Sherban Epuré

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Sherban Epuré. (source)
Sherban Epuré in his studio in Bucharest, Aug/Sep 1971. Photo: George Oliver. (Source)

Sherban Epuré (also Șerban Epuré, 18 February 1940, Bucharest - 2018, New York) was a Romanian artist.

Sherban Epuré studied at the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest, in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, from 1956 to 1961. In 1961 he resigned from his job in the electronics company. In 1966 he gave up his career as an engineer and retired to a mountain village, devoting himself entirely to painting. A year later he had his first solo exhibition, in which he exhibited 100 paintings. Following the exhibition he was awarded a special mention by the Union of Fine Artists of Romania.

By 1967, he was working on projects combining art and science in Romania. Epuré put cybernetics, as a creative engine, at the core of his art and by the end of 1967 conceived the life-long project "Intrinsic Art" which developed in three main strands (according to the nature of the respective algorithms), which he called S-Bands, Meta-Phorms and sculptures (binary and protruded). The S-Band (or Sherban's Band) may be seen as an interactive machine able to reconfigures twelve visual variables, three of geometry and eight of color; the background is the last of these. The scope of the band is not to imitate nature, as origami does, but to produce non-subjective, enjoyable art forms. The Meta-Phorm (derived from Meta+Metaphor+Form) is intended to be the the visual appearance/materialisation of an abstract creative proposition by introducing geometrical forms into a game relationship.

He exhibited cybernetically based / digital work at the 7th and 8th Paris Biennale for Young Artists in 1971 and 1973, the 25th Edinburgh Festival, 1971, the 9th Sigma Festival in Bordeaux, France, 1973, the Fine Art Competition, Cyprus, (Award), 1973, and at The New Gallery in Bucharest, Romania, 1974. At the Sigma 9 Contact II (1973) in Bordeaux, his work was presented alongside some of the most influential artists and animators in computer art, such as Georges Charbonnier, Abraham Moles, Herbert Franke, Herve Huitric, Peter Kreiss, Kenneth Knowlton, Vera Molnar, Manfred Mohr, and Georg Nees.

In an article for Leonardo magazine published in 2006, Epuré described his experience as an artist struggling to survive in Romania during the 1970s, and the decision to emigrate. In March 1980, he moved to the United States, settling in New York on a residence permit for "exceptional qualities in the field of art." Here he studied at the School of Visual Arts, and subsequently participated in the New York Digital Salon, SIGGRAPH and many other digital art shows. He began using an Apple Macintosh in 1986, but was well aware of the limitations of the technology available at that time. He lived and worked in New York until his death.

His works are in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, (The Patric Prince Collection of digital art.); Museum of Modern Art, MOMA, New York; the National Gallery, Bucharest, Romania. (2022)

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