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 Ilya Kabakov  (1933 - )

About: Ilya Kabakov


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Lived/Active: New York / Ukraine      Known for: sculptor-conceptual, illustrator

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BIOGRAPHY for Ilya Kabakov
1933 (Ukraine)
New York / Ukraine

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sculptor-conceptual, illustrator

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Beginning his career as a children's book illustrator in the Soviet Union, Ilya Kabakov became an internationally famous installation sculptor of the 20th century. His environments are rooms and corridors filled with cast-offs of daily life such as broken furniture, all carefully labelled, or with personality types.

He was born in the Ukraine to Jewish parents, and the family evacuated to Samarkand during World War II. He graduated from Surikov Art Academy in Moscow and then had a successful career as an illustrator. He became a member of the informally organized group called the Moscow Conceptualists, and some of his work is commentary on the Soviet regime.

In 1980, he was discovered by art enthusiasts of Europe and the United States, and in 1988, he had his first New York debut, which was held at the Ronald Feldman gallery. He did a huge installation called "Ten Characters," which were spaces occupied by various personality types, some of them from Kabakov's life.

In 1989, he left the Soviet Union permanently and settled in New York. He continues his installations, many with his wife Emilia.

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