Greek Artist Jannis Kounellis Dies in Rome at 80

FILE -- In this May 22, 2014 file photo Jannis Kounellis poses for pictures in Milan, Italy. (Matteo Bazzi/ANSA via AP)

MILAN – 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.

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

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Twitter that Kounellis’ death was “another great loss for our culture” and “leaves us poorer.” 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. After starting out as a painter, he became associated with the avant-garde Arte Povera, or impoverished art, movement in the late 1960s, moving toward installations.