December 1, 2012

The Cosmos_Voices in the Void

Exhibition booklet not near at hand? Here you find the text linked to this theme.

During the period just after the Russian Revolution, many people had an almost unlimited faith in the future. Machines were taking over human labour in the factories. Trains, cars and airplanes meant that large distances could be bridged faster than anyone had ever dared to hope. The human imagination – certainly that of Lissitzky and his fellow artists – gradually assumed that these developments would soon continue into outer space, the cosmos. Several drawings and designs from that period show the development of entire floating cities. During this period, Lissitzky called the works which he made ‘Prouns’. The word ‘Proun’ is an abbreviation of ‘proektutverzhdenyanovogo’, ‘the design to reinforce the new; . Every aspect of the future was examined.
Ilya and Emilia Kabakov complemented these ‘Prouns’ with a series of paintings in which white predominates. While pure abstract forms are allocated a particular place in the paintings and drawings of Lissitzky, they are completely absent in these paintings by Kabakov. Occasionally it is just possible to discern a number of peripheral figures framing the large white fields. White plays a central role in the work of Ilya Kabakov. White paper is not only the start of the visual creative process for him in his drawings, but white paint is also the pictorial snow which can cover his productions. Kabakov explains the meaning of the white in his paintings in his model in this hall.

Van Abbemuseum


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