Conceptual artist Ilya Kabakov dies a 89

Russian conceptual artist Ilya Kabakov has died, the Ilya and Emilia Kabakov Foundation reports. He was 89 years of age.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Ilya Kabakov, great artist, philosopher, beloved husband, treasured father, and adored grandfather. The man who spent his life imagining utopia, departed this world on Saturday, May 27th, surrounded by his loved ones, just shy of his 90th year. The family will hold a private funeral service followed by a public memorial service in several weeks,” the foundation’s statement reads.

Kabakov is associated with Moscow conceptualism, a movement that emerged in the underground art scene of the Soviet Union in the 1970s. Kabakov was often referred to as the most famous post-Soviet modern artist.

It is often said that Kabakov became the first artist that revealed the blight of the Soviet routine, he became known for his installation art forms. Kabakov’s works are exhibited in museums worldwide and are often sold for millions of dollars.

Kabakov’s The Beetle painting, created in 1982, was sold in 2008 for $5.8 million, and his La Chambre de Luxe (1981) was sold for $4.1 million.

Kabakov was born on 30 September 1933 in Dnipropetrovsk (modern day Dnipro, Ukraine) and pursued his art education in Leningrad (modern day Saint Petersburg, Russia) and Moscow. He left the Soviet Union in the 1980s and settled in New York.

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