Jannis Kounellis

By 27 June 2019 Artists

JANNIS KOUNELLIS

JANNIS KOUNELLIS

Biography

Jannis Kounellis was born in Piraeus (Greece) in 1936, moved to Italy in 1956 settling in Rome where he lived and worked until he passed away in 2017. After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts, in the first works of the ‘60s he outlined words, letters, directional signs and numbers painted on canvas, paper and other media. During these years, he explored not only a physical-pictorial language but a physical-environmental dimension, introducing in the work sensorial stimulation (with sounds and smells) with organic presences such as a musician or a dancer and elements such as coffee and grappa. Since the late 60s he explored the juxtaposition between the temporality inherent in nature and the strictness of industrial structures creating installations that reinterpreted ancient cultures with contemporary means, and participated in the exhibitions that defined the movement of Arte Povera. The real protagonist of his work was organic matter: jute, wood, coal, and even live and embalmed animals create precise contrasts that evoke lightness and heaviness, a visual expression of a tragic and intimate relation with culture and history. Since 1967 he began to use combustion as a regenerating and transforming phenomenon, and since the late ‘70s smoke and traces of soot on canvases and walls suggested the idea of a “coming back to painting” in opposition to an hedonistic approach typical of his contemporary artistic production.

Numerous his personal exhibitions held in prestigious international institutions: Prada Foundation, Venice (2019), Museum Küppermühle of Modern Art, Duisburg (2018), Museum of Contemporary Art, São Paulo (2016), Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Saint-Etienne (2014), Palazzo Belmonte Riso, Palermo and Museum am Dom, Würtzburg (2012) ), Today Art Museum, Beijing (2011), Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire (2008), Musée d’Orsay, Paris and Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2007), MADRE, Naples (2006), Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art , Edinburgh and Albertina, Vienna (2005), Vijecnica / National Library, Sarajevo and Modern Art Oxford, Oxford (2004), National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome (2002), Centro Luigi Pecci, Prato (2001) ), Kunstmuseum Winterthur and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires (2000), Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna (1999), Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (1996), Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Bologna (1995), Palazzo Fabroni, Pistoia (1993), PAC, Milan (1992), Kestner -Gesellschaft, Hannover (1991), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1990), Museo di Capodimonte, Naples (1989), Museum of Contemporary Art – Castello di Rivoli, Turin (1988), Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montreal (1987), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1986), CAPS Musée d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux (1985), Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden (1982, 1981), Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (1981), Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1980), Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam (1977).

Among his participations in prestigious collective exhibitions throughout the world: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia (2018), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2016), Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan (2015), Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao and Prada Foundation, Venice (2014), MoMA, New York (2013), MACBA, Barcelona, MADRE, Naples (2009), Museum of Art, Tel Aviv (2007), Palazzo Grassi, Venice (2006), National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi (2005), Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel (2003), CAP, Bordeaux (2002), Tate Modern, London and Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2001), Reggia di Caserta, Caserta (2000), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (1999), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1998), Prefectural Museum of Art, Nagoya (1997), Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (1995), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel (1994), The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1992), The Art Institute of Chicago and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (1990), The Royal Academy of Arts, London (1989), Nationalgalerie, Berlin (1988), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1987). His collaboration with Galleria Fumagalli began in 2003 with a first solo show in the gallery spaces in Bergamo, followed in 2009 by a second solo show, in collaboration with Museo Bernareggi (featuring the publication of a monograph with texts by Franco Fanelli, published by Silvana Editoriale). On December 28, 2015 the performance “Die Hamletmaschine by Heiner Muller” by Jannis Kounellis and Theodoros Terzopoulos, curated by Annamaria Maggi and Alexandra Papadopoulos, took place at Piccolo Teatro d’Europa in Milan. The year after, in the new spaces of the gallery in Milan, the video of the performance and part of the scenography were re-staged in an exhibition.

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Biography

Jannis Kounellis was born in Piraeus (Greece) in 1936, moved to Italy in 1956 settling in Rome where he lived and worked until he passed away in 2017. After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts, in the first works of the ‘60s he outlined words, letters, directional signs and numbers painted on canvas, paper and other media. During these years, he explored not only a physical-pictorial language but a physical-environmental dimension, introducing in the work sensorial stimulation (with sounds and smells) with organic presences such as a musician or a dancer and elements such as coffee and grappa. Since the late 60s he explored the juxtaposition between the temporality inherent in nature and the strictness of industrial structures creating installations that reinterpreted ancient cultures with contemporary means, and participated in the exhibitions that defined the movement of Arte Povera. The real protagonist of his work was organic matter: jute, wood, coal, and even live and embalmed animals create precise contrasts that evoke lightness and heaviness, a visual expression of a tragic and intimate relation with culture and history. Since 1967 he began to use combustion as a regenerating and transforming phenomenon, and since the late ‘70s smoke and traces of soot on canvases and walls suggested the idea of a “coming back to painting” in opposition to an hedonistic approach typical of his contemporary artistic production.

