Jannis Kounellis at Ambika P3

Ambika P3 is a huge hidden industrial space in the bowls of the University of Westminster. The space warrants the monumental work of Jannis Kounellis’s ‘K’.  As one enters the space you have the pleasure of looking down onto the work and can see its shape and form in all clarity. Then as you descend the steps the monumental stature of the work begins to tower over and dominate you.

The darkness of the steel blocks, with the black coats hooked and stretched over the rows of bottles attached, seems to absorbs the energy and weigh down the space. The work carries a heaviness in its materiality weighted further by the coal piles on the top of each steel block. The work is monumental in scale and effect, as if carrying a weight of history and a reminder that death is ever present.

The other work in the show also refers to death and a bodily presence that has passed. The rows of black coats hanging off coat hooks, a few rows of bottles on the wall bound together and wrapped in cloth and a black bundle of cloth resting in a corner. I prefered the simplicity of the smaller works. For me they seemed lighter, more accessible and interesting.

On the whole a great show. Kounellis is a master at not giving us all the answers and that I think is the secret to his lasting appeal. This body of work I am sure will stay with me for sometime.

Review

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