Alexander Shappo

Alexander Shappo is a professional sculptor. Works in wood, stone and bronze. He is engaged in drawing and graphics. Lives and works in Minsk. Member of the public association "Belarusian Union of Artists
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Biography
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Alexander Shappo — a professional sculptor and graphic artist. Member of the public association "Belarusian Union of Artists".

Prize-winner of national and international competitions of graphic arts and sculpture.

In 2008 became the winner of the 7th Kochi International Triennial of Printmaking (Japan).

In 2019 represented Belarus at the Beijing International Art Biennale BIAB 2019 (Beijing, China).

1971 — born in Vitebsk, Belarus

1986 — finished Children’s Art School

1989 — graduated from the National Art College named after I. Akhremchik, Minsk

1999 — graduated from the Belarusian State Academy of Arts, Minsk

2013−2018 — served as the chairman of the sculpture section of the Belarusian Union of Artists

Works from the collection of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus

Lithography, master of printing — Dmitry Vasilyevich Molotkov

Works in the collections of museums of the Republic of Belarus

2022
"SculptFest", sculpture festival, Minsk, Belarus.

2021
“Concept”, Mikhail Savitsky Art Gallery, Minsk, Belarus.

The International Festival of Contemporary Art “Art-Minsk 2021”, the Palace of Arts, Minsk, Belarus.


2020
The International Festival of Contemporary Art “Art-Minsk 2020”, the Palace of Arts, Minsk, Belarus.

The exhibition “Salvador Dali. Cryptography”, Mikhail Savitsky Art Gallery, Minsk, Belarus.

The Kochi International Triennial Exhibition of Prints, Japan;

The 2nd International Biennial of Lithography, Belgrade, Serbia;

Exhibition “The portrait of a hero”, the Memorial Museum and Studio of Z. I. Azgur, Minsk;


2019
Beijing International Art Biennale BIAB 2019, Beijing;

The International Russian Antique & Art Fair, Manezh Central Exhibition Hall, Moscow;


2018
Exhibition “Strusto, Dauble, Richi, Savanar”, Mikhail Savitsky Art Gallery, Minsk;


2016
Exhibition “Suite No. 45”, the National Art Museum of the Republic Belarus, Minsk;

XIX Moscow International Art Salon “Central House of Artists – 2016. The Image of Time”, Moscow;


2015
II International Exhibition of Printmaking “In Search of the Lost Paradise”, the Cultural Centre “Nuevo Inicio”, Granada, Spain;


2014
Exhibition “Shappo Cocktail”, the K35 Art Gallery, Moscow;


2013
New York City Affordable Art Fair, New York, the USA;


2011
"Tales of Breukelen". BWAC. Red Hook New York. New York, the USA;


2010
Art & Antiques Fair. Brabanthallen. Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands;

Russian, Eastern & Oriental Fine Art Fair. Park Lane Hotel. London, the United Kingdom;

Art Nocturne. 35 International Kunst - en Antiekbeurs. CC Scharpoord. Knokke, Belgium;

The Affordable Art Fair Amsterdam. Westergasfabriek. Amsterdam, the Netherlands.



SOLO EXHIBITIONS (2013 -2022)

2022
"Young Gods", National Polotsk Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve, Polotsk, Belarus.


2021
"Between Us", Palace of Art, Minsk.

"Eros, era, ego", Palace of Art, Minsk.


2020
“Portrait of a Hero”, Memorial Museum-Workshop of Z.I. Azgura, Minsk;


2019
"A-AIRPLAN No. 69", Memorial Museum-Workshop of Z. I. Azgur, Minsk.


2018
"Colonel", Memorial Museum-Workshop of Z. I. Azgur, Minsk.

“Strusto, Dauble, Richie, Savanar”, Mikhail Savitsky Art Gallery, Minsk.


2016
"23 short stories with prologue and epilogue", "Gallery DK", Minsk.

"Suite No. 45", National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus, Minsk.


2015
"Beginning", Art Museum, Vitebsk.


2014
"Cocktail Shappo", art gallery "K35", Moscow.
Alexander: I am fond of the perception of a historical link of times. I know my family tree very well; I know where my great-great-grandfather lived and what he did to say nothing of great-grandfather. Therefore, when I am sitting under a century-old oak and acorns are falling on my knees, I suddenly have a feeling, that one hundred years ago they fell in the same way on the knees of my great-great-grandfather, and the sky was exactly the same. It is very exciting. In general, I think that my power lies in my roots, in my family, which is a spring of creative energy for me. We are all artists — my father, my brothers, my wife and our sister — she is a poet and a translator. This is our clan, which only becomes more powerful with the passing of time.

