Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y—"For anyone venturing north of New York City with contemporary art in mind," Ken Johnson says in his review of the exhibition Ilya Kabakov: 1969–1998 for the New York Times, this is a "destination…not to be missed this summer." Amada Cruz, director of the Center for Curatorial Studies Museum at Bard College, has extended special tours of the exhibition through August 25 due to overwhelming interest. This exhibition presents the largest selection of works by Russian artist Ilya Kabakov ever to be shown in the United States, featuring early drawings, major installations, paintings, and sculptures. The exhibition tours will take place on Fridays, August 4, 11, 18, and 25, beginning at 1:30 p.m. in the museum's lobby. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The museum will have extended hours during the Bard Music Festival, opening on Saturdays August 12 and 19, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sundays, August 13 and 20, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Both the exhibition and special tours are free and open to the public.

The works by Kabakov are drawn from a variety of sources, including the John L. Stewart Collection, the largest private collection of works by Kabakov. Among the works in the exhibition are some that have rarely or never before been exhibited in the United States. The never-exhibited works are: a selection of the "Albums," a multipart painting entitled "Fragments" (1983), and the installations "The Red Corner" (1983) and "Reverse" (1998).

Ilya Kabakov was born in the Ukraine in 1933 and graduated from the Moscow Art School in 1951. He worked as a children's book illustrator for many years while he produced unofficial artwork, a series of "drawings for myself." He rose to international prominence as one of the leading members of a group of dissident artists known as the Moscow conceptualists. A playful irony and narrative have always characterized his work. The approaches and themes of Kabakov's mature work can be traced to a series of "Albums" he began in 1968, in which he develops fictional characters such as misunderstood artists and documents their thoughts and others' comments on their works.

Kabakov's installations are complex environments. He calls them "total installations." "An installation is the work of art and . . . its own exhibition . . a world its own." They immerse viewers in other worlds such as communal Soviet apartments, the studio of an untalented artist, or an old Russian school. Humorous and often melancholy narratives in the form of texts on paintings or drawings add to the poignancy of his work.

This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of Robert W. Wilson. For further information about the exhibition and the special exhibition tours, call the Center for Curatorial Studies at 845-758-7598 or e-mail

# # #


back to top

This event was last updated on 03-02-2001