Jannis Kounellis

Jannis Kounellis Un’opera per ricordare - A work to remind

Tuesday, November 25 at 20, at the Lauba Gallery in Zagreb, will be inaugurated the exhibition A Work to Remember / A work to Remind, by Ludovico Pratesi, which presents the installation of Jannis Kounellis titled Untitled (Sails).

After the success of the first edition of the event that stopped in the city of Kotor, in Montenegro, the exhibition A work to Remind will stop in Zagreb this time. For the occasion, the Croatian exhibition is organized by the Italian Embassy in Zagreb, the Italian Institute of Culture in Zagreb, the Università Popolare di Trieste in collaboration with the Italian Union, the Rovinj Historical Research Center, the University of Trieste and the Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. The event also enjoys the patronage of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The Italian artist of Greek origin Jannis Kounellis, a fundamental figure of Arte Povera and internationally renowned teacher, was invited to carry out an emblematic intervention in the Lauba Gallery in Zagreb, where Kounellis exhibits the work Untitled (Sails), presented for the first time at the Venice Biennale in 1993. It is an installation made up of a group of nine ancient sails used by Mediterranean sailors, which evoke the idea of ​​sea voyages and integration between peoples: the artist tells through the use of strongly corporeal and physical materials the experiential and concrete experience of those who interpret and act around the sea.

His works express the strength coming from an existence led by marine currents, through the recovery of materials, instruments and devices, physical and ideal, capable of evoking the power, the sacrifice and the richness of life at sea.

No contemporary living artist has told the culture of the sea as Kounellis, for whom the ideal coming from the evocations of the seascape represents an imaginary determined by its Greek origins, through a journey on the theme of the sea that the artist has been covering for decades works, constantly tracing a parallel binomial between the collective suggestions that derive from it and the personal suggestions, based on the experience of the individual.
Kounellis is therefore an exceptional testimonial to illustrate the epic vocation of the Mediterranean inland seas. A new Ulysses of the Twenty-first Century, able to evoke, with a few works that can also be read by the general public and dense with aesthetic, literary, poetic and philosophical suggestions.

Short biographical notes
Born in 1936 in Piraeus, Kounellis moves away from his native country to just twenty years to complete his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. He thus moves Italy to his second homeland. His public debut dates back to 1960, with his first solo show at the Roman gallery La Tartaruga. The first exhibitions ideologically close to the Arte Povera movement date back to 1967, in which the use of products and materials in common use suggested a radically creative, mythical function for art, devoid of concessions to mere representation. The references to the Greek nature of its origins are also evident. His installations become real scenographies that physically occupy the gallery and surround the spectator making him a leading actor. In 1969, at L'Attico di Roma, he exhibited the Horses, hooked to the rope like paintings on the wall. The installation, indistinct by the performance, contemplates the extemporaneousness and the evanescence of the creative act with the cumbersome, heavy, embarrassing presence of the animals. Recent personal exhibitions include: 2014 Giovanni Anselmo / Jannis Kounellis - Rooms # 1, ISO - Museum of Contemporary Art - Palazzo Belmonte Riso; Jannis Kounellis, Almine Rech Gallery, Brussels, Belgium. 2013 Jannis Kounellis, City Art Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia; Jannis Kounellis, Salone Degli Incanti, ex fishmonger, Trieste, Italy; Jannis Kounellis, Cheim & Read, New York; Jannis Kounellis, Galleri Artist, Istanbul, Turkey; Jannis Kounellis, curated by Bruno Corá, Giacomo Guidi Arte Contemporanea, Rome; Kounellis: Trieste, Galerie Lelong, Paris.