Jannis Kounellis was born on March 23, 1936 in Piraeus, Greece. He studied in art college in Athens until 1956 and at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome.
In 1963, the artist introduced found objects in his paintings, among them live animals but also fire, earth, burlap sacks, gold. He replaced the canvas with bed frames, doorways, windows or simply the gallery itself. In 1967, Kounellis joined the Arte Povera movement of Germano Celant, the first contemporary Italian art movement to be recognized on an international level. In 1969, he exhibited real horses in the galleria l’Attico. Gradually, Kounellis introduced new materials in his installations (propane torches, smoke, coal, meat, ground coffee, lead, found wooden objects, etc.). The gallery environment was replaced with historical (mostly industrial) sites.
October 2009 finds many Kounellis' works presented in various sections of the Tate Modern Gallery in London, UK. On the 5th floor, there is a room dedicated to his work. Jonathan Jones of the Guardian newspaper notes : "dry-stone walling, sacks of grain and rice, and a painting that includes part of the score of St John Passion by JS Bach bring a sense of real life, organic and ancient, into the museum. Like the Kiefer installation, this is another of the Artist Rooms acquired from the collection of Anthony d'Offay." On the 3rd floor, one of his works is matched with that of an Italian artist of the same artistic movement.
* Jannis Kounellis (2002). Echoes in the Darkness. Trolley Books. ISBN 978-0-9542079-4-6.
1. ^ a b "Jannis Kounellis - Biography". Guggenheim Museum. http://www.guggenheimcollection.org/site/artist_bio_80.html. Retrieved 2007-11-15.