The Gates


with Emilia Kabakov

YEAR: 2008



Collection of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov


Realized in part in the artist’s studio in 2007.

Paintings completed in 2006.

See CRP, vol. 2, nos. 549–560, pp. 287–299.

See CRI, vol. 3, no. 193, pp. 366–387.

See CRB, no. 135, pp. 522–525.


Музей изобразительных искусств им. А. С. Пушкина (Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts), Moscow, Russia
Илья и Эмилия Кабаковы: Московская ретроспектива / Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: Moscow Retrospective, organization: The Ministry of Culture and Cinematography and The Moscow Biennale Foundation, Moscow, September 17 to October 19, 2008

Grand Palais, Paris, France
Ilya et Emilia Kabakov: L’Étrange Cité (Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: The Strange City), Monumenta 2014, organization: Réunion des musées nationaux with support of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, May 10 to June 22, 2014

Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China
伊利亚和艾米莉亚•卡巴科夫:理想之城 / Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: The Dream City, 上海当代艺术博物馆, August 7 to December 6, 2015


The image of “The Gates,” standing lonely in the field, without any separation or fence next to it, leading nowhere, except into emptiness, stretching in front of them is one of the strongest visual “Metaphors,” which call to our mind numerous associations and imaginary fantasies.

This is the image of the end of life and “The Tunnel” expecting you there.

The memory about people, which passed already through those gates and are gone forever.

Besides such gates, open on both sides, there are four triptychs, hanging around at four corners of the hall.

They consist of the four, medium-size paintings, and each one with a similar subject:

Landscape with the gates standing at the horizon, but each depicted at a different time: morning, evening, night. All four triptychs are similar to each other, the difference is only in the poetry, written under each one of these triptychs.

This poetry gives us a possibility to interpret the similar images in four different ways.



2009Megan BartonComment