A Solemn Painting


YEAR: 1998



Collection of the artist


See No 118


Antwerp, M HKA, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen
16 Installaties, 17 Apr 1998 — 23 Aug 1998 (as part of No 118, 16 Installations, Room 11)

Goslar, Mönchehaus-Museum für Moderne Kunst
Ilya Kabakov, 16 Oct 1998 — 3 Jan 1999


There is only ‘one’ painting hanging in the entire hall. It is as though it deserves this singular existence and its central place on the wall. But it is not at all because of its content, technical execution, style, or because it belongs to the brush of a ‘famous’ master. It has absolutely none of these things: everything about it is entirely mediocre, in an ordinary situation, no one would pay any attention to it. Its entire special, solemn image is imparted to it by the surroundings, or, it is better to say, its design, decorum. It consists of flags, emblems, slogans, and golden tassels on cords. And primarily it is the arrangement of all these elements: severely symmetrical resembling one enormous cartouche. However, it cannot be said that the content of the painting doesn’t correspond to this design. On it is a wide valley surrounded by hills. In the distance is a city; in the foreground are relaxing ‘workers and employees.’ In a word, it is a landscape glorifying ‘Our Motherland,’ its wonderful nature and the healthy, happy people working and living in it.



1998Megan BartonComment