Francesco Clemente bigraphy, stories - Italian painter

Francesco Clemente : biography

March 23, 1952 -

Francesco Clemente (born 1952) is an Italian contemporary artist. In the 1990s he was included in a group known as the Italian Transavantgarde who peaked in the 80s and were at one time collected by Saatchi & Saatchi. The group revived Neo-expressionism and were theorised by critic Achille Bonito Oliva.

Timeline

1980s

Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1983; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1984 ; the Nationale Galerie, Berlin, 1984; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1985 ; the Art Institute of Chicago, 1987; the Fundacion Caja, 1987; and the Dia Art Foundation, New York, 1988.

1990s

Philadelphia Museum of Art., the Royal Academy of Arts, London, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris and the Sezon Museum, Tokyo.

2000 and after

Major retrospective 1999/2000, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and in Bilbao; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2004); the Rose Art Museum, Massachusetts (2004); Museo Maxxi, Rome (2006), Museo Madre, Naples (2009), Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2011) , Uffizi Gallery, Florence (2011) and Yale University (2013).

Recent exhibitions

Early life

Clemente was born 23 March 1952 in Naples, where he spent his childhood and adolescence in close contact with 17th century art. After high school, he taught himself to paint and wrote and published poetry. He moved to Rome in 1970 to study architecture. The artists he met, including Cy Twombly and Alighiero Boetti, influenced his early work. Biography, Francesco Clemente

Career

Italian born artist Francesco Clemente (b. 1952, Naples) is a painter whose work spans four decades. His work is stylistically varied, inclusive, erotic and nomadic. It embraces diverse mediums and diverse cultures as well, aiming at finding wholeness through fragmentation and witnessing the survival of contemplation and pleasure in our mechanical age.

Clemente's work is rooted in political utopia and expresses an anti materialistic stance. In the 1970's he moved from photography to drawing and anticipated the return to painting of the 1980's.

Clemente's work is nomadic. In the 1980's he divided his time between India and New York. While briefly associated with Neo Expressionism he took an interest in collaborative works both with Indian craftsmen and with painters like Basquiat and Warhol, and poets like Creeley and Ginsberg in New York.

In the 1990's Clemente's work explored intensely erotic imagery, inspired by the Tantric traditions both of India and Tibet, and turning contemporary preoccupations with identity and sexuality into an occasion to ask questions about the nature of the self.

In the 2000's Clemente's work went through a darker and grotesque phase, returning in the last years to luminous images of repose and transformation.

Since the 1980's until today Clemente also chronicled New York intellectual and social life through a great number of portraits, contributing to the revival of a genre until then somehow discredited.

Clemente's art has been presented in solo and group shows internationally.

Major retrospectives have been held in the in the 1990's at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, at The Royal Academy in London, at the Centre Pompidou, Paris and at the Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo.

In 1999-2000 at the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York and at the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao.

In the 2000's at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, at the Museo MADRE, Naples and at the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt.

An exhibition of selfportraits and of Clemente's own version of the Tarot Cards was held at the Uffizi Gallery, Florence in 2011.

Francesco Clemente is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives and works in New York and Varanasi, India.

Works

  • A History of the Heart in Three Rainbows
  • - 1978 Gouache on paper 60 x 57 in 152.4 x 144.8 cm

Shows

Major retrospectives of Clemente's oeuvre have been held in the in the 1990s at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, at the Royal Academy in London, the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and the Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo.

In 1999-2000 at the Guggenheim Museum, New York and at the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao.

In the 2000's Clemente showed at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, at the Museo MADRE in Naples, the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, Uffizi Gallery in Florence and at Yale Museum of Art in 2013.

The artist is currently represented by Bruno Bischofberger in Switzerland and BlainSouthern in London.

Personal life

Clemente is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives and works in New York and Varanasi, India.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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