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The Cutting Edge: Contemporary Wood Art and The Lipton Collection
August 13 - September 18, 2011 / Beato Gallery

Nikolai Ossipov
(Ukraine, 1954 - 2007, active US)

“I have been influenced by the Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo periods, and the dynamic, undulating, and flowing rhythms in addition to curvilinear and floral motifs of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements are evident in much of my work. At the same time, traditional Russian carving styles and techniques remain important in reflecting the forms and designs I find in the natural world.”

Untitled Box
Untitled Box
Various woods | 2.25" h x 7" w x 5" d | 1996
Provenance: The Lipton Collection

Nikolai Ossipov was born in a Siberian territory of Russia and migrated with his family to Odessa, Ukraine at six years of age, where he spent over three decades living and working. From his early youth through his formal education, Ossipov worked with wood at every opportunity. While attending High School, he also attended the Odessa Art School and went on to study at the Odessa Federal University, graduating with a professional degree in Art and Graphics in 1976. He worked as an illustrator for a newspaper and book publishing company after graduating, experience that is evident in his work.

Intitially, Ossipov worked with wood in his spare time creating functional objects for friends and family such as carved mirrors, boxes, and sculptures. In 1978, Ossipov was accepted to the Odessa Art Union, where he began carrying out commissions in woodcarving professionally. These commissions included carved interior and exterior works for public buildings and private clients, as well as creating works for exhibit at the Art Union Gallery. His carved works ranged from small sculptures to large installations and his public and government commissions included life-size sculptures for outdoor gardens, wall sculptures for interiors, and large lighting fixture compositions for interior and exterior needs. He also created smaller scale wall reliefs, freestanding sculptures, and functional objects such as mirrors, boxes, and small furniture for his private clients.

In 1990, Nikolai Ossipov visited his Uncle in California and over a six-month period visited art shows and galleries. Two years later, Ossipov and his son moved to California to begin a new life. Soon afterward, woodturner Brenda Behrens, who had been creating carved vessel forms for years, befriended him. She recognized his talents and introduced him to Dr. Irving Lipton, who in turn introduced his work to collectors and curators, and gave his work to a number of museums.

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The Cutting Edge: Contemporary Wood Art and The Lipton Collection
This artist is featured in the book, The Cutting Edge:
Contemporary Wood Art and The Lipton Collection

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