The Work of Jannis Kounellis

Jannis Kounellis is a Greek-born, Italian artist, who set up his studio in Rome in the 1950s. Originally setting out to break the boundaries and barriers of painting, he eventually broke with the medium in favor of sculptural and performance art. His paintings in Rome throughout the Fifties feature icons, letters, words and directional signs. Throughout his 6 decades long career, he worked with materials such as burlap, fire, horses, gold, parrots, cotton, smoke, bringing life into his installations and sculptures in dramatic fashion. Commenting on general cultural history, as well as shedding light on day to day consciousness, his art ranges from, most famously, 11 horses tied up in a gallery, to blockaded openings (with viewers adding a performative dimension) and mounds of coffee beans and coals. As someone who has illuminated the poetics in being an artist, as well as in experiencing art, and creating it from the everyday, we look forward to Kounellis’ continued international exposure in 2013.


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