Jannis Kounellis
Untitled 1960–98

Artwork details

Jannis Kounellis born 1936
Date 1960–98
Medium Steel panel, enamel on paper on 2 canvases, fabric, coal, 3 metal hooks and metal rod
Dimensions Displayed: 2000 x 1800 x 460 mm
Acquisition ARTIST ROOMS
Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
Not on display

Online caption

In the late 1960s Kounellis played a key role in the foundation of Arte Povera. Literally meaning ‘Poor Art’, this was an anti-elitist movement that promoted a new openness to artistic production characterised by the use of non-art materials. Here, steel panels and canvases create a framework from which a sack of coal is suspended. The tension between the supporting structure and weight of the hanging materials draws our attention towards the centre of the composition and the special properties of the coal. Conjuring up a sense of its mass, texture and distinctive aroma, Kounellis’s integration of this ordinary substance reflected Arte Povera’s ambitions to unite art with everyday, lived experience.

About this artwork