Painting, that is, the idea of painting, dominated Ilya Kabakov’s formative years as an artist in the Soviet Union. These were the late 1950s and early 1960s, the years of de-Stalinization and Nikita Khrushchev’s faltering reform of the Soviet state.
Remembering those years, Kabakov recalls, “One must say that the fetishization of the word ‘painting’ at the time was very great. It was endlessly discussed, what is genuine painting? What is not genuine? What is its relationship to nature, to the truth of life?”(Ilya Kabakov, 60-e — 70-e…zapiski o neofitsial’noi zhizni v Moskve (Vienna: Wiener Slawistischer Almanach, Sonderband 47, … Read more