Kuper, Yuri

Born in Moscow in 1940, Yuri Kuper is a contemporary painter originally from Russia and now a naturalized British citizen. A member of the Mémoires group, his work is a reflection on time and everyday objects, using a variety of techniques. Read the biography

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Born in Moscow in 1940, Yuri Kuper studied art at the Moscow Academy of Art before becoming a member of the Union of Artists in the USSR in 1967. He began exhibiting at the Moscow Graphic Salon in 1970. He emigrated to Israel in 1972, and published a novel entitled Holy fools in Moscow in 1973, moved to Paris in 1975 and finally became a British citizen in 1983. He has exhibited all over the world (Paris, Berlin, New York, Tokyo...) and several major museums have devoted solo exhibitions to his work, including MoMA and the Pushkin Museum in 1990. His work is diversified: equally interested in writing, painting and engraving, he also creates costumes and opera sets, notably those for Boris Godunov in 2007, a piece that marked the reopening of the Bolshoi Opera House. A member of the Mémoires group, a group of artists formed in the late 90s, his work focuses on everyday objects, which he depicts in a cold manner, lending a strange distance to these nonetheless banal objects. In 2010, he produced a series of shovels on which he painted everyday artifacts such as salt and matchboxes. In 2013, he produced a series of cups that he subjected to multiple firings and alterations (modeling, sanding and scraping) to give them a weathered appearance, like vestiges of an ancient civilization; he calls this series "Pompeii". Today, Yuri Kuper continues his artistic explorations and regularly exhibits in various galleries.