The Greek born – Italian based artist died yesterday night aged 80.
He was born in Piraeus in 1936 and had moved to Italy in the fifties, where he became one of the leading figures of the Arte Povera (theorized by curator Germano Celant) movement which he had joined in 1976.
Like the other artists of the movement he was known for using “poor” materials to produce his works. One of his most renown early shows was in 1969, when he displayed 12 live horses at Galleria Attic in Rome, the installation was reproduced less than two year’s ago at Gavin Brown Enterprise. He took part in the Venice Biennale various times since his first participation in 1972; he was part of the Vatican City’s pavillion in 2011.
“The Greeks used to say that beauty is like time; it changes: a person can be beautiful in the morning and not be so in the afternoon. A ‘form’ of beauty does not exist. Formalisation or clarity, on the other hand, are part of the family of beauty. Loving, too, is part of this family. If the Church says this, if it speaks of beauty in this sense, I favour of the Church. But if by beauty it means something else, I am opposed to it.” Jannis Kounellis
- Jannis Kounellis