Jannis Kounellis

Untitled (2004)

About this artwork

Kounellis’s recent installations respond to the current cultural and political climate. Describing this piece as “a clash of civilisations; a meeting of technology and spirituality”, his organisation of rigid steel crucifixes upon traditionally woven Turkish carpets emphasises the contrast between industrially-made products and unique craftwork, Eastern traditions and Western ritual. While the rhythmic pattern of the textiles brings together these conflicting elements, a single tweed overcoat and trilby hat hang enigmatically at one end. Appearing like strangely dislocated fragments of a more coherent whole, Kounellis calls into question the position of the individual in relation to our wider society.

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  • title: Untitled
  • accession number: AR00073
  • artist: Jannis KounellisGreek (born 1936)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Sculpture
  • date created: 2004
  • measurements: 2250.00 x 700.00 x 300.00 cm (display dimensions vary)
  • credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
  • copyright: © Jannis Kounellis.
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

Jannis Kounellis

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.