Jannis Kounellis

Nationality: Greek

Birth Year: 1936

Death Year:

Place of Birth: Piraeus, Greece

Specialities: Contemporary Art

Biography

Greek painter, performance artist and sculptor, active in Italy. He studied in art college in Athens until 1956 and then went to Italy. He settled in Rome, studying at the Accademia di Belle Arti, where he was particularly influenced by the non-figurative painting of Alberto Burri. From 1958 to 1960 he produced Alphabets, expanses of colour with letters, numbers, typographical symbols and road markings superimposed (e.g. Z.44, 1960; Rome, G.N.A. Mod.). Such works clearly demonstrated his aim of transcending the poetics of Art informel and pursuing a line of study characterized by contradictory concerns with, on the one hand, the symbols of mass urban and industrial civilization, and on the other, primitive, fundamental, individual values. These were frequently expressed by the artist's physical participation from 1960 in his own exhibitions at La Tartaruga, thus transforming them into performances where, for example, he would ‘sing' the numbers and letters painted on the canvases.

Kounellis's work developed as a spectacular mixture of painting, collages and the staging of installations, ‘environments', performances and theatrical shows, designed to express the tensions and alienation of contemporary society, and the multiplicity, obscurity and fragmentation of its language. From 1967 he became associated with Arte povera, and his work was characterized by the juxtaposition of objects, materials and actions that were both physically and culturally antithetical to one another. These included raw materials such as stone, cotton, wool and coal, and objets trouvés such as bed-frames, doors and, since 1969, shelves. He also used fire, soot and smoke in his installations and in 1969 brought live horses into the Galleria L'Attico in Rome, stressing the fragmentation of modern society by also introducing elements of traditional culture, such as the music of Mozart and, from 1975, casts of Classical sculptures. His experimentation with unorthodox combinations of materials continued into the 1980s (e.g. Untitled, steel panels, burlap sacks and lit propane gas torches, 1985; Bordeaux, Cent. A. Plast. Contemp.).

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ART PRICES

LOT SOLD (1989 - 2009)

543

MAX PRICE

$1,260,389

AVG PRICE

$259,498

TOTAL SALES (1989 - 2009)

$13,493,917

 Fish of Life by Jannis Kounellis

Jannis Kounellis

Fish of Life

Auctionata, Berlin

April 24, 2015

 USD

 Leaves of a Tree by Jannis Kounellis

Jannis Kounellis

Leaves of a Tree

Auctionata, Berlin

April 24, 2015

 USD

 Birds of Life by Jannis Kounellis

Jannis Kounellis

Birds of Life

Auctionata, Berlin

April 24, 2015

 USD

 Rose V by Jannis Kounellis

Jannis Kounellis

Rose V

Tajan, Paris

March 10, 2015

$13,660  USD

 Untitled by Jannis Kounellis

Jannis Kounellis

Untitled

Sotheby's, New York

March 7, 2015

 USD

 Birds of Life by Jannis Kounellis

Jannis Kounellis

Birds of Life

Auctionata, Berlin

January 27, 2015

 USD

 Untitled (Sack with Z) by Jannis Kounellis

Jannis Kounellis

Untitled (Sack with Z)

Phillips, London

January 22, 2015

$13,139  USD

 Sans titre by Jannis Kounellis

Jannis Kounellis

Sans titre

Cornette de Saint Cyr, Paris

December 19, 2014

 USD

 Senza titolo by Jannis Kounellis

Jannis Kounellis

Senza titolo

Meeting Art, Vercelli

November 29, 2014

$9,958  USD

Artworks for sale
News

DEALER'S NOTEBOOK: Carles Tache on the Barcelona Market and Defying Censorship

By Art+Auction | February 10, 2013

AGE: 65HAILS FROM: BarcelonaPRESIDES OVER: Galería Carles Taché, Calle Consejo de Ciento, 290, BarcelonaGALLERY’S SPECIALTY: Contemporary artARTISTS SHOWN: Chema Alvargonzález, Eduardo...

Events

Arte Povera. The Great Awakening

Sep 9, 2012 - Feb 3, 2013

Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel

Art Basel Miami Beach

Dec 2 - Dec 5, 2010

Gallery Bernier/Eliades, Athens

Art Basel Miami Beach

Dec 2 - Dec 5, 2010

Alfonso Artiaco, Naples