Paint the Town: Universal Inspiration

by Editorial

The Hemphill Gallery welcomes a new small-scale exhibition with large-scale inspiration.
By Kate Faherty

Heather Day, Intern, Hemphill Fine Arts; Shira Kraft, Associate Director Hemphill Fine Arts; Linling Lu, artist. Photo by Ben Droz.

The couple that creates art together stays together. HEMPHILL Fine Arts Gallery has opened a new exhibition featuring the wordly work of Russian-born artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov. Hemphill recently held a private preview event for its new KABAKOV exhibition, on view through October 29.

World-renown artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov have been married for nearly twenty years and together have been creating art that has a universal inspiration and influence. Conceptually Russian-inspired with an American flare, their artwork has earned the Kabakovs universal recognition. KABAKOV displays the collective artwork of the Kabakovs in their exciting first commercial gallery display in DC. The Hemphill exhibition is their first DC show since Ilya’s sculpture work Ten Characters was featured at the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in 1990.

KABAKOV at the Hemphill features the “Ship of Tolerance”, a scale of a larger Egypitan design-inspired life-size ship that moves by means of its sails of tolerance. The ship’s masts are decorated by children’s drawings of their interpretations and hopes of social, cultural and political tolerance. Also on display is the scale model of “The Large House of Humanity”. The project was designed for display in Washington, DC, on the bank of the Potomac River but was never implemented. The Kabakov model of the project is based in a model of a traditional American home. The words that fill the house read “Since home we have but one, this earth we live upon. With our home in constant motion we are striving toward the stars.” Originally inspired by the Soviet and social context from which the artists have grown, the Kabakovs fully understand and interpret culturally-universal inspirations.

Submerge yourself in the international artwork of KABAKOV at the Hemphill Gallery Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. until October 29.. To find out more about the exhibition, click here.

At the recent private preview event to open the exhibition, curators, fellow artists and diplomats had the opportunity to meet with the artists and welcome the Kabakovs’ artwork into the Hemphill gallery and the local art community.

Emilia Kabakov. Photo by Ben Droz.

Melissa Keys, Australian Embassy; Alex Taylor. Photo by Ben Droz.

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov. Photo by Ben Droz.

Mark Kelner, Russian art dealer; Anna Pavlova, Johnson Controls; Margarita Litvak; Robin Rose, artist. Photo by Ben Droz.

Mary Early, Gallery Director, Hemphill Fine Arts; Anna Pavlova, Johnson Controls. Photo by Ben Droz.

William Veale, Executive Director, US-Kazakhstan Business Association; George Hemphill. Photo by Ben Droz.

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