Numerous his personal exhibitions held in prestigious international institutions: Prada Foundation, Venice (2019), Museum Küppermühle of Modern Art, Duisburg (2018), Museum of Contemporary Art, São Paulo (2016), Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Saint-Etienne (2014), Palazzo Belmonte Riso, Palermo and Museum am Dom, Würtzburg (2012) ), Today Art Museum, Beijing (2011), Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire (2008), Musée d’Orsay, Paris and Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2007), MADRE, Naples (2006), Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art , Edinburgh and Albertina, Vienna (2005), Vijecnica / National Library, Sarajevo and Modern Art Oxford, Oxford (2004), National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome (2002), Centro Luigi Pecci, Prato (2001) ), Kunstmuseum Winterthur and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires (2000), Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna (1999), Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (1996), Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Bologna (1995), Palazzo Fabroni, Pistoia (1993), PAC, Milan (1992), Kestner -Gesellschaft, Hannover (1991), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1990), Museo di Capodimonte, Naples (1989), Museum of Contemporary Art – Castello di Rivoli, Turin (1988), Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montreal (1987), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1986), CAPS Musée d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux (1985), Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden (1982, 1981), Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (1981), Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1980), Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam (1977).

Among his participations in prestigious collective exhibitions throughout the world: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia (2018), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2016), Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan (2015), Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao and Prada Foundation, Venice (2014), MoMA, New York (2013), MACBA, Barcelona, MADRE, Naples (2009), Museum of Art, Tel Aviv (2007), Palazzo Grassi, Venice (2006), National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi (2005), Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel (2003), CAP, Bordeaux (2002), Tate Modern, London and Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2001), Reggia di Caserta, Caserta (2000), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (1999), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1998), Prefectural Museum of Art, Nagoya (1997), Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (1995), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel (1994), The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1992), The Art Institute of Chicago and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (1990), The Royal Academy of Arts, London (1989), Nationalgalerie, Berlin (1988), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1987). His collaboration with Galleria Fumagalli began in 2003 with a first solo show in the gallery spaces in Bergamo, followed in 2009 by a second solo show, in collaboration with Museo Bernareggi (featuring the publication of a monograph with texts by Franco Fanelli, published by Silvana Editoriale). On December 28, 2015 the performance “Die Hamletmaschine by Heiner Muller” by Jannis Kounellis and Theodoros Terzopoulos, curated by Annamaria Maggi and Alexandra Papadopoulos, took place at Piccolo Teatro d’Europa in Milan. The year after, in the new spaces of the gallery in Milan, the video of the performance and part of the scenography were re-staged in an exhibition.

View curriculum →

Works

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2000. Metal sheet, iron, blanket, 200x180x15 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2000. Metal sheet, iron, blanket, 200x180x15 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2000
Metal sheet, iron, blanket, 200x180x15 cm
Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2005. Iron scales, Murano glasses, 250x600 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2005. Iron scales, Murano glasses, 250x600 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2005
Iron scales, Murano glasses, 250x600 cm
Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2005. Metal sheet, varnish on paper, jute sack with coal, 200x180x30 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2005. Metal sheet, varnish on paper, jute sack with coal, 200x180x30 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2005
Metal sheet, varnish on paper, jute sack with coal, 200x180x30 cm
Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2008. Metal sheet, lead, fabric, 103x73x12 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2008. Metal sheet, lead, fabric, 103x73x12 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2008
Metal sheet, lead, fabric, 103x73x12 cm
Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2009. Iron sheets, coats, 200x180x15 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2009. Iron sheets, coats, 200x180x15 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2009
Iron sheets, coats, 200x180x15 cm
Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2009. Metal net, hooks, coats, 353x865x30 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2009. Metal net, hooks, coats, 353x865x30 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2009
Metal net, hooks, coats, 353x865x30 cm
Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2011. Iron sheet, glass, ink on paper, fabric, 63x46,5x10 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2011. Iron sheet, glass, ink on paper, fabric, 63x46,5x10 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2011
Iron sheet, glass, ink on paper, fabric, 63x46,5x10 cm
Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2013. Iron sheet, coat, hook, lead, 100x70 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2013. Iron sheet, coat, hook, lead, 100x70 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2013
Iron sheet, coat, hook, lead, 100x70 cm
Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 1996. Oil pastel on paper, 112x82 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 1996. Oil pastel on paper, 112x82 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 1996
Oil pastel on paper, 112x82 cm
Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2002. Oil pastel on paper, 83x63 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2002. Oil pastel on paper, 83x63 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2002
Oil pastel on paper, 83x63 cm
Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2002. Oil pastel on paper, 83x63 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2002. Oil pastel on paper, 83x63 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2002
Oil pastel on paper, 83x63 cm
Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2009. Oil pastel on paper, 63x83 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2009. Oil pastel on paper, 63x83 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2009
Oil pastel on paper, 63x83 cm
Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2009. Oil pastel on paper, 63x83 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2009. Oil pastel on paper, 63x83 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2009
Oil pastel on paper, 63x83 cm
Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2009. Oil pastel on paper, 63x83 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2009. Oil pastel on paper, 63x83 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2009
Oil pastel on paper, 63x83 cm
Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2009. Oil pastel on paper, 63x83 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2009. Oil pastel on paper, 63x83 cm

