Jannis Kounellis
Greek, 1936-2017
High auction record
£1m, Christie's, 2014
Blue chip
Represented by internationally recognized galleries.
Collected by major museums
Tate, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
A JOURNEY. El Anatsui, Anish Kapoor, Jannis Kounellis,
Jannis Kounellis,
Monnaie de Paris
Jannis Kounellis,
Almine Rech Gallery

Associated with Arte Povera since the 1960s, Jannis Kounellis investigates the alienation inherent in contemporary society, juxtaposing the materials of mass urban and industrial civilization with symbols and values of the pre-industrial world. Incorporating humble non-art materials such as cotton, wool, coal, grain sacks, glass bottles, meat hooks, fire, soot, smoke, bed-frames, doors, shelves, and clothing, Kounellis' work is a melodramatic mixture of installation, environment, performance, and theatrical show. In a 1971 painting that explores the relationship between history and contemporary experience, Kounellis reproduced a score from Bach’s oratorio St. John Passion, intending that a cellist must play the music alongside the painting in order to fully “activate” the image. In later work, Kounellis presents objects rather than making them; for a 2011 exhibition in Beijing, …

Read more
Want to sell a work by this artist? Learn more.