Ilya Kabakov

photo Philippe Abergel

“La Cuisine Communautaire,” Musée Maillol, Paris

Ilya Kabakov, or Илья́ Ио́сифович Кабако́в if you prefer, is a Russian-American conceptual artist of Jewish descent, born in the Ukraine in 1933. He has done a wide variety of art over his life, from illustration, painting, sculpture and installation. The piece that first caught my eye was “La Cuisine Communautaire” or the Communal Kitchen, installed at the Musée Maillol in Paris. This piece, as well as many others, evokes the visual culture of the Soviet Union, though this theme has never been the exclusive focus of his work.

Kabakov refers to his work as “total installations” and believes that “an installation is a world its own.” Kabakov’s installations are complex environments. He has immersed his viewers in communal Soviet apartments, a studio of an untalented artist, as well as an old Russian school.

This is a great link to read more about Kabakov and his art partner/niece/wife, Emilia.

Ground-level view of "The Communal Kitchen," 2010.


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