Francesco Clemente

Emblems and Mountains: Recent Watercolors and Works on Paper

07 June 2012 - 30 September 2012

Details of the exhibition


Francesco Clemente
Emblems and Mountains: Recent Watercolors and Works on Paper
07 June 2012 - 30 September 2012


Thursday 07 June 2012 at 6.30 pm

+39 0461 982595

Palazzo Wolkenstein
Via Marchetti, 17 Trento TN
View map




The Studio d’Arte Raffaelli of Trento is pleased to announce the exhibition of new watercolors and works on paper by Francesco Clemente. Inspired by the rugged rugged peaks and the deep valleys of the Dolomites, with their sheer walls in white and bright limestone, Clemente’s works are a reflection on the mysterious and sacred charm that the mountains have exerted on men for millennia.
The natural force present in these new works will be familiar to anyone who knows these wonderful landscapes; as will the delicate game of symbols and myths that has made Clement a poet among painters.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue, with essays by the well-known poets and scholars Louise Landes Levi and Charles Stein. Both authors have always been students of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, talented teacher of the Dzogchen school of Tibetan Buddhism, who opened his first community in Naples in the seventies organizing meetings in which Francesco and Alba Clemente often took part. The two authors debate Clement’s work from Dzogchen’s point of view, exploring the themes of light, emanation, visualization, lucid dream and, finally, emptiness.

Francesco Clemente was born in Naples in 1952. After studying architecture in Rome, he went to Afghanistan with his friend Alighiero Boetti. During the 1970s he exhibited works that reflected his interest in the contemplative traditions of India, where he had lived for some time. In the late seventies and early eighties Clemente was one of the most famous international artists to give new impetus to figurative painting with the birth of the movements of neo-expressionism and transavant-garde. Clemente’s unique style combines the tradition of Indian imagery, the Romanticism of William Blake and the frescoes of the Italian Renaissance in evocative and powerful works of sensual chromatic nuances.
Any of his works contain references to non-Western symbols, myths and spirituality, astrology and the four elements, sensuality and senses as well as dreamlike visions. Clemente took part in numerous collaborative projects, painting with Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol and illuminating the poetry of Robert Creeley, Allen Ginsberg, John Wieners, Rene Ricard and Salman Rushdie. Clemente is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he still works often in India and lives in New York with his wife Alba and their four children. Retrospective and exhaustive studies on his work were commissioned by the Museo Madre of Naples (2009), the Museo Maxxi of Rome (2006), the Galleria d’Arte Moderna of Bologna (2001), the Guggenheim (New York & Bilbao, 1999/2000), the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1990), the Nationalgalerie Berlin (1984-85) and many other institutions. His works are part of the permanent collections of over one hundred museums and public galleries including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Guggenheim (New York and Bilbao), the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Tate Modern in London, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Kunstmuseum in Basel.