The Museum for Architectural Drawing Presents Conceptual Artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov

Oct. 04, 2019

The Museum for Architectural Drawing in Berlin will open an exhibition of acclaimed conceptual artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov on October 16th. In the show, their immense body of work will be accessible through a variety of drawings on display, which illustrate the connection between their “total” installations and architecture.

The exhibition ‘In the Making: Ilya and Emilia Kabakov. From Drawing to Installation’ will bring together a selection of sketches and drawings of their famous installations such as ‘The Palace of Projects,’ which is permanently installed at the Zeche Zollverein in Essen; ‘The Toilet,’ which was realised at the IX Kassel Documenta in 1992; and ‘The Red Pavilion,’ exhibited at the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993.

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Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: ‘The Center of Cosmic Energy,’ 1999, Aquarell, Tusche, Watercolour, black ink, 27.5 × 41 cm // © Ilya and Emilia Kabakov

The artist duo is known for creating what they call “total” installations, which immerse viewers in the spaces they create. Their installations focus on utopian dreams and also tell stories about their past in the USSR. The drawings on display will showcase their visual language that is not process-based but rooted in the unique initial visions and concepts of the artists.

The exhibition will also show ideas and sketches for their unrealised installation ‘Vertical Opera,’ which was to be performed at the Guggenheim Museum, and a light installation of their drawing ‘How to Meet an Angel,’ which will be projected on the museum’s façade.

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Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: ‘Vertical Opera’ (Guggenheim), Detail / Detail Drawing, Aquarell, Tusche, Bleistift, Watercolour, black ink, pencil, 21 × 28 cm // © Ilya and Emilia Kabakov

The artistic duo create the concept for their famous installations, built projects and set designs together; and Ilya transforms the ideas into paper form using his well-honed graphic style. For them, the formal distinction between art and architecture is naturally blurred, and the exhibition ‘In the Making: Ilya and Emilia Kabakov. From Drawing to Installation’ presents this nexus between installation art and architecture as an imaginative and utopian study of space.

Exhibition Info

‘In the Making: Ilya & Emilia Kabakov. From Drawing to Installation’
Opening Reception: Wednesday, Oct. 16; 7pm
Exhibition: Oct. 17, 2019 – Feb. 23, 2020
Christinenstraße 18a, 10119 Berlin, click here for map


Video by Greg Bannan, music by Paul Bessenbacher

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