Skip to content

Ilya & Emilia Kabakov
Under the Snow
17 november – 16 january 2010

27 Heddon Street London W1B 4BJ

Sprovieri is pleased to present four large paintings from Ilya & Emilia Kabakov “Under the Snow” (2004 – 2006) from 17th November through 16th January 2010. This is their fifth exhibition at Sprovieri.

“Under the Snow’s concept is based on the idea of the depiction of a soft, bright, white medium, with fragments of real or not real, but in any case recognizable, reality breaking through it. The effect resembles what we see looking out of an airplane window when the earth is visible through the breaking cloud cover. But the very same earth directly underfoot can appear the exact same way, when it is visible between heaps of snow during a thaw. In any variation, we are talking about unique sorts of “windows”. Some sort of remnants of the past can be seen through these windows. Either from the actual Soviet past, or from some pre-past that surfaces from depths no longer from ones’ memory, but rather from one’s imagination. An artistic task is also postulated in this work. These “ruptures” can be interpreted as expressionist, formless spots rushing diagonally across a white background.”

“White space is a space beyond the visible world, beyond the bounds of nature” (Malevich). It is the space of pure contemplation that is in a complex relationship with the visual world but white, in those paintings, suddenly turns out to be inserted into the visual world, into nature, having being materialized in the form of snow. The snow is also associated with the idea of preservation and represent a metaphor for memory, where various memories are frozen.

Ilya Kabakov (Ukraine, 1933) and Emilia Kabakov (Ukraine, 1945) are the most important living Russian artists and have been working collaboratively since 1989. They have exhibited in major international venues as The Museum of Modern Art in New York (1991), the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (1995), the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1995) and the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburgh (2004); as well as the most significant surveys of contemporary art as Documenta in Kassel (1992), the Venice Biennale (1988; 1993; 1997; 2001; 2007) and the Whitney Biennal (1997). Their work features in many major public collections worldwide, among them: Tate Modern, MOMA and Centre Georges Pompidou. They live and work in New York.