Art of the 20th Century





A Revolution in the Arts


 




Art Styles in 20th century Art Map




 






Soviet Nonconformist Art




 

 
 



Ilya Kabakov

 

Ilya Kabakov, Russian Илья Иосифович Кабаков (1933) is an American conceptual artist of Russian-Jewish origin, born in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine. He worked for thirty years in Moscow, from the 1950s until the late 1980s. He now lives and works on Long Island. He was named by Art News as one of the "ten greatest living artists" in 2000.

Throughout his forty-year plus career, Kabakov has produced a wide range of paintings, drawings, installations, and theoretical texts — not to mention extensive memoirs that track his life from his childhood to the early 1980s. In recent years, he has created installations that evoked the visual culture of the Soviet Union, though this theme has never been the exclusive focus of his work. Unlike some underground Soviet artists, Kabakov joined the Union of Soviet Artists in 1959, and became a full-member in 1965. This was a prestigious position in the USSR and it brought with it substantial material benefits. In general, Kabakov illustrated children's books for 3–6 months each year and then spent the remainder of his time on his own projects.

By using fictional biographies, many inspired by his own experiences, Kabakov has attempted to explain the birth and death of the Soviet Union, which he claims to be the first modern society to disappear. In the Soviet Union, Kabakov discovers elements common to every modern society, and in doing so he examines the rift between capitalism and communism. Rather than depict the Soviet Union as a failed Socialist project defeated by Western economics, Kabakov describes it as one utopian project among many, capitalism included. By reexamining historical narratives and perspectives, Kabakov delivers a message that every project, whether public or private, important or trivial, has the potential to fail due to the potentially authoritarian will to power.

 


School No. 6
1993


 


School No. 6
1993


 


School No. 6
1993


 


The fallen Chandelier


 


Installation


 


The Boat of My Life


 


The Boat of My Life


 


Installation


 


Installation


 


Gastronom
1981


 


Sledujuschtschaja ostanowka Tarakanowo
1979-1983


 


The Toilet in the Corner


 


Het toilet
1992


 


The Toilet
1992


 


L'homme qui s'est envolй dans l'espace depuis son appartement


 


Unaufgehangtes Bild
1982-1992



 


Vor dem Abendessen
1988



 


Red Pavillon
1993



 


Installation


 


The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment
1968-1996


 


The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment
1968-1996


 


The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment
1968-1996


 


The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment
1968-1996


 


The window III
1997


 


The Interesting Book
2002


 


Wings (How to make yourself better or how to become an angel)
1999


 


Battle in the communal apartment
2000


 


The order is the main thing
2002


 


The drinking fountain
2003


 


The Eternal Emigrant
2003-2005


 


Design for the scenery of St. Francois dŽAssise
2002


 


Model of the cupola (detail) - Opera Saint Francois dŽAssis
2002


 


Opera Saint Francois dŽAssis
2002


 


How to Meet an Angel
2000


 


How to Meet an Angel
(Detail)

2000


 


How to Meet an Angel
(Detail)

2000

 

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