From yesterday, the art world is significantly poorer since contemporary artist Jannis Kounellis dies at the age of 81.
Jannis Kounellis was born in Greece on March 23rd 1936. He studies in Art College in Athens and at the Academia di Belle Arti in Rome, Italy, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life.
The artist with the international reputation, is one of the major figures of Arte Povera, a contemporary art movement that took place between the end of the 60s and the beginning of the 70s in capital cities around Italy. The work of the artist was mainly focused on the space between art and life. He would work on spatial installations which explored certain aspects between nature and culture.
In his work, Kounellis was interested in reflecting a sense of freedom. This can be clearly seen through his obvious rejection of linguistic norms and conventional materials. In almost all of his exhibitions he used the entire space of the gallery to transform it into a live stage, engaging the viewer to participate in his conceptual “realistic scenes”.
In 1997, Kounellis installed thirteen wardrobes and two doors that were sealed in lead along a scaffolding ledge that blocked the entry to a central hall. In 1968, in an interview by Marisa Volpi, Kounellis stated that incidental adjustments are certain as aspects that can indicate the human liberty of life.
When significant people like Jannis Kounellis complete their cycle of life and art mission, it is time for us to reflect on the real contribution art makes and have always made in our lives.