Publications / Lara Nickel, 12 Horses: Homage to Jannis Kounellis

Lara Nickel, 12 Horses: Homage to Jannis Kounellis

In 1969, Jannis Kounellis (1937–2017), the Greek Italian forefather of the Arte Povera movement, brought twelve live horses into a gallery in Rome, allowing for the equine form—so frequently represented in the history of art—to be reinterpreted: life as sculpture, sculpture as life. Four decades later, the American painter Lara Nickel resuscitated and recontextualized Kounellis’ provocative exhibition when she painted twelve life-size horses on otherwise blank canvases, which she positioned on the floor, at perpendicular angles to the walls at Turin’s Fondazione 107. 

Beginning with an essay from the late critic Germano Celant—who is credited with coining the term Arte Povera—on the subject of Kounellis, and ending with Nickel’s thoughts on what she describes as “painting’s slow historical slide down the wall,” this mesmerizingly illustrated book articulates a critical lineage in the history and future of contemporary conceptual art. 

Published by Skira editore spa, 2022

Essays by Germano Celant, José Jiménez, Alex Bacon, and Lara Nickel

Fully illustrated, 216 pages

Designed by Tim Laun and Natalie Wedeking