Jannis Kounellis’s Untitled (1976) consists of a burn mark on paper. Using fire – a metaphor for both punishment and purification -, the artist produces a hole on the surface, allowing the viewer to peek through the sheet of paper – material for the artwork. Untitled stands out as an early work by Kounellis, who is a protagonist of Arte povera, the avant-garde movement that emerged in Italy in the late 1960s. Using naturally derived materials such as earth, stone, fire, and gold, as well as found objects such as bedframes, windows, and doorways, Kounellis has left a permanent mark on contemporary art by pushing the medium of painting into a new territory.
Collectorspace brings Untitled from Collezione Ramo, based in Milan, Italy. The collection focuses on works on paper – be it preparatory drawings or autonomous artworks – as a primary form of expression. The collector and his team take their starting point as the historical avant-gardes of their home country, and set out to document the diverse stylistic approaches of the 20th century. The collection also acts as a depository of exhibition catalogues and artists’ publications, which ground the works in art history, exhibition history, as well as social history of the artists it brings together.
Taking on the responsibility of preserving and exhibiting works on paper, Collezione Ramo seeks to raise awareness of the remarkable achievements in this often overlooked medium.