Ilya (b. 1933) and Emilia (b. 1945) Kabakov are Russian-born, America-based artists who collaborate on environments which fuse elements of the everyday with those of the conceptual, exploring utopia and escapism, as well as the fears, dreams and hopes of people. While their work is deeply rooted in the Soviet social and cultural context in which the Kabakovs came of age, their work still attains a universal significance.
They have been shown in such venues as Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Modern, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum, New York; the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg; the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC among others. In 1993 they represented Russia at the 45th Venice Biennale with their installation The Red Pavilion. Their project with children The Ship of Tolerance was shown in ten countries, including Cuba, Egypt, Russia, the UAE and the US. The Kabakovs have also received honors and awards such as the Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2014); the Cartier Prize from Art Masters, St. Moritz, Switzerland (2010); The Praemium Imperiale, Japan (2008); the Oscar Kokoschka Preis, Vienna (2002); the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, Paris (1995); and an Honorary Diploma, Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy (1993).