Artwork Details

  • Artist Ilya Kabakov
  • Title The Blue Carpet
  • Date 1997
  • Medium Installation, mixed media, carpet, wool, copies of drawings
  • Dimensions 8 x 6 m, drawings are various sizes
The Blue Carpet Image


My idea was always to bring the Blue Carpet to the Middle East, because of the atmosphere. When you go to a Mosque and you pray, you come with a goal. You know you pray to someone who has to hear you, there is a very certain destination for your talk. Here its like imitation of this…you reflect on your personal problems and personal hopes. It is something a little different in a way, more human more melancholic.

It is about two levels. Usually we look at the artwork at eye level. In this case it is on the floor, so in order to look at it you have to lie down and be on the same level as the art…you have to lower yourself down to be with it, you are still in the sky, but you see reality around you.

These drawings are surrounded by emptiness, so each empty drawing is also surrounded by emptiness. The frame in this work is more important than the artwork. In a way it is a paradise, you are in a paradise…it is a very soft light, it is very comfortable, lying on the carpet doing nothing. We have a lot of people who come who lie down on the carpet and don’t even look at the art. The look at the sky. It’s very relaxing. You are in this room surrounded by clouds, you are doing nothing, you think and you are free. Usually when people are in museums they concentrate, especially today, they have a goal. Here the art is not hung on the wall, there is nothing to see, you lie down, but the art is on your level too. And you can relax because there is nowhere to go. You are part of this work, you are part of this paradise, and you are without shoes. Without shoes, there is nowhere you can go. You have to relax. There is also a border. Every drawing has a border, a frame. But the carpet has a border too. So you are free, but you are inside the border.

-Hoor Al-Qasimi

The Blue Carpet, 1997

Ilya Kabakov
The Blue Carpet, 1997
Installation, mixed media, carpet, wool, 130/150 copies of drawings
8 x 6 m, drawings are various sizes
Installation view
Sharjah Art Foundation Collection


The Blue Carpet

Kabakov, Ilya and Emilia

Considered among the most significant Russian artist to have emerged in the 20th Century, since 1988 Ilya Kabakov has been working collaboratively with his wife Emila.