One of the founders of Moscow’s conceptual art movement, Ilya Kabakov worked in Moscow from the 1950s until the 1980s before emigrating to the US, where he has collaborated with his wife Emilia since 1989. The Kabakovs’ work consists of large-scale installations and environments, often evoking the history and visual culture of the Soviet Union through fictional biographies and personal memories.
This exhibition formed part of the first major retrospective of the artists’ work in their native city, with other shows taking place at the State Pushkin Museum and Contemporary Art Center Winzavod.
Works on show, some on loan from private collections and international museums, included The Alternative History of Art (2005), which explores an alternative version of the 20th-century Russian avant-garde by presenting the work of three fictitious artists, and The Red Wagon (1991), an installation featuring a Russian-style wagon decorated with Social Realist paintings and Soviet songs specially arranged by Vladimir Tarasov.
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