Lectures & Talks

Artist talk: John Baldessari, Ilya Kabakov



Artist talk: John Baldessari, Ilya Kabakov

Moderators: Kate Fowle, Hans Ulrich Obrist

The Central House of Artists, Cinema Hall

Presented as a part of the citywide cultural events for the 5th Moscow Biennale

Wednesday September 18, 2013, 7 pm

The American artist John Baldessari and the Russian Ilya Kabakov are equally celebrated as "godfathers" of Conceptual art and share a love of wit and irony that transcends language. Both have worked for nearly five decades, have a passion for painting and art history, and play with image and text, as well as mining popular culture for inspiration. Surprisingly, they have only shown together once, and have never had the opportunity to discuss their practices together in public.

On the occasion of Baldessari's first show in Moscow, 1+1=1 at Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, join co-curators Kate Fowle and Hans Ulrich Obrist for a conversation with the two artists on their views on art, what inspires them, and what Conceptualism really means to each.

Admission is free, registration is essential.

The talk will be in Russian and English with simultaneous translation. ID is required for hire of the equipment.


Additional information:

Ilya Kabakov was born in 1933 in Dnepropetrovsk. Since 1988 he has lived in New York City (USA). Kabakov is renowned as a pioneer of Russian Conceptualism, characterized by its caustic reimagining of the Soviet reality with its absurd red tape and pompous slogans. The artist is credited as the author of the term "total installation," emphasizing the full engagement of viewers with an artwork, having used this form for his acclaimed projects La Chambre de Luxe (1981), Box with Garbage (1986), The Communal Kitchen (1991), and The Toilet (1992). Photographs, newspaper clippings, speech snippets, and ordinary objects were incorporated into his installations satirizing Soviet "chic" to provoke both laughter and pity. The exhibition Utopia or Reality? El Lissitzky, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov curated by Charles Esche is open at Multimedia Art Museum from 17 September till 17 November 2013.

John Baldessari was born in 1931 in National City, California, USA, and currently lives and works in Santa Monica, California. A pioneer of Conceptual art, the artist has been working with painting, photography, film, video, books, prints, objects and installation for five decades. Since his first show in 1968, Baldessari has exhibited widely across Europe and the USA, producing nearly 100 solo exhibitions. His first retrospective was organized by the New Museum in New York in 1981; a decade later, in 1990, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles developed a survey show that traveled across the United States, and in 1995, This Not That was the first retrospective to be organized in Europe by Cornerhouse, Manchester, which travelled to London, Stuttgart, Ljubljana, Oslo and Lisbon. In 2009, the artist was the subject of a lifetime retrospective, Pure Beauty, organized by Tate Modern in London, which traveled to Museu d'Art Contemporain in Barcelona; Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York throughout 2011.
Participating in hundreds of group exhibitions all over the world since 1957, Baldessari has been selected for six Whitney Biennials (1969, 1972, 1977, 1979, 1982, 2008), three Documentas (1972, 1982, 2012) and two Venice Biennales (1997, 2009). In 2011, he was included in eleven of the 40 exhibitions developed as part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A., 1945-1980. Over his career, the artist has received numerous awards, including the Kaiserring by the city of Goslar, Germany (2012); the Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale (2009); the Lifetime Achievement Award, Americans for the Arts, New York (2005) and the Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement, College Art Association, New York (1999).




1. John Baldessari
©2011 Jim McHugh
4. 720 Vertical Painting  #3
2012, oil on canvas
284,5x190,5 cm.
Signed and dated on reverse
Collection of Ilya & Emilia Kabakov   

6. John Baldessari
Double Feature: The Set-Up, 2011
Varnished inkjet print on canvas with acrylic and oil paint
84 × 76 in. (213 × 194 cm)
Courtesy of the Collection of Craig Robins and Jackie Soffer

7. John Baldessari
Double Feature: Sudden Fear, 2011
Varnished inkjet print on canvas with acrylic and oil paint
84 × 83 inches (213 × 211 cm)
Courtesy of the Artist and Sprϋth Magers Berlin London
© John Baldessari


2. Ilya Kabakov
Paris, Thaddeaus Ropac Gallery
Photo by Emilia Kabakov
3. 708 The Window Into My Past
2012, oil on canvas
198x272 cm.
Collection of Ilya & Emilia Kabakov  
5. 736 Dark and Light #5
2013, oil on canvas
234x194 cm.
Signed and dated on reverse
Collection of Ilya & Emilia Kabakov   

8. John Baldessari
Double Bill: ...and Duchamp, 2012
Varnished inkjet print on canvas with acrylic
and oil paint
63 × 60 inches (161 × 152 cm)
Courtesy of Eric and Elisabeth Feder
© John Baldessari



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