Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9781861891525 Published December 2004 For sale in North and South America only

Jannis Kounellis

Stephen Bann

Jannis Kounellis
Distribution by the University of Chicago Press only to customers in the USA and Canada. Customers elsewhere should visit the UK website of Reaktion Books.

Stephen Bann

Distributed for Reaktion Books

256 pages | 8.25 x 11
Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9781861891525 Published December 2004 For sale in North and South America only
Over the past 40 years, sculptor and installation artist Jannis Kounellis has established himself as a unique presence in the world of contemporary art. His work, whether included in temporary exhibitions or placed in semi-permanent installations, invariably lingers in the memory because of its forceful character and its ability to transform its immediate environment. Stephen Bann refers to Kounellis’s working practice as a process of "making strange". In all his installations, the material impact of the work sets off a trail of associations. Potent examples include his 1969 installation of twelve tethered live horses in a gallery in Rome, the city where the prototypes of the equestrian monuments of Antiquity can still be seen, or his 1975 Civil Tragedy installation in which a hat-stand with black hat and coat against a gold-leaf background lit by a small lamp recalled the café society of Central Europe against a wall of Byzantine splendor.

As an artist, Kounellis has found his special location in Rome. At the age of 20, he made the journey there from Piraeus, the ancient port of Athens, and began his career. His works continue to bear the hallmarks of his Eastern Mediterranean origin, as well as testifying to his concern with the links between Russian Modernism and the Byzantine tradition.

Stephen Bann has not set out to write a conventional monograph about the artist. Rather, he looks at the underlying mechanisms in Kounellis’s practice, suggesting the ways in which they are important in the broader context of late modernist art. He outlines the distinctive way in which Kounellis takes account of space as a necessary preliminary to working within it, and discusses the historical and cultural dimension to which Kounellis lays claim.
1. Memory, Space and Place
Da inventare sul posto
2. A Mediterranean Art
—Starting from the Studio
Arte Povera: The Public Face
—Discoveries in a Private Space
—Emblem, Connotation, Fragment
—Contemporaries and Moderns
3. Alternative Histories of Art
—Materials and the Limits of Representation
—Theory of the Cloud
—Installation, Painting or Sculpture?
4. Conclusion: ’A Visible Language’
Select Bibliography
Photographic Acknowledgments
Artist’s Chronology
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