Emilia and Ilya Kabakov, photo by Roman Mensing

The 2019 series of ARTISTS SPEAK continues on Wednesday July 17th, beginning at 6 pm, at The Art Barge in Amagansett. This year’s focus on Collaborations brings as our second set of guests Emilia and Ilya Kabakov, the widely known pioneers of installation art, specifically of the “total installation”.

Among the most celebrated artists of their generation, the Kabakovs together have produced over 200 immersive installations and other conceptual works addressing ideas of utopia, dreams, and fear to reflect on the universal human condition.

Both Emilia and Ilya Kabakov were born in Dnepropetrovsk, in the former USSR, and came to settle in the United States. Emilia emigrated to the USA in 1973 and was a professional musician, curator, and art adviser. Ilya was a practicing artist in the Soviet Union until leaving in 1987 at  age 54 to travel Europe and America. He eventually settled in New York. Ilya and Emilia Kabakov have collaborated together since 1989. They were married in 1992. They live and work on the North Fork of Long Island.

For one  night only on the evening of ARTISTS SPEAK the Kabakovs will have on display two significant works: How To Make Yourself Better (below) and a model of Ship Of Tolerance. It is important to note that not all of the artists’ projects have been actualized at scale; some exist only as maquettes, which are considered of equal significance in their artistic practice.

While the Kabakovs work is deeply rooted in the Soviet social and cultural context in which they came of age, their work has achieved global relevance and significance.  With the very topical piece, How To Make Yourself Feel Better, individuals are instructed to explore the question: “How can you make yourself better, kinder, more decent?”

Emilia and Ilya Kabakov, How to Make Yourself Feel Better, 1998

An ongoing work for which sailboats are built in different cities with the aid of local schoolchildren, the Ship of Tolerance is a conceptual piece that is meant to reflect how divergent cultures interpret tolerance and how these interpretations overlap. The ship’s sails are stitched together from paintings by hundreds of children from different ethnic and social backgrounds to convey a message of tolerance and hope. With the mission to educate and connect the youth of different continents, cultures, and identities through the language of art, this project allows children to learn about respecting different cultures and ideas while appreciating how they differ from their own.

The Kabakovs will discuss these works and various other projects in their oeuvre in addition to speaking about their individual and shared histories.

General admission is $20, tickets on sale now at theartbarge.org.

Our membership of Individual Friends and Family Friends receive a discount by entering code artistsspeak2019 at checkout.

Please call 631.267.3172 or email programs@theartbarge.org for further information and tickets, or visit theartbarge.org.

More ARTISTS SPEAK coming up:
AUGUST 14 Alex and Maira Kalman 


June 3 to September 13
Art classes are in session at The Art Barge
(details and registration online at theartbarge.org/classes/)

July 8 to August 29
Children’s Classes
tuition assistance for students of EH School District available for Children’s Studio
thanks to generous support from the Muchnic Foundation. Children’s Photography receives support from the Anna Mirabai Lytton Foundation

July 17
Artists Speak: Emilia and Ilya Kabakov
($20 tickets available online)

August 14
Artists Speak: Maira and Alex Kalman
($20 tickets available online one week prior)

through September 7th
Four Glass Artists
on view at the D’Amico Studio and Archive

enjoy discounts on classes and events and other special perks throughout the year

Contact Esperanza Leon for further information
info@theartbarge.org or 631.267.3172.


The Victor D’Amato Institute of Art



AAQ Resource / Accommodations: Southampton Inn