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On Art (Paperback)
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On Art (Paperback)

(author), (editor)
£27.00
Paperback 432 Pages / Published: 29/11/2018
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During the 1960s and 1970s, the Russian conceptual artist Ilya Kabakov was a galvanizing figure in Moscow's underground art community, ultimately gaining international prominence as the "leader" of a band of artists known as the Moscow Conceptual Circle. Throughout this time, he created texts that he would distribute among his friends, and by the late 1990s his written production amounted to hundreds of pages. Devoted to themes that range from the "cosmism" of pre-Revolutionary Russian modernism to the philosophical implications of Moscow's garbage, Kabakov's handmade booklets were typed out on paper, then stapled or sewn together using rough butcher paper for their covers. Among these writings are faux Socialist Realist verses, theoretical explorations, art historical analyses, accompaniments to installation projects, and transcripts of dialogues between the artist and literary theorists, critics, journalists, and other artists. This volume offers for the first time in English the most significant texts written by Kabakov. The writings have been expressly selected for this English-language volume and there exists no equivalent work in any language.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226384733
Number of pages: 432
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Art, to Kabakov, is something you risk your life for, because art--when it is true--holds a place for the emergent. In this spirit, Kabakov not at all paradoxically has said, 'The artist must paint an open book.' In bringing us this volume, Matthew Jackson has performed a crucial service. Here, the two are partners in discourse. This much shows on every surprising, beautiful page."--Darby English, University of Chicago
"Kabakov is considered one of the defining figures in contemporary Russian culture. . . . Following a brief introduction by Jackson, Kabakov's writings are arranged in chronological order, and each essay or article is prefaced by Jackson's concise comments. The writings are suffused with an autobiographical character that provides explanatory contextual information. No less significant is the concluding section, which consists of Mikhail Epstein's extended interview with Kabakov. Throughout these writings, which often assume a philosophical cast, one senses Kabakov's bracing wariness of any form of orthodoxy, including that of contemporary art criticism."--CHOICE
"Insights into Russian literature and writing are usually difficult to access without fluency, because the language is nuanced and referential, yet the way Jackson translates Kabakov's writing does it justice by allowing readers in. Most of all, the book illuminates the late Soviet period and the cultures and artists that came from it. . . . Kabakov's incisive commentary reflects on the challenges of art making against the omnipresence of life and the harsh realities it often contains -- whether due to extreme social conditions, censorship, or the reality of life in the false-material utopia of the West, Kabakov's seasoned ability to transcend ideology and maintain a critical line of thought throughout is truly remarkable."--Hyperallergic
"In Russia, Ilya Kabakov is regarded as the greatest living Russian artist. Internationally he is known as one of the most important representatives of installation art. However, this book shows Kabakov as an acute observer of the Russian and international art scene. Kabakov's essays collected here shed light on art practices long overshadowed by the political conflicts of recent decades."--Boris Groys, New York University
"Before Ilya Kabakov was an international art star, he was the guiding genius of the unofficial Moscow art world in the waning decades of the Soviet Union. This tightly curated but expansive volume of his writings--expertly framed by Matthew Jesse Jackson--finally delivers Kabakov's brilliance and wit to the non-Russian reader. Kabakov the artist is inseparable from Kabakov the storyteller, and his early writings convey the intellectual intensity of his insular late-socialist world. The later ones--increasingly poetic or even incantational--return to familiar themes from the perspective of the emigre, yielding new insights about the ever-colonialist expectations of the Western art world."--Christina Kaier, Northwestern University

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