Jannis Kounellis

Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea

Monumental yet intimate, this new installation by Jannis Kounellis was a gigantic labyrinth of 143 vertical iron panels, each about eight feet tall, surmounted by a layer of coal. The work invaded the two vast entry halls of the Galleria Nazionale, almost completely obscuring the architectural space, but was illuminated by natural light from above, which was reflected by the comers of the iron sheets and modulated into infinite shades of gray. The work never touched the surrounding walls, maintaining an existence independent of its environment.

There was a single entrance and exit from the labyrinth, but no center to be reached, no goal—just a sequence of corridors, right and acute angles, and culs-de-sac. After becoming repeatedly lost, one could only retrace one's steps. The apparent linearity of the structure—sometimes broken by oblique side panels that promised potential ways

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