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


American painter Lara Nickel’s life-size installation in homage to Jannis Kounellis’ Untitled (12 Horses), one of Arte Povera’s most iconic artworks.


The horse has been represented in the history of art by almost every culture in every time period. In 1969, Jannis Kounellis (member of the Italian art movement Arte Povera) brought twelve living horses inside a gallery in Rome, creating a very reinterpreted image of the horse in an art context. Lara Nickel’s homage is comprised of twelve life-size, realistic paintings of horses, positioned on the ground and installed perpendicularly to the wall. Presented in this non-traditional way, the images of horses appear to be standing in the room, making the architecture itself the setting of the paintings. Nickel’s 12 Horses – Homage to Jannis Kounellis uses painting as a sculptural intervention, inviting the audience to physically engage with the artwork. Using Kounellis’ original piece as an art historical reference, Nickel’s paintings are not only portraits of horses but painting-as-illusion, painting-as-object, and painting-as-situation.


  • Exploring Nickel’s and Kounellis’ work in depth, this book discusses the conceptual definition of painting as well as how the literal object of paint on canvas interacts with space and time. Other artists discussed within the texts in connection to this theme are: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Lucio Fontana, Marcel Duchamp, the Renaissance paragone debate, American Minimalism, prehistorical cave painting and Cubist collage.
  • Nickel’s exhibition 12 Horses – Homage to Jannis Kounellis was exhibited at Fondazione 107 in Turin, 2019 marking the 50th anniversary of Kounellis’ original showing of his Untitled (12 Horses) at Galleria L’Attico in Rome, 1969.
  • FORMAT: Hardcover

    TRI-LINGUAL: English / Italian / French

    PAGES: 216

    SIZE: 13.9 x 9.4 x 1.2 inches 

    PUBLISHER: SKIRA, Milan, Italy



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