Jannis Kounellis (Piraeus 1936 - Rome 2017) was based in Rome and was one of the world’s leading contemporary artists with a career spanning more than forty years.
Kounellis' work is comprised of painting, collage, sculpture, installation work, performance and theatrical shows. After starting as a painter, in the 1960s Kounellis introduced the use of everyday material to his work - such as wool, coal, iron, stones, earth, wood and objets trouvés - as well as animals to create sculptures and installations. The use of antithetical media, such as raw material and objets trouvés, expresses the tension and alienation of our contemporary society. A contemporary society that on the one hand is built upon mass urban and industrial civilisation and on the other retains a link to traditional, primitive and individual values.
Since 1960 Kounellis exhibited all over the world and his work is part of major public collections: Tate Modern, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; MoMA and Guggenheim, New York among others.
His work was also presented at Documenta 2017, Kassel; Triennale di Milano, Milan and the 56th Venice Biennale. Recent solo exhibitions include his major retrospective between 2022 and 2023 at Museo Jumex, Mexico City and at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, US with Jannis Kounellis in Six Acts; Fondazione Prada, Venice (2019); the Monnaie De Paris, Museo Espacio (2016); the Musée d'Art Moderne, Saint-Etienne (2014); MIMA, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern art; Parasol Unit, Foundation for Contemporary Art, London; Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens (2012); Today Art Museum, Beijing; National Centre for Contemporary Art, Moscow (2011); Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2007). A retrospective exhibition is on view at Fondazione Prada in Venice until the 24th of November, 2019.