JANNIS KOUNELLIS CATALOGUE / Castello di Rivoli, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea 1988
THE ACCOMPANYING CATALOGUE FOR JANNIS KOUNELLIS' 1988 EXHIBITION AT CASTELLO DI RIVOLI, MUSEO D'ARTE CONTEMPORANEA, TORINO BY RUDI FUCHS, JOHANNES GACHNANG & CRISTINA MUNDICI, PUBLISHED BY FABBRI EDITORI 1989. COVER IMAGE IS UNTITLED 1969 [TWELVE HORSES] AT L'ATTICO GALLERY, ROME
SENZA TITOLO 1971, JANNIS KOUNELLIS
UNTITLED 1969 / UNTITLED 1969 [LIBERTA O MORTE W MARAT W ROBESPIERRE]
TRAGEDIA CIVILE 1975
JANNIS KOUNELLIS PHOTOGRAPHED BY AURELIO AMENDOLA FOR CASTELLUCCIO DI PIENZA — LA FOCE PUBLICATION 1996
'Something we need to reach today is unity between life and our art practice', said Jannis Kounellis (b. 1936, Piraeus) in 1968. He demonstrates this unity through the transformation of the gallery into a theatre where real life and fiction merge.
Born in Greece, he moved to Rome in 1956 due to civil war. His early works were 'sign' and 'alphabet' paintings, which incorporated large black letters, arrows or mathematical symbols, and were often stencilled to diminish evidence of the artist's touch. In 1966-7, Kounellis began to incorporate three-dimensional materials into his paintings. By the following year, they had become installations resembling stage sets, in which the viewers were the actors.
His materials, which include iron, cotton, coal, coffee, wood, fire, stones, earth, sacks, plants, and live animals are used symbolically, often chosen for their smell, or for their historical association with the place in which the work is shown. In installations such as the three part Untitled, 1967, a dream-like environment is created, where cacti and cotton wool emerge from iron structures, juxtaposed with a perch, which is sometimes occupied by a live parrot. One of Kounellis' most famous works, created in 1969, was Untitled (12 horses), an installation in L'Attico Gallery in Rome consisting of twelve live horses tethered in the gallery for some days. This was an extreme manifestation of the desire to make art that could not be sold. He chose horses for their art-historical links to heroic paintings and equestrian statues. Kounellis' poetic later works are also laden with references to history and myth.
— TATE MODERN [JANNIS KOUNELLIS / ZERO TO INFINITY: ARTE POVERA 1962-1972 / MAY-AUGUST 2001]
LOAN OF JANNIS KOUNELLIS [1988 Castello di Rivoli, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea e l’Autore] 1989 FABBRI EDITORI
THANKS TO GALERIE KARSTEN GREVE
5, rue Debelleyme
F-75003 Paris, France
Tel : +33-(0)1-42 77 19 37
Fax: +33-(0)1-42 77 05 58
[PHOTOGRAPHED AT SOME/THINGS SECRET BY FELIX HENNING-TAPLEY]