Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Arte Povera artist Jannis Kounellis

Greek artist Jannis Kounellis (b.1936) is one of the founding figures of the "arte povera" movement which involves using found objects and spaces. Kounellis is one of the major conceptual artists of our times. His works can be found in international galleries worldwide.

I had seen his work over the years but I recently watched a portrait of him on Greek state TV. (That is what state channels should be for: art, culture, anything that makes citizens better people).

Kounellis lives in Rome but the film documented his visit to his native Mani, a place of sun and stone, quite similar to the Southern Italian region known as Magna Grecia, largely populated by Greeks since the antiquity. I have taken notes of some of his quotes.
*Memory makes people who have passed away more beautiful.
*The Parthenon is the idea of Measure that we cannot live without.The future has no meaning without  Measure.
*Traveling.Finding the Other Person. Being a teacher or a pupil. Looking for connectedness. That is what I have kept from Greece.
*The difference between Old and New is a political decision.There isn't a difference. The idea of the human measure is the same to our day.
 Read more about Kounellis from the Guggenheim website here and see his works at the Tate.

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