View full screen - View 1 of Lot 29.  ILYA KABAKOV | CONDITIONAL REFLEX.


Property from a Private Collection, United States



Property from a Private Collection, United States


b. 1933


signed in Cyrillic and dated 1964 on the reverse

enamel paint and oil on wood

Framed: 51.5 by 62.5cm, 20¼ by 24½in.

Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov.

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The following condition report is provided by Hamish Dewar who is an external specialist and not an employee of Sotheby's:

Structural Condition

The artist's support comprises a piece of plywood attached to a fixed, four member framework with triangular support sections nailed into the reverse of the four corner joints.

The work is securely held within the artist's original, white painted wooden frame. There are a number of protrusions close to the extreme edges which pertain to the nails attaching the plywood panel to the wooden framework. These appear stable at present. The reverse of the support is inscribed by the artist. There are three minor losses to the plywood panel on the left part of the extreme lower edge. The artist's frame also displays a few minor losses, most notably on the upper side edge.

Paint Surface

The paint surface has the artist's original glossy appearance.

The paint surface displays an overall pattern of fine lines of craquelure. This appears stable at present.

There are numerous stains, splashes and drip marks, including a vertical drip in the upper left corner of the composition, a horizontal drip within the table legs towards the lower left corner, splash marks within and around the central figure and further splash marks on the frame.

There is an arching dark line of abrasion above the left part of the lower edge and some further scratches and abrasions, most notably an area of small scratches and associated dark marks to the right of the table in the lower left quadrant.

I could find no evidence of retouching under ultraviolet light. The frame has possibly been repainted.


The work would therefore appear to be in good condition for a work of this period.

The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Acquired directly from the artist by the journalist Harry Shapiro (1906-1991) in Moscow, 1973

Ludmila Shapiro (1913-2005), his widow, New York

Acquired directly from the Shapiro family by the present owners

Exhibition catalogue Ilya Kabakov, Am Rande, Bern; Marseille; Düsseldorf; Paris, 1985-1986, p.15 illustrated and dated 1965

Ilya Kabakov, paintings 1957 - 2008, Catalogue Raisonné, Vol.1, Kerber Verlag, 2009, p.56 illustrated and dated 1965

Minneapolis, The Museum of Russian Art, Artistic Underground in the Late Soviet Era, 16 July - 13 November 2016