Komar And Melamid Analysis

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4. Ilya Kabakov
Ilya Kabakov offers an interesting counterpart to the artist duo Komar and Melamid. In comparison to Komar and Melamid who applied to emigrate twice in 1977, Kabakov was reluctant to leave his country, admitting that he would have remained in the Soviet Union “forever if perestroika hadn 't come”. Nonetheless, this was not due to any deep patriotism to the Soviet Union. Though he still retained his official position as a children’s book illustrator, he was seen as an unofficial artist and continued to quietly produce his own work in his spare time. Additionally, Kabakov emigrated at the close of the Cold War in 1987, almost a decade after Komar and Melamid. Subsequently, he also endured a longer period of aesthetic isolation
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Here, he elaborates on a then forthcoming exhibition at Pace Gallery:

There is a concentration on classical painting because I feel that today we need to reincorporate the Baroque into the present day. Sometimes in order to move forward, one has to look back— just as Michelangelo looked back to ancient Roman sculpture, and gave it new life — this is the true meaning of the ‘Renaissance’. This is my intuition.
5. Conclusion
In conclusion, in expressing their émigré experiences, Komar and Melamid did not significantly alter their strategies and discourses of art in hugely significant ways. They drew upon the same devices of appropriation and irony on a new subject, capitalism. In contrast, Kabakov had greater experimentation in the immediate decade post-emigration, moving entirely to a new medium of total installation. Moreover, although he, unlike Komar and Melamid, disavowed his Russian artistic identity in favour of a global one, he was at first more preoccupied with engaging and explaining to Western audiences his Soviet experiences. It would be interesting to explore further the influences that Komar and Melamid and Kabakov had on one another, given their Moscow Conceptualist backgrounds, and especially because their strategies of art appear to be overlapping

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