David Czupryn

AD 2017, 2017

Oil on Canvas

170 × 140 cm

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Like so many of David Czupryn’s paintings, AD 2017 is full of art historical allusions. Having begun his career as a sculptor, and only later turning to this ultra-naturalistic style of painting, Czupryn preserves his early interest by using his new medium to depict his old. Hence why Pietro Consagra’s iron sculpture, Ferro Trasparente Fucsia (1966), features so prominently here, along with a Mobile sculpture by the Italian artist’s friend Alexander Calder and one by Czupryn’s own mentor, Georg Herold.

Frequently, Czupryn leaves his viewer to wonder at why he has chosen to include the particular sculptures that he has. In this case, the answer to that question is relatively clear. Consagra’s work (which ARTUNER exhibited for the first time in Turin last year) is highly relevant to Czupryn’s playful practice of translating three-dimensional art objects onto two-dimensional planes. The Italian artist’s own schema was to create sculptures whose effect was wholly frontal, so they might avoid the authoritarian rhetoric which Consagra saw as integral to ‘central perspective’ and, therefore, three-dimensionality. In real life, then, the fuchsia-pink shape depicted by Czupryn is only millimetres thick; here, it is thinner still, reduced to the imperceptible depth of paint on Czupryn’s incredibly flat canvas. Consagra would, no doubt, have been pleased.

the artist

Born in 1983 in Germany, David Czupryn graduated from the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie in 2015 (2007 – 2015) and has been working closely with ARTUNER since then. In 2016, he was the recipient of the 70th International Bergische Art Prize with a solo show at the Kunstmuseum Solingen in October 2017. In the same year, he was part of two shows featuring new works at the collection Uziyel in London and Palazzo Capris in Turin, both curated by ARTUNER. In 2018 his first major solo institutional show, He She It opened at Kunsthalle Darmstadt. He lives and works in Düsseldorf. In his surrealist paintings David Czupryn creates fantastic worlds, inhabited by humanoid hybrids and built with materials found at the intersection between nature, man-made polymers and imagination. His practice is mostly informed by a research of the uncanny, conducted from a mostly ‘visceral’ perspective. Indeed, although interested in psychoanalytical theories, Czupryn does not explore them in his works. His technique is seamless: the ‘layer method’ employed by Czupryn is very meticulous and the brushstrokes result invisible. Indeed, the surface of the painting is very flat, while also conveying a sense of deepness and richness of the materials depicted. The synthesis of nature and industrially engineered materials is a very important aspect of the artist’s work. David Czupryn started his artistic career as a sculptor, with Prof Georg Herold and later decided to focus solely on painting in the classes of Professors Lucy McKenzie and Tomma Abts: he stopped sculpting altogether and put all his artworks in a storage. For months, all day long, he would practice on painting techniques, trompe l’oeil in particular, as taught by McKenzie. There has been a turning point in his subject matter in 2012, when he saw a late Gothic grisaille painting of a sculpture. Then, he took his earlier sculptures out of storage and started portraying them in painting. Surrealism and Metaphysical art (Salvador Dalì and Giorgio de Chirico in particular) are undoubtedly the first points of reference that come to mind when looking at David Czupryn's paintings. However, the artist’s most important sources of inspiration are the works of the photographer Diane Arbus and American artist Matthew Barney.

In his surrealist paintings David Czupryn creates fantastic worlds, inhabited by humanoid hybrids and built with materials found at the intersection between nature, man-made polymers and imagination.

David Czupryn
on Artuner

Part of the

November 2nd, 2017 until
December 29th, 2017
Curated by ARTUNER