The Bernier/Eliades Gallery is proud to present the fifth solo show of Jannis Kounellis at the gallery. This is his first exhibition in Greece for 16 years. The exhibition consists of new work created especially for this show. The artist will be present at the opening.

For his current exhibition at Bernier/Eliades, Jannis Kounellis has created a new body of work that heralds a return to the body, with a strong sculptural approach to the practice of painting. There is no brush and no room for corrections. A coat is submerged in tar, then tossed instantly onto a series of large-scale iron panels mounted with a specially prepared canvas-like surface. The unique imprint left behind on each piece after the coat is removed embodies a powerful gesture of the creative struggle.

Jannis Kounellis is recognized worldwide as a leading figure of the Arte Povera movement and a seminal artist whose practice spans painting, collage, sculpture, performance and set design for the theatre and opera. For half a century he has used coal, gold, fire, raw meat, stone, earth, knives, doorways, steel, live horses and music to expose fundamental cultural antitheses. Kounellis is widely acknowledged as a visual philosopher building up a new vocabulary of diverse materials to compose a poetic history of meaning.

The artist’s first exhibition in Greece was the inaugural exhibition of the Jean Bernier Gallery in March 1977. Subsequent solo shows with the Bernier/Eliades Gallery followed in 1979, 1985 and 1994 when Kounellis simultaneously created a monumental retrospective installation of 30 years’ work on the cargo-ship Ionion at the Athenian port of Piraeus. Equally historic was his participation in the major group show “Outlook” curated by C. Ioakimides in 2004 at the Benaki Museum, Athens.

Born in Piraeus, Greece in 1936, Kounellis attended the School of Fine Arts in Athens before moving to Rome in 1956 where he enrolled at the Academia di Belle Arti. His first solo show in 1960 “L’Alfabeto di Kounellis” at the Galleria della Tartaruga in Rome is now regarded as a vital precursor of Arte Povera from 1967.

Important solo exhibitions include Ambika P3, London and the Teatro Margherita in Bari, 2010; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 2008; Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina, Naples, 2006; Jannis Kounellis in Mexico City, 2000; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, 1997; MoCA, Chicago, 1986; and a traveling exhibition at the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Obra Social, Caja de Pensiones, Madrid, the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London and the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, 1981. Kounellis holds an Artist Room at the Tate Modern, while his works are in the Guggenheim and MoMA NY Collections amongst other museums and foundations worldwide


to: 13 January 2011

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11 Eptachalkou StreetThission 
Athens, GR-118 51
Tel: +30 (210) 341 – 3936-7
Fax: +30 (210) 341 – 3938

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