The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse presents an exhibition by prominent European artist, Jannis Kounellis. The show will feature seven seminal works spanning 29 years of work, from 1983 to 2012. Five of the works are new to the collection and never before exhibited in the United States. Kounellis is known as the legendary figurehead of the Arte Povera movement, pioneering the use of humble materials in art in 1960 Italy. In an attempt to create a new sculptural language that dismantled the dichotomy between art and life, artists associated with the movement used everyday, ubiquitous materials such as burlap, iron ore, wood, clothing, furniture and even live animals.
Curator and critic Germano Celant proclaimed, “the guerilla war, in fact, has already begun,” as these artists and their revolutionary spirit overturned the traditional artistic conditions of preciousness and permanence, and called for a reconsideration of the role of the artist and the function of art in a changing world.
Along with Kounellis, the Margulies Collection has been collecting important works by Arte Povera artists including Pier Paolo Calzolari, Pistoletto, Mario Merz and Alighiero Boetti. “We are proud to be the first in the United States to show this extensive body of work,” says Katherine Hinds, curator. “We see this exhibition as a fulfillment of our mission at the Warehouse to produce powerful exhibitions of seminal work by the greatest artists of our time.”
- Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 1979. Courtesy of Tate Modern