In Focus: Jannis Kounellis as Mentor

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Jannis Kounellis, in addition to his legacy as a key participant in Arte Povera, was also a prolific teacher and mentor. In Focus: Jannis Kounellis as Mentor aims to shed light on this defining, yet unrecognized, aspect of Kounellis’s practice. Curated by Dr. Francesco Guzzetti, Magazzino Italian Art’s former Scholar-in-Residence 2018-19, this program will look specifically at his impact while as a professor of sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Düsseldorf from 1993 to 2001, and later in the early 2000s, holding workshops throughout Europe. The program will feature a presentation by Dr. Francesco Guzzetti, followed by a conversation with artist Calixto Ramírez. A video of an interview with Michelle Coudray and Bruno Corà, respectively president and member of the scientific committee of Archivio Kounellis in Rome, will also be screened.

The relationship with younger generations was a substantial part of the artist’s mature work. Kounellis did not conceive of teaching in the conventional way, insomuch that he went beyond just sharing knowledge or experience. Art and teaching resonated with each other, by virtue of the mutual connections between Kounellis’s exploration of the human condition through art and his commitment to fostering the development of the individual voice of each artist. By encouraging his students to become aware of their position vis-à-vis broader cultural issues, Kounellis ultimately let them free to truly express themselves.

The notions inspiring the practice of Kounellis, such as the awareness of the universal resonance of individual human conditions and the importance of freedom as a major cultural achievement, will be explored in this program, reconstructing his teaching practice through first-person accounts from those closest to the artist.

The lecture will take place on Saturday, November 12, 2022, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Gallery 1, followed by a reception on-site at Magazzino Italian Art.