Jannis Kounellis at Art Basel Unlimited

10 Jun 2024 - 16 Jun 2024

In this installation by Jannis Kounellis, nine Venetian sails evoke tales of seafaring, history, and memory. They are historic Venetian sails, spanning from the 17th-century to more contemporary ones, arranged in a fan-like configuration, their billowing forms suspended freely within the exhibition space. Each sail seems to rise upwards to form a singular, selfcontained entity.

Created for the 1993 Venice Biennale, the work reflects Venice’s cultural heritage and its geo-political connection to the Mediterranean. The Piraeus-born artist’s upbringing also resonates with the sea as a pivotal center of cultural exchange and historic significance. Amidst the backdrop of contemporary conflicts and refugee crises, the work bridges past narratives, present realities, and future possibilities, fostering a dialogue that transcends time.

Jannis Kounellis (born 1936 in Piraeus; died 2017 in Rome) is considered one of the founding figures of the Arte Povera movement. In order to transcend the illusory boundaries of painting, he expanded the spectrum of artistic media by incorporating banal or crude everyday materials.

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Jannis Kounellis


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