Winter Solstice   |   20 December 2023

work in progress:                                    sample weavings of a new series of Jacquard tapestries arrive from Belgium. 

TENDRILS. edition of 3.                     Jacquard tapestry.  silk and cotton.           48  x  48  x  2 inches. 

link to ARTWORKS                                    scroll down to Jacquard Tapestries

TENDRILS. 5 x 7 inch detail.
TRANSITUS. Homage to Raffaello.

Easter  |  17 April 2022




Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist

Rochester Minnesota


TRANSITUS.  Homage to Raffaello.   photo details


Jacquard tapestry.  2020.

mixed media composition woven in Belgiium

79 x 109 x 2 inches


TRANSITUS was created as one of the four principal elements for a major Italian exhibition, Il Morte di Raffaello, celebrating the artistic legacy of the 16th century master Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (1483-1520) on the 500th anniversary of his death.  (see post below.)

The tapestry has been acquired for the Gathering Space at the entrance of the Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, adjacent to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.  TRANSITUS is Simon’s second signifigant work for the Church’s permanent collection.  In 2016 he was commissioned to design and create a devotional space in the sanctuary– a shrine intended for liturgical instruction and private meditation.

see John and Mary’s Home


(14 November 2020)   suspended, Covid casualty

exhibition debut:
Castello di Jerago
Jerago con Orago (Varese) Italia

La Morte di Raffaello/The Death of Raphael

Simon Toparovsky and Ariel Soulé, in concert with exhibitions being mounted around the world, celebrate the artistic legacy of the 16th century master Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (1483-1520). Marking the 500th anniversary of his death, they have created four mixed media installations for great rooms in the medieval castle fortress of Jerago, looking out over the hills between the cities of Milano and Varese.  This exhibition will be their first major collaboration since 2010 after many years of working together on diverse international projects.

17 August 2020

inspired original musical composition for
Musaics of the Bay, San Francisco 


Jazz pianist and accordionist and Ben Rosenblum (NY) premières his new improvised composition inspired by Simon Toparovsky’s mixed media work  of art on paper:  Los Angeles. 3 June 2020.  The commissioned music was sponsored as part of the “Stay-at-Home Symposium” series of virtual collaborations and curated broadcasts based on creative work among composers and artists.

Los Angeles. 3 August 2020. archival pigment print with laminations.

3 March 2019


studio/Boyd-Toparovsky residence

An unveiling and send-off celebration of Simon’s work, elements for a new commission, a shrine home he created for the recently elevated Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Rochester, Minnesota.

see John and Mary’s Home

John and Mary (verso), manipulated studio documentation.

8 October – 30 December 2018

Franco Rossi Gallery
Palazzo Zamara
Palazzolo sull’Oglio, Italia (BR)

1968 – 2118
“a bon entendeur, salut”

Franco Rossi commemorates, and is honored for, five decades of devotion and attention and for fostering the promotion of contemporary art with an exhibition of the gallery‘s permanent, international artists’ work– selections from his private collection.

Simon with Franco Rossi for the installation... and since 2003.

27 January 2016 –

profile video:
Getty Museum Library Archive

The Spirit Blooms
Getty Inspired: Simon Toparovsky on the Getty website

In the fall of 2015, I was invited by the Getty Museum to talk about my work and inspiration to launch a new video series called Getty Inspired.

It was an exciting and surprisingly nerve-racking proposition to allow a Getty videographer to spend many hours exploring my home/lab, watching me work and probing my mind.

I am happy to share the story they produced, which has been added to their library of video profiles of creative Angelenos who find inspiration at the Getty.

Simon examining an image of St. Sebastian in the Illuminated Manuscripts Department at the Getty

11 October 2015 – 31 January 2016

El Segundo Museum of Art
El Segundo, California

Experience 19: TOUCH
ESMoA website

original artworks with photo
portraits of artists by Jim McHugh

Four Decades of Art-Making in Los Angeles
curated by Edward Goldman

Athena’s Armor. mixed media installation. life-size cast
bronze sculpture and Siren’s Shadow, a pigment
print with laminations on paper.

7 February – 15 March 2015

Franco Rossi Gallery
Palazzolo sull’Oglio, Italia

Simon Toparovsky: Vasi e Corsi
excerpt from the brochure

solo exhibition of sculptures and unique
works of art on paper

Torso in Fiore. cast bronze, fabrication. 18 x 13 x 10 inches
Venus Crypt. unique. mixed media on paper. 20 x 17.9 inches.

November 2014

Liguorian Journal

“A Visual Poet”
interview with Simon Toparovsky

Liguorian Journal’s managing editor Elizabeth Herzing interviews artist Simon Toparovsky about his new exhibit, Vessels and Channels, a narrative art exhibition celebrating the human spirit and condition.

9 November 2014 – 15 February 2015

complementary study tours:
Getty Center – Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

“A Singular Devotion, Two Artists, Four Centuries”

Spectacular Rubens at the Getty Center
Simon Toparovsky: Vessels and Channels at
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

9 November 2014


Simon Toparovsky: Vessels and Channels

new artworks and side chapel installations

opening reception sponsored by:
The Patrons of the Arts in the
Vatican Museums

9 November 2014 – 15 February 2015

Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral
Los Angeles

Simon Toparovsky: Vessels and Channels

new artworks and side chapel installations
on Google albums

opening reception sponsored by:
The Patrons of the Arts in the
Vatican Museums

Liguorian Journal 

The Jewish Journal

Zócalo Public Square

accompanying programs:

A Singular Devotion, Two Artists, Four Centuries
Getty/Rubens – Cathedral/Toparovsky Tours

Channeling Grace, Day Conference
Loyola Marymount University

The Martyrdom of St. Sebastian
dance performance, mystery play

Prometheus. mixed media installation. rotating life-size cast
bronze sculpture, pigment print on canvas, rocks and plant
material, crucibles and theater lighting.

14 March – 21 April 2014

Jonas Mekas Visual Art Center
Vilnius, Lithuania

La Colonna Infame

new exhibition sponsors:
City of Vilnius
Embassy of Italy in Lithuania
Embassy of the United States
           in Lithuania

program + catalog sponsorship:
Embassy of the United States
           in Lithuania

Jonas Mekas Visual Art Center

for Summer 2014

invitation to create an installation:
International Sculpture Biennale

Veliky Novgorod, Russia
UNESCO World Heritage site

2 August – 10 September 2013

Tula Museum of Fine Art
Tula, Russia

La Colonna Infame

new exhibition sponsors:
City of Tula
Italian Cultural Institute, Moscow
Tula Museum of History,
Architecture and Literature
Tula Necropolis Museum

March 2013

art critical essay:
Against the Execution Wall

La Colonna Infame

slideshow on Google: Modern Museum Samara, Russia

journalist: Andrey Rymar

installation detail

The meaning of the words “pillar of shame” will become clearer if we replace them with the phrase “Hall of Shame”, more familiar to Russian ear. But the word “column” is, of course, an exact match, not devoid of pathos, to the artist Simon Toparovsky from Los Angeles and Ariel Soulé of Milan.

The name of the exhibition refers to the events of XVII century, when, during the plague in Milan, men were arrested on false charges of spreading the disease and executed. Events reflected in the story by the XIX century Italian writer Alessandro Manzoni, were the artists’ beginning inspiration. Four rooms of pieces using painting and sculpture, mixing media to create the installations.

The methods used by the artists suit the Modern Museum’s declared task perfectly – to show how to develop the tradition of modernity in the present time. Soulé and Toparovsky talk to the audience in a language of metaphors and symbols that are woven into a complex narrative. Some metaphors, such as yellow rats pestilence, scattered on the floor in one of the rooms of the museum, are very bright and clear, while others (such as fingers, held in the Buddhist mudra, images of the succulent plants, like the aloe repeated through the installations) might require special explanation. In this case, there are multi-curator comments posted near each installation. But, certainly without further explanation the installation is enough and leaves a very strong impression.

The authors have consistently pursued the viewer through all the stages that accompany any act of “collective madness”: panic, suspicion, the search for the guilty, torture and abuse, and, finally, death.

Particularly impressive is the last part of the installation – “Punishment.” The wheel, which symbolizes one of the worst medieval execution techniques – the wheel, against the famous “execution wall” of the Museum basement, 

Russian Revolution era execution wall, Museum basements

resonates with the timeless nature of the event, in tragic beauty. The finger gesture of the severed hands form the (Buddhist) mudra for wisdom, transcend the wheel of torture, become the Buddhist “Wheel of Suffering” and simultaneously Wheel of Dharma”, by which suffering can still be overcome. And then, standing against the huge wheel, the torture machine, there is a small bronze toy horse with a broken leg (a powerful symbol, looking back at the suffering through the space where it can not reach). “Shame”, so do not dishonor those who nailed him, and all of humanity.

However, it is certainly not in this simple thought and in the interpretation of symbols, in which each of us can engage in their own way, and in the plastic artist’s skill that might effect the viewer “directly.” Bronze heads without bodies and bodies without heads, hands and weavings, strange plants, oil paint on dimly outlined figures make us look, feeling– coming to think.

Rough light and shadow, bronze sculptures, rocks, and even X-rays occur in many different ways, creating space for the creation of meaning, what, in the end, is perfect in this space in the Modern Museum.

-Andrey Rymar, Samara, 12 March 2013

March 2013

Cultural Tourism and
the Greater Museum of
Los Angeles

in dialog with
Art Muse Los Angeles
exploring the visual arts

Of course, people outside of Los Angeles know it is its own paradigm. This new city at the edge of our country is celebrated (if nervously) for its space and sunshine. Then there is the richness of inherent juxtapositions and diversity. This is the place where the desert meets the ocean and our front yard stretches to Asia, we live closer to Mayan pyramids than obelisks brought back to Paris from Egypt. And with all that sets us apart, we are known for television and movie production and so we are also ground zero for globalization.

While working with the head of installations for an exhibition of my work in St. Petersburg, Russia last year, this educated man asked me why I would want to live in a place that was about hippies and surfboards. It is easy to relegate Southern California to simple cultural stereotypes. I showed him the Pacific Standard Time website. He looked through the lists of exhibitions, artists’ and movements’ name. He was amazed at the depth of the influences and connections that begin here.

It took someone who loves and knows this place to make the introduction. It was the beginning of a dialog that was the reason I was invited to show my work in the first place. Cultural travelers (virtual or on the ground), sharing ideas, excitement and information with knowledgeable, invested others— this is how to see “The Greater Museum of Los Angeles.”

– S.T.

The Museum of Contemporary Art
St. Petersburg, Russia | installation

12 March – 21 April 2013

exhibition sponsor:
State Museum of Fine Art
Samara, Russia

La Colonna Infame
Modern Museum

Samara State Museum of Fine Art | Samara, the Golden Ring, Russia

With impressive alchemy, combining painting and sculpture creates its own rhythm: resonance felt as a dramatic romance. Portraying a 17th century narrative as a contemporary aesthetic and psychological landscape, Ariel Soulé and Simon Toparovsky awaken in us the immensity and solitude of history.The installation La Colonna Infame is a sustained meditation on the repeating cycles of violence in the world, the beauty of justice and the dignity and strength of the human spirit.

These universal themes transcend politics and cultures, demonstrating the fragility of life. With a masterful balance of radical juxtapositions and the underlying virtuosity of stylistic and conceptual coherence, we are drawn through the labyrinth of the installation. This is an original visual poem that, like all important art, invites us to participate without asking.

Enzo Fornaro, curator
St. Petersburg, Russia

January 2013
art critical essay:
Massimo Sannelli
poet, writer, editor

La Colonna Infame
testo in Italiano

Perhaps there are only two ways to measure oneself with History. Either to sublimate it, channeling it to the grotesque; or by destroying it and restructuring the phases by taking possession of its motifs to begin to have personal access to the mystery of its labyrinths.

The latter coincides with how artists Ariel Soulé and Simon Toparovsky have conceived the arresting and epic installation La Colonna Infame. In it, conceptualization remains sovereign; abstraction is explored, but latent. The ability by which the artists relate to a significant moment in the world experience is a reflection of the world we each know, not an alternative reality. The instal- lation lives with laws of its own. The resonance of this artwork, as Walter Benjamin wrote about History, is the indispensable
dialog with Memory.

The artists involve more than an intelligent reflection of the effects of the past on the present: a history tracking justice, dignity and human rights. Their work should not be under- stood as nostalgic longing, but rather can be explained as a demonstration of belonging to our time. They re-establish, through reference and staging, an invitation to see the balance of ourselves and the past, more in a philosophical than in an historical sense.

In the hands of Ariel Soulé and Simon Toparovsky painting and sculpture create an evocative instrument through which the original context of the artwork and its universal significance arouse personal reflection. Their “palette” is a poetic association of painting and sculpture and found objects used as a single whole to describe the complexity of the “chiaroscuro of existence”. Ariel Soulé and Simon Toparovsky reveal to us that each time History repeats its dynamics, it moves by combining the next set of articulated similarities. On the broader critical plane it is clear that the artistic intuition that unfolds in the installations tells us that they are conscious of the repeated whims. We are lured into our own inevitable rhythm, a cyclical returning, not least by the vibrancy of what is portrayed– both what is hard and what is beautiful. The whole installation is, for this reason, an imposing and solemn mirror.

La Colonna Infame of Ariel Soulé and Simon Toparovsky establishes the location for the intersection of a number of considerations: including the relevance of the psychological and political in art. The work of these two artists comprises a map with which to navigate some of the next aesthetic and cultural issues of our time.

Massimo Sannelli

18 December 2012 –
22 January 2013

State Museum of Fine Art
Pskov, Russia

La Colonna Infame

State Museum of Fine Art | Pskov, Russia | Lenin Square

December 2012

for the permanent collection
Frederick R. Weisman
Museum of Art
Pepperdine University

Love Attains the Heart

Simon Toparovsky. 1991.
unique. mixed media
56 x 56 x 6 inches

Los Angeles Times. 1992.
G. Bruce Smith
for the solo exhibition
Abundance & Yearning
Sherry Frumkin Gallery
Santa Monica

selected images:
Abundance & Yearning

Love Attains the Heart

July – October 2012

work in progress:
wax to bronze


Simon Toparovsky. 2012.
life size. installation views.
cast and forged bronze

2 August – 14 September 2012

Center for Contemporary Art
Veliky Novgorod, Russia

La Colonna Infame

sponsorship awarded by the
Ministry of Culture of the
Federation of Russia

Center for Centemporary Art | Veliky Novgorod, Russia

2 September 2002 – 2012

tenth anniversary:
Consecration of the Cathedral
Our Lady of the Angels
Los Angeles

Main altar crucifix

Simon Toparovsky. 2000 – 2002.
life-size. cast bronze, patination.