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2009
Oil pastel on paper, 63x83 cm

Works

Press

artnews.com

3 November 2018
“Ashes and Gold in First Substantial Jannis Kounellis Show Since Artist’s Death”

Read article  →

Artforum

November 2016
“Jannis Kounellis”

Read article  →

apollo-magazine.com

8 April 2016
“Everything needs to be centred on humanity”

Read article →

artnews.com

25 June 2015
“Kounellis horses have first U.S. showing…”

Read article  →

Flash Art

May 2012
“Rivoluzioni rotazioni”

Read article  →

artpulsemagazine.com

February 2012
“Jannis Kounellis: Non-Verbal Communication”

Read article  →

Press

artnews.com

3 November 2018
“Ashes and Gold in First Substantial Jannis Kounellis Show Since Artist’s Death”

Read article  →

Artforum

November 2016
“Jannis Kounellis”

Read article  →

apollo-magazine.com

8 April 2016
“Everything needs to be centred on humanity”

Read article →

artnews.com

25 June 2015
“Kounellis horses have first U.S. showing…”

Read article  →

Flash Art

May 2012
“Rivoluzioni rotazioni”

Read article  →

artpulsemagazine.com

February 2012
“Jannis Kounellis: Non-Verbal Communication”

Read article  →

Exhibitions

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

JANNIS KOUNELLIS
Jannis Kounellis e il Teatro

Opening 12 October 2016
13 October to 20 December 2016

Vai a mostra  →

JANNIS KOUNELLIS
Jannis Kounellis a Bergamo

Opening 23 May 2009
26 May to 26 September 2009

Exhibition  →

JANNIS KOUNELLIS
Opere recenti 

Opening 25 October 2003
28 October to 6 December 2013

Read article  →

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

Switch On 3

Opening 23 February 2017
24 February to 1 April 2017

Exhibition  →

Summer Show

Opening 15 June 2013
18 June to 15 September 2013

Exhibition  →

Switch On

Opening 4 October 2012
5 October to 15 November 2012

Exhibition  →

Visioni. 20 artisti a Sant’Agostino

Opening 8 April 2005
9 April to 11 June 2005

Exhibition  →

AAVV:30 

Opening 27 November 2004
30 November 2004 to 30 January 2005

Exhibition  →

Exhibitions

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

JANNIS KOUNELLIS
Jannis Kounellis e il Teatro

Opening 12 October 2016
13 October to 20 December 2016

Exhibition  →

JANNIS KOUNELLIS
Jannis Kounellis a Bergamo

Opening 23 May 2009
26 May to 26 September 2009

Exhibition  →

JANNIS KOUNELLIS
Opere recenti 

Opening 25 October 2003
28 October to 6 December 2013

Exhibition  →

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

Switch On 3

Opening 23 February 2017
24 February to 1 April 2017

Exhibition  →

Summer Show

Opening 15 June 2013
18 June to 15 September 2013

Exhibition  →

Switch On

Opening 4 October 2012
5 October to 15 November 2012

Exhibition  →

Visioni. 20 artisti a Sant’Agostino

Opening 8 April 2005
9 April to 11 June 2005

Exhibition  →

AAVV:30 

Opening 27 November 2004
30 November 2004 to 30 January 2005

Exhibition  →

Institutions

Institutions

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