Born 1936 in Piraeus, Greece
Lives and works in Rome, Italy
As an associate of the influential Arte Povera it is clear that Kounellis‘ new works continue to challenge his own relation to materials of the „everyday“; coal, steel, glass bottles and clothes. The central work of his recent solo exhibition at a vast underground bunker beneath the University of Westminster was overwhelmingly dramatic: immense steel walls diverging through the concrete gallery, each supported by a steel table and each forming a substrate for the most haunting configurations of glass bottles, meat hooks, tensile cords and black overcoats pinioned like dead or dying bodies. Many smaller works that feel like further meditations on the theme are included in „The Ephemeral“.
A steel panel and empty bottles create frameworks from which a jacket wrapped around itself is held by hooks and another one is stretched and bound with wire. The contrast between the supporting structure out of steel, the glass surface and the hanging material draws one‘s thoughts directly to the maxim of Arte Povera. Kounellis seeks contrasts between the textures, strengths and uses of the employed materials .
Recent solo exhibitions by Kounellis were staged at HEART Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Herning, Denmark (2009); Fundación Caixa Galicia, Santiago de Compostela, Spain (2008); Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin Germany (2007) and MADRE Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina, Naples, Italy (2006). Furthermore he participated in documenta 7 (1982), documenta 6 (1977) documenta 5 (1972) and seven Venice Biennials.
04.11.2011 - February 2012
Group exhibition with works by Absalon | Joseph Beuys | Sophie Calle | Joe Coleman | Wim Delvoye | Rebecca Horn | Mathilde ter Heijne | Jannis Kounellis | Heinz Mack | Keisuke Matsuura | Christian Meegert | David Noonan | Henk Peeters | Jackson Pollock | Julian Rosefeldt | Matt Saunders | Chiharu Shiota | Miroslav Tichý | Grazia Toderi | Susan Turcot | Franz West | Nick van Woert | Yang Jiechang
at ARNDT Berlin