press release

This will be the first major exhibition in Russia of the installations by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, and marks the artists' return to their homeland for the first time since departing in 1988 to live and work abroad. The exhibition opens on June 22, 2004, at the State Hermitage Museum in the General Staff Building, and will be on display through August 26, 2004.

The exhibition has been organized by The State Hermitage Museum in the collaboration with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, and Stella Art Gallery, Moscow. The exhibition brings together several installations and more than eighty drawings, sixteen paintings, sketches, designs, photographs, and models made for the installation which have been loaned from museums and private collections and are accompanied by brief texts containing excerpts from Ilya Kabakov's extensive commentaries.

Ilya Kabakov is the most famous living Russian artist and is represented in the collections of many of the world's major museums (Museum of Modern Art, New York, Guggenheim Museum, New York, Musee d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Museum Angewandte Kunst, Vienna, and others).

Ilya Kabakov was born on September 30, 1933, in Dnepropetrovsk, Russia. From 1945-1951, he studied at the Art School, Moscow; in 1957 he graduated from V.I. Surikov State Art Institute, Moscow, where he specialized in graphic design and book illustration. During the 1950s, while earning a living as a book illustrator, he was also experimenting with several forms of abstract art. Kabakov became one of the major figures in the Moscow's "underground" community of artists and intellectuals known as the circle of conceptualists. During the late 1960s and 1970s, this group produced a wide range of art, from poetry to visual imagery including films.

By the late 1980s Kabakov's art had been exhibited throughout Europe, including shows in Germany, Switzerland and Spain. He was also featured in several exhibitions in the United States. Further exhibitions, such as those in 1922 in Venice Biennale and Documenta in Kassel, Germany, as well as Whitney Biennial in 1997, received the attention of art critics from around the world and ensured Kabakov's reputation as an artist of international stature.

Now a United States citizen, the artist lives in New York.

Two installations "In the Closet" (1997) and "Toilet in the Corner" (1992) by Kabakov will be presented to The State Hermitage Museum as a part of permanent display for the future Contemporary Art Museum in The General Staff Building.

Various activities have been scheduled in conjunction with the exhibition, including access to educational resources and an International Symposium organized by the State Hermitage Museum in collaboration with CEC Arts Link and the PRO ARTE Institute in St. Petersburg. The Symposium will take place on June 23, 2004, at the Hermitage Theatre. Entrance to the symposium is free of charge and tickets or reservation are not required. Ilya Kabakov and his wife Emilia, who has been directly involved in all the installations since 1989, will be participating in the opening of the show on June 22, 2004, and the Symposium on June 23, 2004.

The exhibition's curators are Germano Celant, Senior Curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and Arkady Ippolitov, Department of Western European Art, assisted by Anna Konivets, The State Hermitage Museum.

The exhibition is supported be the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. Pressetext

Ilya & Emilia Kabakov - The incident in the museum and other installations
Kuratoren: Germano Celant, Arkady Ippolitov, Anna Konivets