Ilya Kabakov

Russian, b. 1933


Russian-born draftsman, painter, and conceptual artist Ilya Kabokov creates work that invokes a broad range of human experience, notably that associated with the artist’s own personal history in the post-Stalin Soviet Union. The forms and materials in Kabokov’s work are often symbolic, as in “The Russia Series” (1969), a group of paintings in sandy brown, a color Kabokov supposes would result from the mixing of Russia’s official state color, red, with the sort of bland gray he ascribes to the Soviet Union’s government dominance and generally uniform character. Kabokov’s larger projects are often produced collaboratively with his wife Emilia, and typically comprise of multiple stages, including what he describes as a performative final step when the project is realized, as in The Ship of Siwa (2005), in which a group of children were directed to build a ship according to ancient Egyptian specifications.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Solo show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou, and 2 more
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 11 more
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 4 more
Shows Featuring Ilya Kabakov