Roman Sustov

Roman Sustov works in print graphics and book illustrations. He has more than twenty published books with his illustrations. Lives and works in Minsk. Member of the Union of Artists of the Republic of Belarus since 2005.
Works
Biography
Exhibitions
Critic's Review
Roman Sustov is a modern Belarusian artist, master of graphics. He works a lot and fruitfully in the technique of etching, creating ex-libris that enjoy great attention from collectors and lovers of this type of creativity. Combines different techniques: lithography, etched stroke, aquatint, dry needle and mezzo-tinto.

For a number of years, the artist does not part with pictorial compositions on given historical and mythological subjects, which are gradually collected in a thin, classically verified series. The high professionalism of Roman Sustov even allows us to analyze in detail the technical advantages of his works and the culture of working with the material, this is a matter of course, this is a kind of "peculiar world of the artist", where his ability to endless self-improvement is revealed. A keen sense of line and rhythm is clearly visible in his sheets.

He became the winner in the last two Biennales of Painting, Graphics and Sculpture in the category "Graphics" (Belarus) In 2019, Roman Sustov represented the Republic of Belarus at the 7th International Print Graphics Biennale in Guanglan (China). In the Republic of Belarus, it is represented exclusively by the ArtPort Gallery of Contemporary Art.

Born in 1977 in Minsk.
1989…1993 — children’s art school No. 1.
1992 … 1995 — Belarusian Art College No. 26.
1995…2001 — Belarusian Theater and Art Academy. Department of Graphics.
2001 … 2005 — Art workshops under the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus.
since 2005, a member of the Union of Artists of the Republic of Belarus (Graphics Section).
since 2013, he has been a teacher at the Belarusian State Academy of Arts

"Extinct" series, 2021

Large formats

Collection of lithographs "Arrival"

The collection is based on a reinterpretation of the literary heritage of the Strugatsky brothers. The series is based on a philosophical understanding of the place of human consciousness in the universe and its relationship to space and time. The search for unearthly civilizations, an attempt to push the boundaries of understanding, raises a big question about the loneliness of man in the vast expanses of fantastic cold space.
"Wanderer" series, 2015 — 2016
The wanderer, as an image of the human consciousness wandering in the boundless expanses of space. The eternal question that torments our civilization: are we alone in this universe? The series is based on the idea of Strugatsky about the vertical evolution of humanity and the incredible possibilities of our mind to comprehend the mysterious and abstract.
"Time" series, 2015 — 2016
"Music" series, 2013 — 2014
The series is based on the idea that music is the most abstract art form invented by man. The effect of air vibrations, in different amplitudes and frequencies, on the consciousness and mood of a person is a fantastic feature of the mind, which is able to translate abstract information into emotions.
"Stalker" series, 2013 — 2014
"Middleage steampunk" series, 2012 — 2013
The series is based on the idea of transferring objects of biblical and ancient Greek mythology to the realities of the fantastic Middle Ages. The lithographs are made in the style of medieval drawings and geographical maps. The image of the ancient ark, which gathers people and various animals on its board, is complemented by elements of cult architecture, which creates a completely new reading of this theme. Religion, as a separate island, protected from the outside rapidly changing world. The Trojan Horse is also executed with elements of iconic Gothic architecture. Colossal mobile temple, has a double reading in its image…
"Soulsaver vehicle" series, 2014 — 2015
The series is based on humanity’s ancient fear of the finiteness of the world. Models of fictional, unreal temples are divided into three elements: air, earth and water. The combination of Gothic cult architecture with all sorts of steam mechanisms creates a fantastic image of soul-saving equipment. The lithographs are made in the style of Leonardo’s drawings. I wanted to create an image of accidentally found ancient manuscripts with drawings of a mysterious purpose.

Linocut

Small formats

"Prestine light" series
"Old toys" series

Eklibrises

2022
"The world of mezzo-tinto". National Center for Contemporary Arts, Minsk, Belarus.


2021
International Triennial of Small-format Exlibris and Printed Graphics "Monuments of the Culture of the World", Yekaterinburg, Russia.

"Art Minsk 2021", Palace of Art, Minsk, Belarus.

