Ilya Kabakov

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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 as an older artist, and makes multiple references to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in his artworks. Moreover, though Kabakov continued to dabble in paintings and illustrations, he generally expressed his views on the Soviet Union with three-dimensional media, in a genre termed ‘total installations’ which he first embraced in Moscow in 1985, and then revisited in the United States after emigrating.…

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