Release date:November 13, 2013
Amei Wallach and editor/cinematographer Ken Kobland collaborate with the Hermitage Museum to explore the fascinating lives and work of the Kabakovs, a husband-and-wife team who are Russia's most acclaimed visual artists. Born in 1933 in the Ukraine – to a Jewish family during the famine artificially created by Stalin – Ilya Kabakov's life changed when he literally stumbled into the Leningrad School of Art. The deprivation he and his mother suffered during this period serves as the emotional substrata of his art. In the Soviet Union he led a double life: as a successful state-approved illustrator and as a major artist, forbidden to exhibit his own art. Coming to the US in 1988, Ilya began to build three-dimensional spaces using the communal apartment as a metaphor for the intellectual, psychological and physical repression at the core of Soviet life. In 2005, he became the first living Russian artist to exhibit at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.