Ilya Kabakov

Ilya Kabakov is a Russian born artist who works and lives in New York since 1987. Although he was an official artist in Moscow during the 1960s he researched new forms of art outside the official constraints of Social Realism. In the 1970s he formed the Moscow Conceptualists group with other artists from the Sretensky Boulevard School including Erik Bulatov, Eduard Steinberg, Vladimir Yankilevsky, Oleg Vassiliev, Shabliavin and others. They worked mainly on conceptual projects inspired by structuralism as established by the French philosopher Roland Barthes. Ilya Kabakov is famous for installations such as “Komunalki” which represent to scale interiors of communal soviet apartments. These installations recreate the interior of the Homo Sovieticus as a memorial and phenomenal object of Soviet ideology. One of these installations can be seen at the Dina Verny Foundation in Paris where Kabakov had his first show abroad in 1988. He has been working in collaboration with his wife Emilia since 1992 and today they mainly exhibit together. The Kabakovs represented Russia at the Venice Biennale in 1993 giving them an international reputation. They waited almost twenty years after their emigration to have their first major show in Russia in 2008 for the inauguration of the new Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture in Moscow. The Kabakovs work has been shown at MOMA in New York and at Documenta IX in Kassel and they are considered to be one of the top living artists of the twentieth century.