From the Heart(land)

From the Heart(land)

Well, I’m back from spring break and trying to get into the swing of school again. I’m introducing my students to installation art right now and hoping to inspire them with some artists who I think make really great and interesting work. Maybe I can inspire some of you Hollanders too…

As usual, it’s hard for me to narrow my choices down. The good news is, I’ll have posts for this blog for the next 50 years. It’s refreshing to think that there might be that much good art out there! So, for today, I settled on the Russian husband-and-wife team Ilya and Emilia Kabakov. They specialize in installation art and they definitely go all out. Their work is incredibly intricate and detailed and not minimal at all. I can’t imagine how much time and thought they put into each part of these installations. They have a ton of work so I’ll just share some of my favorites and leave you with the link to explore their website. The website in itself is a piece of work!

Bio info:

Ilya Kabakov was born in Dnepropetrovsk, Soviet Union, in 1933. He studied at the VA Surikov Art Academy in Moscow,
and began his career as a children’s book illustrator during the 1950s, later becoming one of a group of Conceptual artists
in Moscow who worked outside the official Soviet art system. In 1985 he received his first solo exhibition at Dina Vierny
Gallery, Paris, and he moved to the West two years later, taking up a six-month residency at Kunstverein Graz, Austria.

Emilia Kabakov (née Kanevsky) was born in Dnepropetrovsk, Soviet Union, in 1945. She attended the Music College in
Irkutsk, in addition to studying Spanish language and literature at Moscow University. In 1973 she emigrated to Israel, and
two years later moved to New York, where she worked as a curator and art dealer. She began working with Ilya Kabakov in
1989 and they married in 1992. As well as publishing books that archive the complete history of their work, the pair has
collaborated on large-scale projects and ambitious installations, and their work has been shown in major international

Ten Characters

Each one of the rooms in this installation features a different character, complete with a very detailed story to accompany the artifacts in the room. This one is about a man who created an apparatus to propel himself into space. The room is littered with his sketches. He shot up so fast he even left his shoes behind!

The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment

“There was smoke pouring from his room, some sort of steam and the smell of something burning. His door was completely destroyed, hanging by the hinges.”

The Palace of Projects

This installation consists of two parts–the pavilion/structure in the shape of a nautilus shell and the 65 objects with texts arranged inside of it.

Cloud Management

This installation “displays and examines a seemingly commonly known and even trivial truth: the world consists of a multitude of projects–realized ones, half-realized ones, and not realized at all. Everything that we see around us, in the world surrounding us, everything that we discover in the past, that which possibly could comprise the future–all of this is a limitless world of projects.”

A lot of their work focuses on the idea of dreams and making them into realities. Be sure to check out Antenna if you get a chance. (artists’ website)