The 3000 cups by Jannis Kounellis are really very special, as they are all different one from another.
The difference lies in the simple gesture of dipping the white cup into black paint: the result may be a slanting horizon, or a vertical divide splitting the cup into two halves. One white and one black.
Dualism and the concept of double feature throughout Kounellis’s work, from his alphabets in the early sixties, with white letters and signs on a black background, up to his installations and theatrical set designs, where the white fragments of classic statues alternate with the black remnants of primordial fires.
Kounellis, Greek-born, but resident in Italy since 1956, was one of the exponents of the Arte Povera movement. He has exhibited in the most important museums worldwide and in leading art exhibitions such as the Documenta in Kassel and the Venice Biennale: his forty years of activity were celebrated in 2002 at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome with a retrospective theatrically entitled Atto Unico (one-act play).