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CLEMENTE 



CLEMENTE 



GuggenheimMUSEur 



Published on the occasion of the exhibition 

CLEMENTE 

Organized by Lisa Dennison 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 
October 8, 1999-January 9. 2000 

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao 
February 14-June 4, 2000 

199 The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York. 
All rights reserved. 

All Francesco Clemente works © Francesco Clemente. 
Used by permission. All rights reserved. 

0-89207-222-9 
0-8109-6917-3 

Guggenheim Museum Publications 

1071 Fifth Avenue 

New York, New York 10128 



Clorh cover: Alpana Bawa and Francesco < llementt 

Dust jacket and paper cover, fronc Francesco Clemente, dct.nl of 

1 999 (cat. no. 148); back: Clemente, 
detail of SM1999 (cat. no. I 
Frontispiece: Robert Mapplethorp* ' ente, 1982. 

"The Gold Paintings" by Gregory < or$Oj from Fraro 
Clemente, Corso, and Adam Fuss, the Gold Paintings (Zuri< h: 
Edition Bruno Bischofberger, 1990). Reprinted bj permission of 
Gregory Corso. "Flower" and "Place" by Robert Creeley, from 
Francesco Clemente and Creeley. It (Zurich: Edition Bruno 
Bischofbcrger , 1989). Reprinted by permission of Roberi ( reeley. 
"Chain" by Robert Creeley, from 1 rfeoi i L993 Robert ( rei 
Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp. 
"Loop." "The Swan." and "The Skull" by Robert Creeley, from 
1 ift and Death. - 1998 Robert Creeley. Reprinted bj permission 
of New Directions Publishing ( !orp. "Pastel Sentences" by 
Allen Ginsberg, selections published In ( linsberg me: 

Poem. 1993 1997 (New York: HarperFlamingo, 1999). Prim. 
permission of Allen Ginsberg Literary Trust. 



Hardcover edition distributed by 

Harry N. Abrams 

100 Fifth Avenue 

New York, New York 10011 

Design: Matsumoto Incorporated, New York 

Editor: Edward V. 

Production Elizabeth Lev) Esrhei Yun 



Printed m Germany by Cantz 



Contents 

19 Francesco Clemente: Once You Begin the Journey You Never Return 

Lisa Dennison 

37 I 

Li>a Dennison 

with entries by Craig Houser 

89 Unborn 

Gita Mehta 

with "Flower!' "Chain: and "Place" by Robert Creeley 

and "The Gold Paintings" by Gregory Corso 

123 Bestiary 

Ettore Sottsass 

with "Loof by Robert Creeley and "Panel Sentence*" by Allen Ginsberg 

173 Conversion to Her 
Robert Creeley 

2 3 1 Amulets and Prayers 
Jyotindra ]ain 

293 Sky 

Gus Van Sant 

wit h '■The Swan" and "The Skull" by Robert Creeley 

329 Rooms 

Francesco Pellizzi 

391 Books. Palimpsests. Collaborations 
Raymond Foye 

442 Chronology 
Rene Ricard 

484 Selected Exhibition History 
Compiled hy Melanie Marino 

496 Selected Bibliography 

500 Index of Reproductions 



Lenders to the Exhibition 



Albnglu- Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo 

Dons Ammann, Thomas Ammann Fine Art 

Kelly-Gilles Bensimon 

Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich 

Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich 

Stephanie Seymour Brant 

The Brant Foundation. Greenwich. Connecticut 

Carmignac Gestion. Paris 

Francesco and Alba Clemente, New York 

The Cleveland Museum of Art 

Como Group 

Contemporary Art Fundacio"la Caixa." Barcelona 

Beat Cum 

Mia and Patrick Demarchelicr 

Anthony d'Offay Gallery. London 

Stefan T. Edlis 

Raymond Foye 

Ga^osian Gallery. New York 

Walter Haas. Zurich and Puerto Vallarta. Mexico 

Alex Katz 

Thomas and Janine Koerfer- Weill 

Robert and Mary Looker 

Dr. Erich Marx, Berlin 

Mugrabi Collection 

Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main 

Tatum O'Neal 

OfTendiche Kunstsammlung Basel. 

