Jannis Kounellis was born (1936-2017) in Greece, but lived in Italy most of his life. He started out as a painter in the fifties and in the of the sixties he became part of the group of Italian artists named ”Arte Povera” by the art critic and curator Germano Celant.
By using humble and primitive materials such as coal, iron, rocks, sacks and basic victuals, the Arte Povera artists created a form of anti-commercial and anti-formal art with strong art critical and social critical undertones. Iron, coal and sacks were among Kounellis’ favorite materials and even though he turned away from the painting many years ago, he still liked to work with the surface as a starting point, weather it concerned paper, walls, floors or huge plates covered with iron.
His works can be seen in many international art collections. In Denmark he is represented at Louisiana, Humlebæk and HEART - Herning Museum of Contemporary Art.