Kunsthaus Graz Universalmuseum Joanneum present El Lissitzky – Ilya and Emilia Kabakov Utopia and Reality

. February 18, 2014

The Kunsthaus Graz Universalmuseum Joanneum present El Lissitzky – Ilya and Emilia Kabakov Utopia and Reality an exhibition on view through 11 May 2014.

Top: Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Landscape with Mountains (detail), 1989. Courtesy Niccoló Sprovieri Gallery, London. © Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, © Bildrecht, Vienna 2014. Bottom: El Lissitzky, Proun (detail), ca.1922–1923. Collection Van Abbemuseum. Photo: Peter Cox.

Top: Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Landscape with Mountains (detail), 1989. Courtesy Niccoló Sprovieri Gallery, London. © Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, © Bildrecht, Vienna 2014. Bottom: El Lissitzky, Proun (detail), ca.1922–1923. Collection Van Abbemuseum. Photo: Peter Cox.

The El Lissitzky – Ilya and Emilia Kabakov exhibition considers this question and therefore makes an essential contribution to the Universalmuseum Joanneum’s this year’s theme: “Utopias in art.”

By setting the great Russian artist El Lissitzky side by side in one exhibition with Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, an insight is gained into two chapters of Russian history. Early Soviet art is juxtaposed with that of later generations, giving us a clearer perception of the art and culture of a period that was to have a lasting influence on the art world.

For El Lissitzky, the construction of the Soviet Union meant the opportunity to break away from traditional constraints. He used it to develop visions of a collective aesthetic of the new world, which he then embodied in his artworks. In contrast to this we find Kabakov’s melancholic yet almost humorous representations and interpretations of conditions in the late Soviet age. Concept and reality, hope and melancholy, belief in the new and the reality of the abuse of power—this exhibition poignantly places the two positions in parallel, examining at the same time the forms of conceptual art.

El Lissitzky – Ilya and Emilia Kabakov. Utopia and Reality is an adaptation for Kunsthaus Graz of the exhibition previously shown at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven (NL). Accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue produced by the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (NL), with texts by Charles Esche, Boris Groys, Anton Vidokle and others.

In cooperation with the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (NL)

Curated by Charles Esche, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov
Co-curated by Peter Pakesch, Katrin Bucher Trantow and Willem Jan Renders

Kunsthaus Graz
Universalmuseum Joanneum
Lendkai 1, 8020 Graz
Austria
T +43 316/8017 9200
kunsthausgraz@museum-joanneum.at

Category: Museum News

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