Ilya Kabakov, Russian Илья Иосифович Кабаков (September 30, 1933) is an American conceptual artist of Russian-Jewish origin, born in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine. He worked for thirty years in Moscow, from the 1950s until the late 1980s. He now lives and works on Long Island. He was named by ArtNews as one of the "ten greatest living artists" in 2000.
Throughout his forty-year plus career, Kabakov has produced a wide range of paintings, drawings, installations, and theoretical texts — not to mention extensive memoirs that track his life from his childhood to the early 1980s. In recent years, he has created installations that evoked the visual culture of the Soviet Union, though this theme has never been the exclusive focus of his work. Unlike some underground Soviet artists, Kabakov joined the Union of Soviet Artists in 1959, and became a full-member in 1965. This was a prestigious position in the USSR and it brought with it substantial material benefits. In general, Kabakov illustrated children's books for 3–6 months each year and then spent the remainder of his time on his own projects.