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Saturday, December 3, 2016

How to play tennis with Kabakov


The capital is autumn with the Patriarch of Moscow conceptualism Ilya Kabakov. From three sites – the Museum “ART4”, “New Manege”, Central house of artists launched the exhibition with his work. They come from private collections, not ordinary collectors, and people who are doing for native art all that I can and even more.

Photo courtesy of the press service of “ART4”

A solo exhibition of book graphics Kabakov is “ART4”, which with an enviable regularity (almost every month) gives exhibitions of young artists and the masters. Here’s an example, right now in the middle of the room with the works of conceptualist table tennis. Visitors watch a play, play-watching, and distance to art is declining. Begin to better understand it, and with a difficult Kabakov is just at hand.


Photo courtesy of the press service of “ART4”

By the way, the artist himself played tennis twice with the younger generation conceptualist Pavel Pepperstein and philosopher Boris Groys, who coined the term “Moscow romantic conceptualism”. But before his emergence, from the mid-50s, Ilya I. was fond of book design. He has designed more than 70 children’s books, among which informative book on the technique “A B C…” and the magazine “Murzilka”. They are exhibition work, where kids learn about the world of technology and the study of light, living in light bulbs. And here Kabakov is simple: his images are being read and adapted for children’s perception.

But the fact that when he drew illustrations on an unfamiliar topic – for example, an Inuit tent or some kind of tractor production was presented that looks at an object from above, like from space. Then down in your mind below and then examined and sketched the details. The habit of looking at everything from the point of view of the Supreme being remained in Kabakov for a long time. So the famous “Stool” 2001-year standing in the next room, made it from this perspective. Under the seat between the legs hovering angel, attached barely visible string to the light bulb. The light illuminates the Russian expanses under God’s messenger: the river, fields, villages…


Photo courtesy of the press service of “ART4”

– Kabakov – a great thinker, no wonder he is honored among the first artists of the world, ” explains the expert on the artist Irina Filatova. But his work is divorced from our culture: first, they were banned, and saw their only friends, like me, he’s in the Studio . And when everything became possible, he went to the West, and there began to do important projects – a true celebration of art. A few years ago was also a boom in Kabakov: three five exhibition showed the Winery and one – in the Garage and the Pushkin Museum. Pushkin. There I was disappointed to notice that even in our professional environment, people do not really understand what they see. But this can be overcome, because it continues to show in Russia.

Yes, and our next point – “New Manege”, where he brought four drawing master from new York gallery “ABA” Anatol and Maya Bekkerman. (The couple is known that returns in Russia unique masterpieces of Russian art, primarily works of the Russian avant-garde left the country during the first waves of emigration or “stuck” in the United States after the Soviet exhibitions of the 1920-ies.) Kabakov’s work of the 70-ies there is a small (18 to 25 cm), but very revealing. No pictures, only written in neat handwriting phrase. Playing with language — it is, indeed, pure conceptualism, such as it was at this time in the West. But Kabakov’s work is closely related to the surrounding Soviet culture. This is a parody of the aesthetics of the ads, tables, and schedules.


Photo courtesy of the press service of “ART4”

Similar works hang in the Central house of artists from the collection of German Titov, the publisher’s “Library of Moscow conceptualism”. But apart from the works of 70-ies, there is a couple of created from the beginning of 90-x. Then writing Kabakov already added the image. The most witty of them – blonde, sunbathing by the lake. With half of the figure is divided clearly into the maiden loin, which remains not painted. Therefore, the heroine asks: “Artist! Why didn’t you draw my beautiful back? Didn’t have time”. Her response – “Yes, it was not”.

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