration.