At the time of the Soviet Union Ilya Kabakov was the central ﬁgure in the artistic movement that reacted critically and ironically to this aesthetics of social stagnation. The actual breakthrough and the discovery of his own artistic problematic came at the beginning of the 1970s for Kabakov…
Individual artworks are shown by Kabakov to be projections of the hopes, self-deceptions, and disappointments of his heroes. He shows them to be the results of certain psychologically motivated artistic strategies that the heroes pursue.In doing so,Kabakov holds these strategies up against the background of a larger social and art-historical context, throwing the strategies into question without completely negating their force.
This strategy puts Ilya Kabakov in a special position,even within the Moscow Conceptualist circle with which he was intimately involved in the 1970s and 1980s.
Kabakov constantly thematizes the mixture of hope and fear that is characteristically exhibited by those who want to cross the borders of their world.This crossing creates hope,because artists want to believe that,in the new world,future recipients will perhaps understand their work better than their obtuse contemporaries,and that these future recipients will perhaps show these artists the respect,love,and admiration that all authors have lacked at all times in their immediate environment.
Kabakov’s installations have their origin neither in performance nor in post-Minimalist,site-speciﬁc art,as is the case with most Western instal- lations,but rather in narrative literature or,more precisely,in the novel.
Ilya & Emilia Kabakov- collaborative works
Ilya (b. 1933 Dnepropetrovsk, Soviet Union) and Emilia Kabakov (b. 1945, Dnepropetrovsk, Soviet Union) base their collaborative works on the intersection of quotidian and conceptual elements. Ilya previously worked as a children’s book illustrator, and was part of a group of Russian artists in Moscow working outside the Soviet system. Emilia was trained in Spanish literature and music, and worked in New York as an art dealer and curator beginning in the 1970s. Their background in Soviet society informs their work, and their work has been collaborative since they were married in 1992.
The Empty Museum | 2004
“Where Is Our Place?”
Fallen Angel (2010)
“The House of Dreams”