born in Vilnius, 1960


K.Krause. KGB

Ilya Kitup’s creative imagination has been enchanted by Mars, alien civilizations, and (more specifically) the means of getting closer to them for over a decade. He is not a sentimental dreamer or utopian, however. He is a discoverer, for in the space of his own studio (yes, in his studio!) he manufactures constructions and instruments whose great and, alas, unrealizable function is to fly, roar (i.e., motors), and help humankind to overcome distances measured in light years.

Moreover, these designs never leave the two-dimensional surface, the level of the blueprint, sketch or graphic fantasy. Such is the nature of his machines, engines, and apparatuses.

A separate aspect of his mythology is the idea of the intelligent life that still populates Mars, which is testified to by the publications that are allegedly printed there. Obviously, this is a pure invention on the part of the artist, a fantasy that is hackneyed and contrived and not particularly witty. And yet Kitup elaborates it with enviable earnestness. In the series STAMPATO he presents the covers of Martian books (as well as those of “normal” books, i.e., from Earth): a dozen linocuts on colored paper that depict industrial sites there – contours, façades, fragments of some kind.


The books published on Mars wage an intellectual war with their earthly counterparts, whose titles are an endless series of abbreviations, primarily the three-letter variety (KGB, DDR, KDW, etc.). The covers themselves are adorned with infantile drawings – airplane wings or a potted plant.

The presentation of Kitup’s work at Enduring Futurism is a not altogether ordinary sampling of the work of this primitivist graphic artist. Rather, it is an ode to the talents of researcher, engineer, and mad scientist buried deep within him.

Thus the representation of his talent is not limited to the traditional form of a wall on which framed graphic works have been hung, but moves implacably towards revealing the secrets of a kind of virtual design bureau: an idée fixe in the form of diagrams, blueprints, and meticulously detailed plans. This is Kitup the draughtsman, physicist, and mechanic. Kitup as Semyon Lavochkin. Kitup as Andrei Tupolev.

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artists/ilja_kitup.txt · Last modified: 17. 05 2013 16:11:55 (external edit)
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