International project "Zodiac signs", Guanlan Museum of Printed Graphics


2020
International Print Festival LIFE N STYLE, Tbilisi, Georgia.

Exhibition "Graphics of young artists of Belarus", Tallinn, Estonia.

International project "Zodiac signs" two exhibitions Taiwan Contemporary Art Center and Macau private gallery.


2019
Exhibition "Hoffmann's Mystical Reality", St. Petersburg, Russia.

International Exhibition of Printed Graphics Ural Print Triennial 2019, Ufa, Russia.

"Arrival" personal exhibition of graphics, Tianjin, China.

"7th International Print Graphics Biennale", Guanlan, China.


2018
"Art Minsk 2018". Palace of Arts, Minsk, Belarus.

Exhibition of printed graphics "Mini-Midi print 2018". Palace of Arts, Minsk, Belarus.

"Silk road" International exhibition of Printed graphics, Dunhuang, China.

"Win-Win cooperation" international exhibition of printed graphics, Tianjin, China.

"ARKA" group exhibition of Belarusian printed graphics, Irealand, Cork, curator.

"Autumn Salon 2018". Palace of Arts, Minsk, Belarus.

"VI Biennale of Painting, Graphics and Sculpture". Palace of Arts, Minsk, Belarus. 1st place in the category "Graphics".


2017
Group exhibition "Dreams". Palace of Art, Vitebsk, Belarus.

Personal exhibition "Arrival". National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus, Minsk.

International exhibition of ex-libris "DEG 2017", Paderborn, Germany.

Group exhibition of printed graphics " Modernity and traditions "gallery " Clementinum", Prague, Czech Republic.

International Exhibition of Printed Graphics "YAC printing residency", Tianjin, China.

International Exhibition of Printed Graphics "Shenzhen printing museum", Shenzhen, China.

Group exhibition "Graphics 2017". Palace of Arts, Minsk, Belarus.


2016
Group exhibition of printed graphics "12 masters", Tianjin, China.

International Exhibition of ex-libris "FISAE 2016", Vologda, Russia.

"Autumn Salon 2016". Palace of Arts, Minsk, Belarus.

Group exhibition "Three persons", Ufa, Russia.

"V Biennale of Painting, Graphics and Sculpture". Palace of Arts, Minsk, Belarus. 1st place in the category "Graphics".

International group exhibition of Printed Graphics. Xu Liaoyuan Modern Design Art Museum, Chengdu, China.


2015
"Message" group exhibition. Titanic Gallery, Vilnius, Lithuania.

25th International Biennial Exhibition of modern exlibris, Malbork, Poland.

Tokyo international mini-print triennial-international exhibition of small printing forms, Tokyo, Japan.

Personal exhibition gallery "Prosveta 1927", Varna, Bulgaria.

"Autumn Salon 2015". Palace of Arts, Minsk, Belarus.

Personal exhibition "Domek Miedziorytnika", Wroclaw, Poland.

Group exhibition "Tour de Belarus 2". Palace of Arts, Minsk, Belarus.

The second international engraving competition "In search of Paradise lost", Spain, Granada.


2014
3rd Biennale of Belarusian Art "Formazmest". Palace of Arts, Minsk, Belarus.

2nd Biennale of contemporary Belarusian Art "From square to Object".

International exlibris competition Island of Velikopolsky, Poland.

Solo exhibition "Shuohai art gallery", Tianjin, China.

Solo exhibition "Warnock fine art gallery", Palmsprings, USA.


2013
24th International Biennial Exhibition of modern exlibris, Malbork, Poland.

The first international engraving competition "In search of Paradise lost", Spain, Granada.
The works of the Belarusian artist Roman Sustov are always sharp and unexpected. For over ten years they have been enjoying attention and admiration of graphic art connoisseurs and amateurs. Roman Sustov entered the circles of actively working artists unexpectedly, his genius powerfully stirring the minds of public at large.

Roman Sustov was born in 1977 in Minsk to a family of artists. The foundation of his education was laid in art college. The follow-up study at Belarusian Academy of Arts (graduated in 2001) shaped the unique style to which Roman Sustov remains faithful now, after he created many works of art, received numerous awards and diplomas from prestigious exhibitions and contests. Having tried many graphic techniques — etching, lithography, linocut — in the early years of his work Roman Sustov created a series of expertly done linocuts after E.Th.A. Hoffmann’s fairytales. One of the linocuts — ‘Salamandr' gave general recognition and fame to the artist.