Kseniya: I immediately felt this life power and creative energy, when I entered the family. It is great and it is real happiness to have such sincere spiritual unity. We are allies in our life, in our work. I always feel support not only of my husband, but also of the whole "clan".

In spite of unity of interests, mutual understanding in life and art, Alexander and Kseniya are not similar in creative work. Tasks, which they set for themselves, are different. Reserved and self-absorbed Kseniya in her sculptural compositions is aimed at interpreting themes, which are traditional for art, — harmony and beauty of life, person, human feelings and emotions. She is fond of images-symbols, purified from everyday life. Her chamber sculptures ("Fertility", 2012; "Venice", 2014; "St George", 2015) are characterized by metaphorical nature of figurative language, expressiveness of plastic volumes and their interrelations, grace of silhouettes. Of all sculptural materials she prefers bronze, which lets her achieve the necessary detailed elaboration and light and shadow modelling of forms. Kseniya’s sculptural compositions are always dynamic. Even complete rest in her works is perceived as an internal movement, as a state extended in time rather than in space.

Alexander’s sculptures are closely connected with the facts of life surrounding the artist, are based on bright impressions and feelings born in the process of interaction with the world. "I don’t invent, don’t make up anything — I take everything from life, — says the artist; - but it’s not only my life, going on right here, right now. It’s also the life of my close and distant ancestors". Nevertheless, Alexander is neither a portrayer of ordinary life nor a historian, though elements of lyrical narration and deep interest in the past are characteristic of his art. He has a sharp eye, noticing everything; he looks at his heroes with a sense of humour. People, — men and women, dogs, cats, all other living creatures and even everyday objects, coming in his sight, assume special plastic distinctness and almost ironical expressiveness, their postures convey the moment of movement, dynamics of its development. The artist wants to reveal a universal existential meaning in certain everyday events or plots; he also knows how to show a generalized character or type in each particular human image.

Alexander’s art develops in the space of the Modernist tradition. For him the heritage of Wilhelm Lehmbruck and Egon Schiele (it's also appropriate to mention the art of Alberto Giacometti) is not forgotten pages of the art history. The artist has learnt skilfully and emotionally the up-to-date lessons of the great masters. Alexander likes to work with bronze, allowing him to achieve a free almost impressionist modelling of forms. Vibrant, expressive plastic art, play of light and shadow on the surface of bronze add internal dynamics and life energy to the artist’s works. A deliberate distortion of a plastic form, an expressive almost grotesque sharpness of silhouettes are distinctive features of his individual style. ("Casanova", 2011; "Angel", 2012; "Pan", 2012).м; 2012

Wooden works are performed in a different plastic manner. The form becomes more generalized, assumes monumental nature and fluency of line. These works demonstrate the artist’s interest in the theme of infinite being, composed of separate human lives — small parts of the bottomless universe, disappearing and reappearing in its space. The artist appeals to the "non-finito" concept — the idea of incompleteness of a plastic form. These so to say "found" artefacts of the former times activate the viewer’s fantasy, invite to discover a secret of a human face, figure, life ("Veins. Hands", 2002; "Golgotha", 2005).

Graphic art occupies a special place in Alexander’s creative work. The artist says that graphic art allows him to express emotions, to use literary plots better than sculpture. He prefers coloured lithography, a different creative space with its specific features as compared to sculpture. It is illusive and conditional, providing the artist with additional possibilities in work with a line on the surface, in the use of subtle light and shadow and colour nuances, in expressive decorative nature of figurative language. Alexander’s graphic works are mainly concentrated on the themes of love, life and death, passion. His female images are explicitly erotic and provocative or expressive, or melancholic. Sensuality and sexuality as the embodiment of life and death are certainly a tribute to the memory of Egon Schiele, a classic of the Modernist epoch. Though unlike the neurotic curvedness of lines and all-consuming despair of Schiele, the dramatic images and suffering expression of Alexander Shappo are balanced by the stoic wise perception of life tragedy and inexhaustible love to the woman ("A brotherhood kiss", "Joan of Arc", "Venus", "Tender is the night").
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