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Exhibition of works by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov on view at Sprovieri
Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: Quotations. Installation view at Sprovieri, London, 2017. Courtesy the artists and Sprovieri. Photo © Deniz Güzel.

LONDON.- Sprovieri is presenting Quotations, the eighth exhibition of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov at the gallery.

‘The series Quotations is built on dramaturgy, the play in the conflict between two juxtaposed, different painting practices that have different origins, each of which has its own historical roots.

(…) The traditions of suprematism demand that multi-coloured geometric planes are grouped and fly around somewhere nearby the centre of the painting space, this depth and distance of white space belongs to them, these second and third planes (speaking in the language of classic painting) are the place of their existence. In Quotations there is a rearrangement of these geometric figures from the depths where they “floated around” forward (to the foreground), towards the frame of the painting where they, in accordance with the visual laws of painting, turned out to be immobile. In this way, the space of the secondary and tertiary planes turned out to be free, unoccupied, and in connection with that, these figures acquired additional energy – curiosity (…).
(…) the positioning of realistic space behind the suprematist “fence” imparts to that space a shade of additional luminescence, and what is particularly interesting, it creates an “air of freedom”, a desire to escape “to there” to be “there”. (…) In the described composition, “suprematism” plays the role of design, décor, whereas “realism” plays the role of content, meaning (…) So it is this “non-consent” to execute a role assigned to it that places “suprematism” in Quotations in a relationship of dramatic conflict with realism in the centre of the painting and creates constantly, as it seems, that “dramatic action” of the entire whole’. (Ilya Kabakov)

Concurrently running with their major retrospective at Tate Modern Not Everyone Will Be Taken Into the Future, the exhibition at Sprovieri will showcase Quotations #1 and Quotations #2, the first two paintings from the 2012 series, which has never been shown in the UK.

Following their first show at Galleria Sprovieri in Rome in 1992, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov have exhibited at Sprovieri since the gallery opened in London in 2000. Previous shows are Two Mountains (2013), The Happiest Man presented at Ambika P3 (2013), The Flying Paintings (2010), Under the Snow (2010), I Sleep In The Orchard (2008), The White Cube (2005), Toilet In The Corner (2002) and How To Meet An Angel (2000).

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov live and work in Long Island, New York, USA. Their work is in the collection of major institutions such as MoMA, Centre Pompidou and Tate Modern. In 2018 their retrospective at Tate Modern will travel to the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg and the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. They were selected for major international events such as Monumenta at the Grand Palais, Paris (2014), the Venice Biennale (1993, 1995, 2003, 2007), the Whitney Biennial (1997) and documenta IX (1992). The Kabakovs have also completed many important public commissions throughout the world and have received a number of honours and awards, including the Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Ministry of Culture, Paris (2014), The Praemium Imperiale, Japan Association (2008), the Oskar Kokoschka Preis, Vienna (2002) and the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, Paris (1995).

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