Browse Lots

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
Jannis Kounellis (b. 1936)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Jannis Kounellis (b. 1936)


Jannis Kounellis (b. 1936)
iron sheet and egg on iron plate
38 7/8 x 27½ x 8 1/8in. (99 x 70 x 20.6cm.)
Executed in 1969
Galleria Lucio Amelio, Naples.
Luisella Rossi Collection, Turin.
Attilio Codognato, Venice.
Studio Casoli, Milan.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Kounellis, exh. cat., Essen, Museum Folkwang, 1979 (installation view, illustrated, p. 44).
G. Moure, Kounellis, New York 1990, no. 19 (installation view, illustrated, p. 59; illustrated, p. 72).
Via del mare: Jannis Kounellis, exh. cat., Amsterdam, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, 1990-1991, no.39 (illustrated, p. 97; installation view, illustrated, p. 41).
G. Moure and J. Kounellis, Jannis Kounellis: Works, Writings 1958-2000, Barcelona 2001 (illustrated, p. 49; installation view, illustrated, p. 240).
S. Bann, Jannis Kounellis, London 2003, no. 65 (illustrated, p. 85).
M. Scheps, Jannis Kounellis: XXII Stations of an Odyssey 1969-2010, New York 2010, no. 17 (installation view, illustrated, p. 58; installation view, illustrated, p. 121; installation view, illustrated, p. 128; installation view, illustrated, p. 263; illustrated, p. 326).
Naples, Modern Art Agency, Il viaggio, 1969.
Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Jannis Kounellis, 1986-1987 (illustrated, p. 56; installation view, illustrated, p. 72). Bath, Bath International Festival, Artsite Gallery, Jannis Kounellis, 1987, no. 2 (illustrated, p. 19).
London, Anthony d'Offay Gallery, Jannis Kounellis, 1990.
Piraeus, The J.F Costopoulos Foundation, Cargo Ship Ionion, Jannis Kounellis, 1994.
Vienna, MAK-Museum für Angewandte Kunst Wien, Jannis Kounellis, 2001.
Prato, Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Centro per l'Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Jannis Kounellis, 2001 (installation view, illustrated, pp. 41 and 100-102; illustrated, p. 73).
Vaduz, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Jannis Kounellis, 2007-2008 (installation view, illustrated, p.18). This exhibition later travelled to Naples, Madre-Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina (installation view, illustrated, p. 118; illustrated, p. 69).
Berlin, Neue Nationalgalerie, Jannis Kounellis, 2007-2008, no. 56 (installation view, illustrated, p. 121; illustrated, p. 124).
Bologna, MAMbo Museo d'Arte Moderna di Bologna, Arte Povera 2011, 2011, no. 188 (installation view, illustrated, p. 258).
Special Notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

Brought to you by

Guillermo Cid
Guillermo Cid

Lot Essay

'In the 1960s, I was designated as an 'artist' because no-one knew how to define a heap of coal. But I'm a painter, and I lay claim to my initiation in painting because painting is the construction of images, it doesn't indicate a manner, even less a technique. Each painter has his own way of seeing and methods of constructing an image, and the common approach which consists of associating traditional art with the word 'painter' and an anarchistic, modern and experimental role with the word 'artist' is ridiculous. Jackson Pollock was a painter who reinvented the American space with morality. Mexican murales are paintings, Duchamp himself was a painter. Liberalism has given painting freedom as far as the imagination can go, and has re-endowed the artist with a fully intellectual role' (J. Kounellis, quoted in L'Élémentaire, le vital, l'énergie: Arte Povera in Castello, exh. cat., Venice, 2004, p. 57).

An important Arte Povera style work by Jannis Kounellis, Untitled was executed during an exciting and experimental period in the artist's career - the same year as his ground-breaking show at Galleria L'Attico, Rome where the artist brought twelve live horses into the gallery space and his Il Viaggio exhibition at Galleria Lucio Amelio, Naples, where the present work was exhibited. A small egg resting on a metal shelf protruding from a patinated cast-iron panel, Untitled interestingly questions and challenges the parameters of painting's taxonomy. Unlike Piero della Francesca's famous suspended egg that appears in Madonna Con Santi, the egg in Untitled is not to be pondered allegorically or to be endlessly interpreted in the manner of Renaissance art historians. Instead, the viewer is invited to inspect the egg's sheer materiality and presence in space as defined visually by light and its resultant shadows. Untitled is a spiritual exercise in the contemplative nature of form, a serene experience that is not purely for form's sake.

More from Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Auction

View All
View All