← Back to blog

Ilya Orlov

Aesthetics, De-Aestheticisation, Abstraction


Ilya Orlov (1973) is an artist and theorist based in Helsinki since 2015. Orlov’s works have been shown as part of Manifesta 10 (2014), commissioned by the biennial. In 2014, Orlov was shortlisted for the Innovation Prize, and in 2018, for the Finnish Pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale. 

Research interests

Conceptual art and its theoretical legacy; theories of the avant-garde; classic philosophy of art and German aesthetics; Dada, Duchamp, and de-aestheticisation of art; abstract art and philosophy.

Doctoral research project

The thesis ‘Aesthetics, De-Aestheticisation, Abstraction’ undertakes a revision of art’s ontology by the analysis of the theoretical clash between German aesthetics and the ‘antiartistic’ and ‘contra-aesthetic’ programmes of the avant-garde and Conceptual art. Written from the standpoint of artist-theorist, the study aims to contribute to developing a philosophical discourse that would be able to bridge the gap between academic art theory and today’s art praxis.

Key authors/bibliography

Alexander Alberro, Art & Language, Charles Harrison, Daniel Buren, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Hans Richter, Ian Burn, Ilya Kabakov, Boris Groys, Immanuel Kant, Kazimir Malevich, Joseph Kosuth, Keti Chukhrov, Leon Trotsky, Lucy R. Lippard, Luis Camnitzer, Marcel Duchamp, Mel Bochner, Peter Bürger, Peter Osborne, Robert B. Pippin, Sarah Charlesworth, Seth Siegelaub, Sol LeWitt, Thierry de Duve, Timothy Binkley.

Area of expertise in teaching

Topics: theories of the avant-garde and conceptualism; classic philosophy of art and German aesthetics; exhibition practice; art practice from the standpoint of art theory; art theory from the standpoint of art practice. Formats: lectures; practice/discussion-based seminars.  

Teaching experience

A one-semester course ‘Perspectives on Artistic Research’ aimed at KuvA MA and BA students in 2018 (organising, teaching). A series of lectures for the School of Engaged Art in St. Petersburg in 2014-2015.

KuvA research activities

This blog highlights the activities of the research unit and doctoral programme at the Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki | Tämä blogi esittelee Kuvataideakatemian tutkimusyksikön ja tohtorikoulutusohjelman tapahtumia ja toimintaa | I den här bloggen presenteras verksamheten och evenemangen vid Bildkonstsakademins forskningsenhet och doktorandprogram

Latest posts

Follow blog