Galleria Continua will present the works by the acclaimed Russian born artist couple llya and Emilia Kabakov at this year’s Frieze Masters.
The project will focus on the artists’ large-scale paintings completed during the 1980s and 1990s charting the beginning of their artistic collaboration. From the very outset the couple’s work was distinguished by its reflection on social, cultural and political issues in the Soviet Union, on the tragic ramifications of crumbling ideologies, but also, in a more universal sense, on the human condition and the loss of moral bearings in the contemporary age.
The exhibition will be representative of the artistic duo career, showing both an installation and a selection of historical paintings and drawings. In the 1980s the couple developed an expressive form described as “total installation”. Possessing a marked narrative structure, total installation comprises elements drawn from architecture, painting, film and theatre, and concerns the potential of the artwork to entirely transform the exhibition space, considering the very notion of space as a plastic, flexible and yielding component. Drawings and paintings lead the visitors into a journey from Ilya’s studio in Moscow, through to his move to New York in the late 1980s until his collaboration with Emilia.