The Incident in the Museum and Other Installations

The Incident in the Museum and Other Installations


Exhibition location: The General Staff Building, St. Petersburg, Russia
Exhibition dates: June 22 to August 29, 2004
Press preview: June 22, 2004 at 1:00 pm

This will be the first major exhibition in Russia of the installations by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, and marks the artists' return to their homeland for the first time since departing in 1988 to live and work abroad. The exhibition opens on June 22, 2004, at the State Hermitage Museum in the General Staff Building, and will be on display through August 29, 2004.

The exhibition has been organized by The State Hermitage Museum in collaboration with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York. The exhibition brings together several installations and more than eighty drawings, sixteen paintings, sketches, designs, photographs, and models made for the installation which have been loaned from museums and private collections and are accompanied by brief texts containing excerpts from Ilya Kabakov's extensive commentaries.

This exhibition has been made possible by Stella Art Gallery, Moscow.

Ilya Kabakov is the most famous living Russian artist and is represented in the collections of many of the world's major museums (Museum of Modern Art, New York, Guggenheim Museum, New York, Musee d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Museum Angewandte Kunst, Vienna, and others).

Ilya Kabakov was born on September 30, 1933, in Dnepropetrovsk, Russia. From 1945 to 1951, he studied at the Art School, Moscow; in 1957 he graduated from V.I. Surikov State Art Institute, Moscow, where he specialized in graphic design and book illustration. During the 1950s, while earning a living as a book illustrator, he was also experimenting with several forms of abstract art. Kabakov became one of the major figures in the Moscow's "underground" community of artists and intellectuals known as the Circle of Conceptualists. During the late 1960s and 1970s, this group produced a wide range of art, from poetry to visual imagery including films.

By the late 1980s Kabakov's art had been exhibited throughout Europe, including shows in Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and the United States. Further exhibitions, such as the 1992 Documenta in Kassel, Germany, as well as Venice Biennale and Whitney Biennial, both in 1997, received the attention of art critics from around the world and ensured Kabakov's reputation as an artist of international stature.

Now a United States citizen, the artist lives in New York.

Two installations by Kabakov, In the Closet (1997) and Toilet in the Corner (1992), will be presented to The State Hermitage Museum as a part of permanent display for the future Contemporary Art Museum in The General Staff Building.

Various activities have been scheduled in conjunction with the exhibition, including access to educational resources and an International Symposium organized by the State Hermitage Museum in collaboration with CEC Arts Link and the PRO ARTE Institute in St. Petersburg. The Symposium will take place on June 23, 2004, at the Hermitage Theater. Entrance to the symposium is free of charge and tickets or reservations are not required. Ilya Kabakov and his wife Emilia, who has been directly involved in all the installations since 1989, will be participating in the opening of the show on June 22, 2004, and the Symposium on June 23, 2004.

The exhibition's curators are Germano Celant, Senior Curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Arkady Ippolitov, Department of Western European Art, assisted by Anna Konivets, The State Hermitage Museum. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with essays by Germano Celant, Boris Groys, Arkady Ippolitov, and Rober Storr.

The exhibition is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.

The Web site of The State Hermitage Museum will feature the exhibition.

St. Petersburg, April 28, 2004

For further information or images, please contact:

Guggenheim Museum Press Office
Telephone: 212 423 3840
Telefax: 212 966 0924

Lena Getmanskaya
Press Manager
The State Hermitage Museum
Telephone: 812 110 9502
Telefax: 812 312 1567

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