An alternative history of art: Rosenthal, Kabakov, Spivak

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Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Aug 15, 2005 - Art - 271 pages
Counterfactual history is the subject of this catalogue from Ilya Kabakov, a leading figure in installation art and arguably the most important living Russian artist, who often collaborates with his wife, Emilia. Here, through the artwork of three fictitious Russians, including one named Ilya Kabakov, the artist imagines an alternative outcome to the Soviet experiment, one that embraces the populist spirit and idealized subjects of socialist realism and the utopian symbolism of abstraction. In the exhibition The Teacher and the Student: Charles Rosenthal and Ilya Kabakov," two imaginary characters confront art historical and museological tropes: the model of the provincial artist; the nature of the museum retrospective; and the epoch of the avant garde. The catalogue function wryly as history lesson, morality tale, social critique and personal homage for an artist who has witnessed the failed utopian experiment of the Soviet Union, both as citizens and emigres.

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llya Kabakov and His Teacher Charles Rosenthal 225 Igor Spivak llya Kabakov llya Kabakov
Room No 1 258 Why Was it Necessary to Use the Personage Device
Rooms No 23 for the Exhibit rather than Signing My Own Name?

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About the author (2005)

Born in Dnepopetrovsk, USSR, in 1933, Ilya Kabakov graduated from the V. A. Surikov Art Academy, Moscow, in 1957, and joined the Soviet Artists' Union in 1965. After winning numerous prizes for his art all over the world and on both sides of the Iron Curtain--particularly after the late-80s onset of perestroika allowed him to build a career in the West--Kabakov settled in New York in 1992, where he continues to live and work, along with his wife, Emilia.

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