Three Installations Comprised of Paintings


with Emilia Kabakov

YEAR: 2017



The installation is comprised of the three installations Two Time Periods, In the Right Direction and The Sky. Each part displays a series of paintings of the same names.

Does not exist as installation in this form. Paintings in the collection of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov.


Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Pantin, France
Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, October 19, 2017 to January 6, 2018


Each of these three installations is comprised of a group of five paintings arranged on a large wall of the museum in a specific order, which is why we can call this an “installation.” Here is the arrangement: in the center of each layout hangs a painting the height of which is equal to the height of the other four paintings, but the width is much greater, so in terms of size it occupies the “main” position; the other paintings are arranged two on each side of this main painting. It, this core painting, serves not only as the compositional center, but also as the semantic center of meaning—it unites the entire installation visually and “explains”  all the other paintings, so that among them emerges a reciprocity and they all supplement the content.

About each separate group:

  1. The series of four paintings titled Two Time Periods has at its center a painting from the series The Unknown Planet. Originally, this series was also called Two Time Periods and also had as its subject a collage of fragments of quotes from paintings of “various time periods.” The significance of placing this painting in the center is that its dark spatial background reveals that the same kind of fathomless, deep darkness underlies all that is depicted in all the other four paintings.

  2. In the center of the second installation titled In the Right Direction hangs a large “painting explanation.” The text written on it serves as a commentary on the other four vertical paintings. (See “About These Paintings” below for the text.)

  3. Finally, the third installation The Sky is visually rather obvious. It looks like a panorama with a central subject in the middle. As a whole, the installation is the depiction of the sky during sunset, with the changing illumination of the atmosphere during the setting of the sun in each painting. As a whole, this is the juxtaposition of the movement of people, with the orb above the horizon opening up in both directions. But all five paintings must appear to be independent while simultaneously forming a united, cohesive whole, and therefore it is so important to ensure precise intervals when hanging them.

Spatially, these groups of paintings can and should be arranged as in old chapels: the main, central painting is on the front wall and the rest are on the side walls, two placed symmetrically on each side of the central one, like in the exhibit proposal for the Ropac Gallery.

The exposition is accompanied by softly playing music, preferably old German music.



2017Megan BartonComment