Jannis Kounellis

Bells

About this artwork

First exhibited in a palace in Italy, this sculpture was originally placed in a room overlooking a Romanesque cathedral. The arrangement of bells and wooden beams drew directly on the cathedral’s distinct architectural language and evokes Christian iconography. Although the bells are tilted at slight angles and appear as though about to chime, Kounellis has fixed them in place using tightly knotted ropes. Silenced, and suggesting a potent mix of weight and gravity, the bells bring to mind the anticipation and solemnity of religious ceremonies. Despite being an atheist, these spiritual symbols are central to Kounellis’s Mediterranean identity and hold important cultural significance for the artist.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
    Jannis KounellisGreek (1936 - 2017)
  • title:
    Bells
  • date created:
    1993
  • materials:
    Bronze bells, wooden beams and rope
  • measurements:
    245.00 x 165.00 x 95.50
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
  • accession number:
    AR00071
  • gallery:
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms
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Jannis Kounellis

Jannis Kounellis