Using etching techniques, Roman Sustov creates ex libris which are hugely popular among collectors and amateurs of this type of art. The artist often blends different techniques: etched stroke, aquatint, dry point and mezzotint. All these combined lend the bookplates the richness of coloring and tone. Roman Sustov entered the world of ex libris after the bookplates lost their inventory and utilitarian character of bearing the book owner’s name and turned into a separate tenor of mini print collecting.

For several years the artist has been faithful to historic and mythological art compositions which gradually build into an exquisite and classically verified series. Roman Sustov’s high professionalism allows us not to scrutinize and dwell in detail about the technical virtues of his works and his unique art of material manipulation — these go without saying and form the artist’s universe which reflects his ability to self- perfection and sustainable development. He works confidently, easily arranging the space of the plate. His sharp feeling of rhythm and line manifests itself vividly in his creations. Roman Sustov never aims at striking his audience by resorting to novel plate forms, plate toning and other tricks; he simply features the world of his bright and vivid ideas as he feels. Figures and shapes in his works follow a slow rhythm, forming sculpture groups which vividly stand out against simple and laconic background. They either freeze in close order or slowly and gracefully move.

In the fascinating ex libris ‘Garden' for Joop Sliep the vague and dissipating image of an enchanting lady shows through the rich palette of composite handmade textures. The image has something hidden and untold and thus mysterious in the seemingly accidental though skillfully planned incompleteness of the drawing; non finita as the aesthetes would put it. The artist always gives much freedom for the imagination of his audience, as if luring the audience into his world of ideas, images and illusions. This ex libris with its thoroughly elaborated details has a charm of its own and a certain air of romanticism.

In some works, like for example ‘Pristine Awe' (op.1.№ 38), ‘Invincible' (op.1.№ 30) and ‘Above&beyond' (op.1.№ 51), the artist uses color as a composition element highlighting major sense tones and dominant details. It undoubtedly complements his somewhat ascetic approach to print color palette which resembles the one used in the Renaissance classical engraving works performed exclusively in black clear-cut strokes on white paper. This tendency was transferred to Sustov’s etching works from his huge expertise of linocut which employs exclusively black and white strokes and the skillful handling of chisel. While creating images, the artist sets a huge challenge by limiting his tools to etched strokes alone and even this way he produces an endless diversity of engraving types. I personally take it as a way of conservation and expansion of classical engraving expertise.

In the ex libris concerning ‘netsuke' made for S. Brodovych (op.1.№ 30) the figure of a deeply concentrated samurai defeating the dragon (the symbol of evil and vanity) by force of his inner energy immensely impresses the audience. The symbol of tranquility and pacification is frozen over its own reflection in the eternity. It’s a unique image which you never stop reading and learning.

As an experiment Roman Sustov created a set of six ex libris in linocut technique. These bookplates give a clear understanding of the diversity and finesse of multi-color lithography. This way the artist expresses his endless potential in the masterful use of different techniques; he is akin to a skilful musician who can play different instruments equally at ease. He sets no limits in the process of creating an image — he communicates with it directly.

Always unexpectedly and amazingly architectural elements appear in Roman Sustov’s works. They range from the façade a fantastic cathedral in the ex libris for Wouter van Gyzel (op.1.№ 3), the panoramic frieze of a Medieval town in the bookplates for G.P. (op.1.№ 19) and O.S. (op.1.№ 35) to the complex configuration of arches, aqueducts and rotundas forming a labyrinth in the work for Tjalling Vogelvanger (op.1.№ 10). These works convey the music of fantastic ancient towns and voices of strange inhabitants of the striking unreal world of the artist’s imagination.
All in all Roman Sustov has created about 60 bookplates, but his artistic interests go beyond mini print. He fruitfully works in the spheres of big print, book illustrations, painting, post stamps design and he is also known as a puppet theater decorator.

I hope that the unique extraordinary talent of young graphic artist Roman Sustov will develop and strengthen and we’ll never stop marveling at his new works.

Roman Sustov is a fantastic blend of classical technique and vast world of fantasies and images.
Oleg Sudlenkov
Роман Сустов
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