New York

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2013, steel, glass, 78 3/4 x 70 7/8 x 10 3/4".

Jannis Kounellis

Cheim & Read

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2013, steel, glass, 78 3/4 x 70 7/8 x 10 3/4".

This past spring, Jannis Kounellis presented twenty-two new works in New York. The exhibition was a hymn to the epic of immigration. It was a hymn to the journey as an experience of modernity. It was a hymn to the discovery of self—a process Kounellis conceives of as an initiation. Such themes resonate with the artist’s own history: His paternal grandfather left Greece and became an American; Kounellis himself moved from Athens to Rome and became Italian. Like a fifteenth-century painter, Kounellis constructs his art as a measure of man and space, and although he makes mostly sculpture—he is one of the major protagonists of Arte Povera—his work is a function of pictorial space.

In a series of untitled assemblages (all works 2013), the artist displays a myriad of old drinking glasses that he discovered in a Hasidic-owned shop in Brooklyn. (Nearly all of the exhibition’s

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