(Sergueï Aramissovitch Yessayan)
(1939 – 2007)
« In my opinion, Serge Essaian was the most European of all those who emigrated from the USSR to settle in the West. He spent most of his creative life in France. As a recognised expert in scenography, he collaborated with most of the major theatres in Europe. But the most important aspect of his work lies somewhere else. Essaian’s work is firmly rooted to European tradition, from Magnasco and Daumier to the classical modernism of Bacon, Moore, Marini, and Giacometti. Even though he was an expert in Russian culture (as a professional, he was the editor of a magazine dedicated to Russian art and craftsmanship, and he was a recognised expert in the West), Essaian, as an artist, has always been fond of American art and has always felt he belonged to the European tradition, contrary to his peers. (…). »
Head of the Department of Contemporary Art at the Russian Museum, in Saint-Petersburg.
- 1939 Born in Moscow
- 1956-1960 Studies painting and scenography at the Fine Arts Institute, the Polytechnic Art Institute in Moscow, and the National Institute of Performing Arts. These were the years of his passionate infatuation with the avant-garde (poetry, music, theatre)
- 1959 Graduated in scenography from the Academy of Arts in Moscow, under the tuition of Victor Chestakov
- 1960 Graduated in painting from the Academy of Arts, Moscow
- 1961-1971 Painting and drawing professor
- 1965 Exhibition at the Institute for Physical Problems, Moscow
- 1968-1975 Editor of the “Decorative Arts of the USSR” magazine.
- 1973 Solo exhibition at the Art Salon, Moscow
- 1977 Venice Biennale Institute of Contemporary Art, London
- 1961-1979 Works with many directors in Moscow and other cities.
- 1979 Emigrates from the USSR. Settles in Vienna, Austria.
City Gallery, Vienna.
- 1980 Settles definitely in Paris, his aim when he left the USSR.
Exhibition of the series “Paysages” and “Repas”, Galerie Art et Décoration, Paris
Awarded with the Gold Medal at the 1st Biennale Internationale d’arts graphiques du Touquet Lecturer at the International Theater Festival, Stockholm./li>
- 1981 Group exhibition with Beuys, Kuper, Tapiès, Twombly and Vélickovic. Galerie d’art moderne Le Point, Monte-Carlo.
“Sergeï Essaïan, un peintre de Moscou” Galerie d’Art A.C.A.P., Le Touquet
“russischer Gegenwartskunst” Künstlerhaus, Palais Thurn & Taxis, Bregenz, Austria
Galerie Nikolenko, Paris
Scenography, decors and costumes of “Doktor Dappertutto”, a play based on the life of Meyerhold, directed by W. Carlsson, for the Schahrazad Teater, Stockholm.
Organisation of an international seminar on Meyerhold and the role of Constructivism in that play Theatrical performances of “Doktor Dappertutto” at Théâtre du Rond Point, Paris.
- 1982 Travelling exhibition in the USA
Directed a scenography seminar on “Master and Margarita”, Bologna.
- 1983 Scenography, costumes and masks of “The Robinson Syndrome”, directed by W. Carlsson for the Teater Sherhazade, Stockholm
- 1984 Lecturer at the Scenography seminar, Yale University, USA
Lecturer at the International seminar on pedagogy in theatre, Stockholm
Solo exhibition “Theater Perspektiven”, Gasteig, Munich.
- 1985 Solo exhibition, Royal Opera, Stockholm.
- 1986 Exposition personnelle, Opéra Royal de Stockholm
Scenography of “Victoire sur le Soleil”, directed by Armand Gatti in Toulouse
Scenography, costumes and masks of “Balagantjik”, Opera-ballet by Jan Walgren at the Royal Opera, Stockholm.
- 1987 Galerie Era, Karlstad, Sweden
Scenography and costumes of “Den Engelska Katten”, opera by Hans Werner Heinze at the Karlstad Theatre, Sweden.
Participated to the “Gontcharova and the Russian Ballets” symposium at the Museum of Art, San Antonio, USA
- 1988 Conception of the architectural and urban development exhibition in Thiers.
Release of “En attendant Charlotte Corday”, 12 versions of “Marat assassiné” by David
- 1989 ““L’enlèvement d’Europe”, Boden Foundation, Oppenhof & Schneider, Cologne.
“En attendant Charlotte Corday”, Galerie Anita Falber, Wiesbaden.
- 1990 “Essaian et la Mer”, Galerie Oberlin, Strasbourg
Group exhibition “Another Art”, Galerie Tretiakov, Moscow
- 1991 Realises the series entitled “Figures assises”, “Joggers”, “Marathon” and “Voyages” in his new atelier near the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont.
Release of “Les champs de la ville”
- 1993“Serge Essaian, peintures et sculptures” Galerie Euros, Mulhouse, France
- 1995 “Les Gouverneurs, leurs poètes et leurs amantes” Axia Gallery, London, where he also displayed his reliefs “Les murs de la ville”.
- 1997 Installation of the monumental sculpture “L’Astronome” in Giisterheim, Austria.
- 1998 Installation of the monumental sculpture “Good morning” in Kensington, London.
- 1999 Installation of the “Cent ans de dessins et aquarelles russes” exhibition, with Stuart & Samarine Consultancy, Galerie La Scala, Paris.
- • 2000 “Têtes, œuvres peintes et sculptées”, Galerie de Buci, Paris.
Release of “Têtes” (Galerie de Buci Editions).
- 2002 “Serge Essaian in the Marble Palace”, Retrospective (paintings, sculptures, drawings), Marble Palace, Saint-Petersburg.
Release of the exhibition catalogue (Palace Editions, Saint-Petersburg).
Installation of the “Good morning” sculpture at the Ludwig Museum, Saint-Petersburg.
- 2003 Adviser for the organisation of the “Russes” exhibition at Musée de Montmartre, Paris. Conception of “La Maison” and “les Vues”
- 2005 Conception of 7 monumental glass heads for the new Mariinsky Theatre concert hall, Saint-Petersburg (Fabre/Speller and Pumain architects – Paris)
- 2006 Release of his last book “Maisons, vues, gens” (Fragments Editions).
- 2007 Dies in Paris
Sotheby’s Paris held a tribute to him through an exhibition “Serge Essaian, un hommage, a tribute“ and the release of a catalogue.
- 2008 “Serge Essaian, Années russes 1975-1979”, Galerie De Buci, Paris.
- 2009 “Molloy et autres dos”, Galerie De Buci, Paris
- 2010 “Baigneurs, Plongeurs, etc…”, Galerie De Buci, Paris
- 2015 “Cavaliers, Olympe”, Galerie 6 Elzévir, Paris