About this artwork
Despite being an atheist spiritual symbols, such as bells, are central to Kounellis’s Mediterranean identity and hold important cultural significance for the artist. The artist has been working with bells since the 1990s, often contrasting their elegance and precision with more haphazard forms. Here the ageing, rickety tables appear hardly able to sustain the accumulated weight of the bells. In arranging the bells on tables, rather than allowing them to hang in the manner they were designed, Kounellis has deliberately silenced them.
- title: Untitled
- accession number: AL00186
- artist: Jannis KounellisGreek (born 1936)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Installation
- materials: Four wooden tables and seven bronze bells
- date created: 2006
- measurements: Displayed: 144.00 x 201.00 x 352.00 cm
- credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Lent by Anthony d'Offay 2010
- copyright: © Jannis Kounellis.
Kounellis considers himself to be “a Greek person but an Italian artist”. Born in Greece, he moved to Italy in 1956 and studied at the ‘Academia di Belle Arti’ in Rome. Following a two year hiatus from painting, in 1967 he surfaced as an influential contributor to the newly emerging ‘Arte Povera’ movement. From this point his art developed as a mixture of painting, sculpture, collage and installation. It is characterised by the unusual combination of physically and culturally opposing materials. This includes soil, stones, sacks, fire, live animals, bed frames and doorways. Through his ambitious works Kounellis challenges the traditional notions of both painting and the gallery space.