Jannis Kounellis

Jannis Kounellis (1936-2017) was a Greek-Italian artist associated with the Arte Povera movement.

Born in 1936, in Piraeus, Greece, Kounellis later moved to Rome, where he became a prominent figure in the international art scene. In the early 1960s, he emerged as a key exponent of Arte Povera, a radical art movement that emphasized a raw, elemental aesthetic and a rejection of traditional artistic mediums.

Kounellis gained widespread recognition for his groundbreaking installations that incorporated found objects, live animals, and diverse materials. In 1969, he presented one of his most iconic works, Untitled (12 Horses), which featured live horses tethered to the walls of a gallery space. This piece exemplified his interest in creating immersive, multisensory experiences that challenged the boundaries between art and life.

Throughout his career, Kounellis continued to explore themes of transformation, ritual, and the relationship between the natural and industrial worlds. His works often incorporated everyday materials such as coal, steel, wood, and cloth, contributing to the distinctive aesthetic of Arte Povera.

Jannis Kounellis exhibited widely across the globe, participating in major art events, including Documenta in Kassel and the Venice Biennale.

Kounellis passed away on February 16, 2017, in Rome, leaving behind a rich and influential body of work that continues to be celebrated for its experimental nature and its profound engagement with the human experience.

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Solo exhibitions
Country, Exhibition Name, Location
MEX, Jannis Kounellis in Six Acts, Fundacion Jumex, Mexico City
USA, Jannis Kounellis in Six Acts, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
I, Jannis Kounellis Curated by Germano Celant, Fondazione Prada, Venezia
F, Les Manteaux, Galerie Lelong & Co., Paris
Jannis Kounellis, Massimo De Carlo, Hong Kong
USA, Jannis Kounellis, Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York
F, Boites, Galerie Lelong & Co., Paris
DK, In Memoriam, HEART - Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Herning
I, Jannis Kounellis, Museo delle Genti d’Abruzzo, Pescara
IL, In Be’er Sheva, Negev Museum of Art, Beersheba
F, Jannis Kounellis, Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris
MEX, Kounellis: Relámpagos sobre México, Museo-Espacio Ciudad de las Artes (MECA), Aguascalientes
I, DODECAFONIA, Gavin Brown’s enterprise, Sant’Andrea de Scaphis, Roma
BR, Jannis Kounellis, MAC USP - Museum of Contemporary Art, University of São Paulo, São Paulo
I, Atto Unico, Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milano
F, Jannis Kounellis, Monnaie de Paris, Paris
USA, Jannis Kounellis: Paintings 1983–2012, The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, Miami
TR, Untitled from Collezione Ramo, Collectorspace, Istanbul
F, Galleria Continua, Les Moulins, Boissy-le-Châtel
USA, Untitled (12 Horses), Gavin Brown’s enterprise, 620 Greenwich St., New York
DK, Jannis Kounellis: New Works, Galleri Bo Bjerggaard, Copenhagen
I, Firenze Suona Contemporanea, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Firenze
F, Jannis Kounellis, Musée D’art Moderne et Contemporain Saint-Étienne Métropole, Saint-Priest- en-Jarez
B, Jannis Kounellis, Almine Rech Gallery, Bruxelles
I, Dal profondo: Jannis Kounellis, Palazzo Antinori Corsini Serristori, Firenze
F, Kounellis: Trieste, Galerie Lelong, Paris
ROK, Jannis Kounnelis in Korea, Wooson Gallery, Daegu
I, Jannis Kounellis Curated by Bruno Corá, Giacomo Guidi Arte Contemporanea, Roma
E, Jannis Kounellis, Kewenig Galerie, Palma
USA, Jannis Kounellis, Cheim & Read, New York
D, Jannis Kounellis, Museum am Dom, Würzburg
GR, Jannis Kounellis, Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens
Group exhibitions
Country, Exhibition Name, Location
F, Vita Nuova - nouveaux enjeux de l'art en italia 1960-1975, Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain, Nice
I, MCMXXXIV, Massimo De Carlo, Milano
F, Le Paradoxe de l'iceberg, FRAC île-de-france, Bussy-Saint-Martin
NL, Beating Around the Bush, Bonnefantemuseum, Maastricht
USA, Margherita Stein: Rebel With a Cause, Magazzino Italian Art, New York
I, È solo un inizio.1968, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Roma
SGP, The Artist's Voice, The Parkview Museum, Singapore
F, La Dolce Vita, Galeria Tornabuoni Art, Paris
I, Dalla Caverna alla Luna | Viaggio dentro la Collezione del Centro Pecci, Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato
I, Imagine: New Imagery in Italian Art, 1960-1969, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venezia
P, The Sonnabend Collection: Half a Century of European and American Art. Part 1, Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto
UK, Fields of War, Massimo De Carlo, London
F, Un Art Pouvre, Centre Pompidou, Paris
D, Group Show, 12 Solos, Blain|Southern, Berlin
F, SIC - works from the CAPC Collection, CAPC, Bordeaux
B, Daniel Buren: A Fresco, BOZAR, Bruxelles
UK, Fifteen Years, Sprovieri, London
I, Arts & Foods: Rituals since 1851, La Triennale di Milano, Milano
I, Codice Italia, Padiglione Italia, 56th Venezia Biennale, Venezia
FI, The Elements, Kiasma Museum, Helsinki
I, Ennesima. Una mostra di sette mostre sull'arte italiana Curated by Vincenzo De Bellis, Triennale di Milano, Milano
I, Viaggiando, Galleria Christian Stein, Milano
D, Asche und Gold/Ashes and Gold - A Journey through different Worlds, Museum MARTa Herford, Herford
I, Arte torna Arte, Galleria dell’Accademia, Firenze
B, Beaufort04, De Panne, Koksijde-Oostduinkerke, Nieuwpoort, Middelkerke-Westende, Ostenda, Bredene, De Haan-Wenduine, Blankenberge, Zeebrugge
F, Lux Perpetua, Galerie Kamel Mennour, Paris
D, Art and Press: Kunst. Wahrheit. Wirklichkeit,, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
I, Arte Povera in città, GAMeC Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo
I, Arte Povera 1967-2011, Triennale di Milano, Milano
I, Arte Povera più Azioni Povere 1968, MADRE Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina, Chiesa Donnaregina Vecchia, Napoli
I, Arte Povera alla GNAM, GNAM Galleria nazionale d’arte moderna e contemporanea, Roma
I, Arte Povera in Teatro, Teatro Margherita, Bari