2 December 2011 – 1 March 2012

exhibition debut:
Museum of Contemporary Art

La Colonna Infame

sponsored by:
Consul General of Italy in
St. Petersburg

Ministry of Culture for the
Republic of Italy

Ministry of Culture of the
Province of Milan

catalog produced
in Russian, Italian, English
with critical essays

poster for the exhibition | St. Petersburg

21 May – 30 July 2011

Franco Rossi Gallery
Studio f.22
Palazzolo sull’Oglio, Italy


wallworks series
in collaboration with
Ariel Soulé

Franco Rossi and Ariel Soulé | Palazzolo sull’Oglio

November 2011

public art installation:
Lake Oswego, Oregon

Millennium Park Plaza

commissioned by the
Arts Council of Lake Oswego and
City of Lake Oswego

MacLeod/Reckord Landscape Design, Seattle

Aglaope. detail. Three Sirens, bronze panel series.

November – December 2011

St. Petersburg

photographs in Russia

Peoples’ architecture | Moscow

September 2011

artists’ photography series:
Nicolo Boccaccini

“Making La Colonna Infame”

Cernusco sul Naviglio | Milan

September 2011

first exhibition mounting:
Cernusco sul Naviglio

La Colonna Infame

sponsorship awarded by the
Ministry of Culture for the
Province of Milan

La Tortura. installation detail.

December 2010

focus tours:
Getty Center | UCLA

A Letter from the Renaissance

program organized by the Getty
and UCLA to provide historical
and cultural context for Soulé
and Toparovsky installation

photograph | Lever Rukhin

August – December 2010

Library Special Collections

A Letter from the Renaissance

contemporary art installation

photograph | Lever Rukhin

25 May 2008

panel discussion:
Getty Center

Imagining Christ. Intersections
of Art and Theology

an illustrated talk
“Making the Cathedral Crucifix”.

12 May – 20 June 2007

Chiesa Santa Maria dell’Incoronata
Naples, Italy

Qui, del Dicibile

sponsored by:
Ministry of Culture, Naples

City of Naples

Consul General of the U.S.
in Italy

Italian Cultural Institute,
Los Angeles

la Tragedia. installation detail.

April 2007

Creative Council
Milan, Italy

Hortus Conclusus

Fuori Salone, Salone del Mobile
International Furniture Fair

Fall 2007

critical essay and interview
art historian, Damon Willick

Spiritus Journal

Project Muse
Johns Hopkins University Press

In an interview with sculptor Simon Toparovsky, art historian Damon Willick explores issues of religion and contemporary art as they relate to the artist’s practice. Focusing on Toparovsky’s high altar crucifix produced for Los Angeles’s Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, central themes of the interview include issues of religious identity, site-specificity of works of art, and the spiritual intentions of the artist as they compare to the audience’s reception of his work.

May – June 2007

Franco Rossi Gallery
Studio f.22
Palazzolo sull’Oglio, Italy


series one. wallworks
in collaboration with
Ariel Soulé

limited edition color portfolio/catalog produced by Agema Art Publications | Milan

8 April – 21 May 2006

Palazzo del Comune
Teglio-Sondrio, Italy

Evita’s Perfect Fall

art installation
in collaboration with
Ariel Soulé

sponsored by:
Ministry of Culture Teglio-Sondrio

installation detail

29 April – 19 May 2003

Fondazione Metropiltan
San Paolo Converso

La Costituzione Americana

sponsored by:
Ministry of Culture for the Province
     and City of Milan

Ministry for Museums and
Exhibitions for the City of Milan

Consul General of the U.S. in Italy

La Fogliata. installation detail.

February – March 2003

solo exhibition:
Franco Rossi Gallery
Studio f.22
Palazzolo sull’Oglio, Italy

Ex Occidente Lux

catalog essay by Eugenio Schatz

Sister Patience

Only ardent patience will bring
the attainment of splendid happiness.
Pablo Neruda

December 2000

permanent public art installation:
City of Lake Oswego, Oregon

Millennium Park

Fortuna. fountain.
cast bronze, basalt, water

Fortuna Fountain | Park entrance

May 2000

the main altar crucifix

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
Los Angeles

awarded by Cardinal Mahoney
for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and
the Cathedral Arts and Furnishings

first wax and clay study | Adams Blvd. studio