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Kabakov's Strange Utopia

The self-exiled Russian conceptualist artist Ilya Kabakov, 80, has earned international recognition for transportive installations that evoke either distant memory or imagined, dreamlike futures. In May, for Paris’s annual large-scale exhibit “Monumenta,” Ilya and Emilia Kabakov (his wife, partner since 1988 and cousin of indeterminate remove) erect Strange City, their largest installation to date, beneath the glass vault of the Grand Palais. The “city,” seven stucco buildings that evoke medieval Italy, will be populated by a new suite of dark, vibrant paintings; an otherworldly installation of “images and sounds from the cosmos”; and Ilya’s trademark instructional models and utopian dreamscapes, such as How to Meet an Angel (a sketch for the piece, above), in which a man climbs a ladder to nowhere and greets an angel with outstretched arms. On view May 10 through June 22; 3 Av. du Général Eisenhower;

Pictured: Ilya Kabakov’s sketch for How to Meet an Angel, one piece for his upcoming show at Paris’s Grand Palais, which is depicted in the background.


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