Author, Publication Title, Date
Soliven, Preciosa A., The Phillippine Star
Risso, Francesco, Garage Magazine, February
The Manila Times, February
Vukadin, Ana, Frieze, January
Aquino, Glenna, Inquirer, February
Cascone, Sarah, Artnet News, May
Hillman, Susan, Bowen Island Undercurrent, April
Parisi, Chiari, L'Officiel Art, Spring
Artlyst, March
Artlyst, April
Atlas Obscura, March
e-flux, Aprile
Raut, Avni, Architectural Digest, March
Merjian, Ara H., Artforum, May
Ure-Smith, Jane, The Times, April
Russeth, Andrew, Art News
Westall, Mark, FAD Magazine, March
The Art Newspaper, May
Florian, Federico, The Art Newspaper, May
Whittle, Andrea, Garage (Vice), May
Designboom, May
Rysman, Laura, The New York Times Style Magazine
Bowles, Hamish, Vogue, May
Wanted in Rome, May
Inexhibit, May
Bew, Sophie, AnOther, May
McGivern, Hannah, Jose Da Silva e Jhala Kabir, The Art Newspaper, May
Westall, Mark, FAD Magazine, June
Jungerius, Mechteld, TL Magazine, June
Mendelsohn, Meredith, Sculpture, June
Sperling, Matthew, Apollo, April

Public collections

Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania
Sammlung Essl - Kunsthaus, Klosterneuburg
Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp
Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium
S.M.A.K. - Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver
Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Herning
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk
Museet for Samtidskunst, Roskilde
Capc Musée d'art contemporain, Bordeaux
Carré d´art - Musée d´art contemporain de Nîmes, Nîmes
Centre Pompidou - Musée National d´Art Moderne, Paris
Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Nîmes
Diözesanmuseum Köln, Cologne
Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg
K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen-im Ständehaus, Düsseldorf
Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, Krefeld
Kolumba, Cologne
Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn
Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg
Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach
Museum Brandhorst, Munich
Sammlung Goetz, Munich
Staatsgalerie Moderner Kunst, Munich
ZKM - Museum für Neue Kunst & Medienmuseum, Karlsruhe
National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens
Portalakis Collection, Athens
The Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens


Jannis Kounellis