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Greek artist Jannis Kounellis dies in Rome at 80

Associated Press logo Associated Press 2/17/2017
FILE -- In this May 22, 2014 file photo Jannis Kounellis poses for pictures in Milan, Italy. Greek artist Jannis Kounellis, a major exponent of Arte Povera who made Italy his adopted home, has died in Rome at the age of 80. (Matteo Bazzi/ANSA via AP) © The Associated Press FILE -- In this May 22, 2014 file photo Jannis Kounellis poses for pictures in Milan, Italy. Greek artist Jannis Kounellis, a major exponent of Arte Povera who made Italy his adopted home, has died in Rome at the age of 80. (Matteo Bazzi/ANSA via AP)

MILAN (AP) — Greek artist Jannis Kounellis, a major exponent of the Italian art movement Arte Povera who made Italy his adopted home, has died in Rome at the age of 80.

FILE -- In this May 22, 2014 file photo Jannis Kounellis poses for pictures in Milan, Italy. Greek artist Jannis Kounellis, a major exponent of Arte Povera who made Italy his adopted home, has died in Rome at the age of 80. (Matteo Bazzi/ANSA via AP) © The Associated Press FILE -- In this May 22, 2014 file photo Jannis Kounellis poses for pictures in Milan, Italy. Greek artist Jannis Kounellis, a major exponent of Arte Povera who made Italy his adopted home, has died in Rome at the age of 80. (Matteo Bazzi/ANSA via AP)

The Villa Mafalda hospital in Rome confirmed his death late Thursday, but declined to provide further details.

FILE -- In this March 11 2015 file photo Jannis Kounellis poses for pictures in Citta' di Castello, Italy. Greek artist Jannis Kounellis, a major exponent of Arte Povera who made Italy his adopted home, has died in Rome at the age of 80. (Crocchioni/ANSA via AP) © The Associated Press FILE -- In this March 11 2015 file photo Jannis Kounellis poses for pictures in Citta' di Castello, Italy. Greek artist Jannis Kounellis, a major exponent of Arte Povera who made Italy his adopted home, has died in Rome at the age of 80. (Crocchioni/ANSA via AP)

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Twitter that Kounellis' death was "another great loss for our culture." Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini tweeted that Kounellis was "a great master, Italian by adoption, who with his work marked contemporary art."

Kounellis came to Italy in the 1950s to study at Rome's Accademia di Belle Arti. While his earliest exhibitions were of only paintings, he became associated with the avant-garde Arte Povera, or impoverished art movement, in the late 1960s, moving toward installations.

His work incorporated lowly materials and found objects, as well as living creatures, among them a 1969 exhibit of live horses as in Rome's Attic Gallery.

Kounellis participated in international exhibits including Documenta and the Venice Biennale, and his work has been shown in museums including the Tate in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

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