Sean Kelly Gallery is delighted to announce a major exhibition of new works by Ilya & Emilia Kabakov. This is the Kabakovs' first exhibition since joining the gallery. During the opening the Kabakovs will sign copies of their recently published two-volume catalogue raisonné of the installations, Ilya Kabakov: Installations 1983 - 2000 published by Richter Verlag.
The Kabakovs' exhibition is comprised of two important large-scale installations and a series of new drawings. The installation in the main gallery, 20 Ways to Get an Apple Listening to the Music of Mozart, is an enormous dinner table with an apple in the middle and twenty place settings. The text to the right of each place setting explains one way to get the apple, while a drawing to the left of each plate illustrates the method. The various ways to get the apple include schemes that are philosophical, magical, psychological, and linguistic among others and could be perceived as various conceptual modes of appropriation. The work could also be interpreted as a commentary on unfulfilled promise and the irony of human intellectual endeavors. Gallery 2 has been transformed into two rooms in a children's hospital by an installation called The Children's Hospital. In each room the sound of music and a story being told emanates from small model theaters adjacent to the bed, each of which tells a different fable.
Designated one of the world's 10 greatest living artists by ARTnews, Ilya Kabakov has been making installation art since 1984, becoming not only one of the medium's most important practitioners but also one of its most significant theoreticians and the leading figure of the Russian art movement of the 1980s known as "Moscow Conceptualism." Kabakov was born in Dnepropetrovsk, USSR in 1933 and lived in the Soviet Union until coming to the West in 1988. Officially an illustrator of children's books, he was one of the leaders of Moscow's unofficial underground art scene from the late 1950s on, and is widely recognized as one of the most important artists of our time.
Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: The Empty Museum will be on view at The Sculpture Center in Long Island City from January 11 until April 11, 2004. Forthcoming exhibitions include the Museu Serralves in Porto, Portugal; the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan; MAK Museum Vienna, Austria; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece; the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, Ohio; Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany and the Museum of the 21st Century, Rome, Italy.