Jannis Kounellis will be exhibiting his new and site specific work at the Stathatos Mansion of the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens from April 5th.
Kounellis, one of the most important artists of the Arte Povera movement, left Greece at a young age to leave behind the trauma of the Civil War. He studied art in 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, and 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. In 1969, he exhibited real horses in the galleria L’Attico.
He is now returning to Greece to create work amidst the economic and social crisis that the country is currently going through. Kounellis’ installation can only be a response to this turmoil, as he puts it, “at this particular moment it would be impossible to have just an exhibition of art in Greece.”
Kounellis’ work has been presented in various sections of the Tate Modern Gallery in London, UK. On the 5th floor, there is a room dedicated to his work. Kounellis has recently been honored with major exhibitions at Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome (2002), Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina in Naples (2006), and Neue National Galerie in Berlin (2008), among others.
The Greek expatriate artist has developed over the years an increasingly architectural vocabulary, creating labyrinthine environments that manipulate the exhibition space, the viewer’s experience, and the materials that have articulated the artist’s oeuvre for decades. He lives and works in Rome.
Τhe exhibition will run until September 30th.
The Museum of Cycladic Art is dedicated to the study and promotion of ancient cultures of the Aegean and Cyprus, with special emphasis on Cycladic Art of the 3rd millennium BC. It was founded in 1986, to house the collection of Nicholas and Dolly Goulandris. Since then it has grown in size to accommodate new acquisitions, obtained either through direct purchases or through donations by important collectors and institutions.