Ilya Kabakov  (Russian, 1933) 

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Ilya Kabakov (American/Russian, b.1933) is considered one of the most important Russian artists of the 20th century. He was born in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, but evacuated to Samarkand, Uzbekistan, to avoid capture and Nazi persecution. Kabakov showed a promising talent in drawing, and was accepted into the Leningrad Institute of Art, which moved to Moscow shortly after he began. While at school, Kabakov was uninspired by the classical Russian art and Socialist Realism that was considered the official art of the Soviet Union. He graduated from Surikov Art Institute in 1957, and became a children’s book illustrator; since having an artistic license was prohibited, this was the only way Kabakov could make a living as an artist. During this time, he shared a studio with fellow artist, friend, and great influence, Ulo Sooster (Estonian, 1924–1970). In the 1970s, he started experimenting in Abstract Expressionism and neo-Surrealism, and by 1978 he worked as a Conceptual artist. His success placed him in the center of the Moscow Conceptualists, recognized today as an important Soviet avant-garde group, but was then harassed by the KGB. Kabakov was unable to exhibit his art in public spaces, so he held private shows in his apartment. He began “performing” his “albums”—collections of his drawings—reading them allowed as stories, and in 1982 started creating installations. These installations incorporate three-dimensional imagery in spaces that the audience could interact with. In 1985, he traveled to Paris for his first solo exhibition at the Dina Vierny Gallery, and later moved to Austria for a six month residency at the Kunstverein in Graz. He represented Russia at the 1993 Venice Biennale, and lives and works with his wife in Long Island.

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Ilya Kabakov, O.T. (Unter der Dusche)

 

Ilya Kabakov
O.T. (Unter der Dusche)
1974

Galerie Sandmann
Ilya Kabakov, O.T. (Unter der Dusche)

 

Ilya Kabakov
O.T. (Unter der Dusche)
1974

Galerie Sandmann
Ilya Kabakov, O.T. (Unter der Dusche)

 

Ilya Kabakov
O.T. (Unter der Dusche)
1974

Galerie Sandmann
Ilya Kabakov, O.T. (Unter der Dusche)

 

Ilya Kabakov
O.T. (Unter der Dusche)
1974

Galerie Sandmann
Ilya Kabakov, Redheads

 

Ilya Kabakov
Redheads
1968

ABA Gallery
Ilya Kabakov, The Fly

 

Ilya Kabakov
The Fly
2001

Kewenig Galerie
Ilya Kabakov, The Bicyclist

 

Ilya Kabakov
The Bicyclist
2004

Sloane Gallery of Art
Ilya Kabakov, Fly By Stool

 

Ilya Kabakov
Fly By Stool
1985

Sloane Gallery of Art
Ilya Kabakov, aus Portfolio Aufbruch aus Moskau

 

Ilya Kabakov
aus Portfolio Aufbruch aus Moskau
1990

Edition Domberger
Past auction results (217)  View All
Ilya Kabakov, Citation

 

Ilya Kabakov
Citation, 1992
screenprint and plastic fly

 

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Ilya Kabakov, Blickst du hinauf und liest die Worte

 

Ilya Kabakov
Blickst du hinauf und liest die Worte, 1997
color silkscreen on cardboard

 

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Ilya Kabakov, Sitting-in-the-Closet Primakov, a Complete Album #1 from 10 Characters Series (album w/47 works)

 

Ilya Kabakov
Sitting-in-the-Closet Primakov, a Complete Album #1 from 10 Characters Series (album w/47 works), 1994
color photocopied prints laid on cardboard

 

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1933   Born in Dnepropetrovsk, Soviet Union
1957   Graduated from V.A. Surikov Art Academy, Moscow
  Lives and works in New York and Paris
2004   Editions 1997-2004, Mike Karstens, Münster, Germany (solo)
1970   6 Sowjetische Künstler - Vladimir Jankilevskij, Evgenij Bacurin, Ilja Kabakov, Vladimir Andreenkov, Ülo Sooster und Jurij Kuperman, Galerie Renée Ziegler