The Fly

About Ilya Kabakov

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.

Russian, b. 1933, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine