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This work was made at the time of Kounellis’s first involvement with arte povera. The carefully dyed but loosely wrapped hanks of uncarded wool epitomise Kounellis’s choice of simple materials at this time. Linked with arte povera’s exploration of basic media, they also suggest Kounellis’s attraction to earlier civilisations. Although he had abandoned painting at this stage in his career, he later suggested that the structure of this work had been partly inspired by Jackson Pollock, with the hanging wool teased out to mimic dripped paint.

October 2013