Kupferstichkabinett 
PaincWebber Group Inc.. New York 
Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. Caracas 
Philadelphia Museum of Art 
Jean Pigozzi, Switzerland 
Ron and Ann Pizzuti, Columbus, Ohio 
Cynthia Hazen Polsky 
Rubell Family Collections 
David Salle 

Sanders Collection, Amsterdam 
Jacqueline Schnabel 
Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo 
Joan Sonnabend 
Gian Enzo Sperone, New York 



Sperone Westwater, New York 
Stedelijk Museum. Amsterdam 
Matthew and Ins Strauss. Rancho Sann I c 

( .llifornia 
Virginia Museum oi Fine Arts. Richmond 
Angela Westwater 
Anonymous lenders 



The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation 



Honorary Trustees in Perpetuity 
Solomon R. Guggenheim 
Justin K. Thannhauser 
Peggy Guggenheim 

Honorary Chairman 
Peter Lawson-Johnston 

Chairman 
Peter B. Lewis 

Vice-Presidents 

Wendy L-J. McNeil 
John S. Wadsworth, Jr. 

Vice-President and Treasurer 
Stephen C. Swid 

Director 

Thomas Krens 

Secretary 

Edward F. Rover 

Honorary Trustee 
Claude Pompidou 

Trustees Ex Officio 
Dakis Joannou 
Benjamin B. Rauch 



Trustees 

Giovanni Agnelli 
Jon Imanol Azua 
Peter M. Brant 
Mary Sharp Cronson 
Elizabeth T. Dingman 
Gail May Engelberg 
Daniel Filipacchi 
Barbara Jonas 
David H. Koch 
Thomas Krens 
Barbara Lane 
Peter Lawson-Johnston 
Samuel J. LeFrak 
Peter B. Lewis 
Wendy L-J. McNeil 
Edward H. Meyer 
Frederick W. Re id 
Richard A. Rifkind 
Denise Saul 
Terry Semel 
James B. Sherwood 
Raja W. Sidawi 
Seymour Slive 
Stephen C. Swid 
John S. Wadsworth, Jr. 
Cornel West 
John Wilmerding 
William T.Ylvisakcr 



Director Emeritus 
Thomas M. Mcsscr 



HUGO BOSS is the sponsor of this exhibition as parr of its 
ongoing supporr of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. 



Additional support provided by the National Endowment foi the Aits 



Sponsor Statement 



The artist Francesco Clemente is a traveler between two worlds. His paintings and drawings combine a 
mysterious Eastern symbolism with elements of Western cultural tradition. He fashions a closely woven web 
of the familiar and the strange in images that ultimately defy interpretation. 

At home in Madras. Rome, and New York, Clemente has explored the depths of cultural differences 
like no other artist. The transmittal quality of his work lies in his ability to forge a link between the rational 
currents of Western trad.tion and the intuitive tendenc.es of Eastern culture. 

Clemente, the first comprehensive retrospective of the artists work in all mediums, brings to light a 
visual poetry composed of amusing stories, symbolic eroticism, and profound self-revelation. 

Cultural curiosity and tolerance are important sources of inspiration, both in art and ,n fash.on. 
Our support of the Clemente exhibition is an emphatic expression ofthis conviction and of our long-term 
collaboration with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in support of contemporary art. 



HUGO BOSS 




I. My House, 1982. Tempera on linen, 157 7, x 118 7. inches (400 x 300 cm). Private collection. 



Foreword 
Thomas Krens 



The history of contemporary art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum began in 1937, with the 
establishment of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, whose core mission encompassed collecting and 
exhibiting the art of the present. In recent decades, retrospective exhibitions devoted to contemporary artists 
have occupied a special place in this history, and have included artists of different generations and 
nationalities, from Joseph Beuys and Roy Lichtenstein to Ross Bleckner and Rebecca Horn. 

With the Clemente retrospective, the Guggenheim takes on the role, as it has in the past, of 
interpreting the art of its time. Although Francesco Clemente has lived in the United States since 1981, no 
museum in this country has mounted a survey of comparable scale or range. This exhibition thus offers 
audiences the first opportunity to assess the artist's production from the 1970s through the present. 
Expanding the internal logic of Clemente's work, the show is organized around eight themes that graph the 
artists labyrinthine cosmology of images and ideas. 

At the Venice Biennak in 1980, Clemente commanded the attention of an international audience, and 
his rich and eclectic visual imagery was considered deeply influential in the international revival of 
Expressionism in the 1980s. Working simultaneously in different mediums, such as oil, watercolor. pastel, 
ink drawing, fresco, and sculpture, Clemente draws with great erudition and intuition from diverse 
cultural periods and stylistic sources to give body to the vast range of his visual and conceptual ideas. 
The exceptional scope and quality of his artistic production and the singular personal vision it expresses has 
determined the Guggenheim's decision to close the millennium with this retrospective exhibition. 

Our friendship dates back to 1987. when I invited Clemente to give a lecture at the Williams College 
Museum of Art. where I was then Director. The artist and I have remained friends since; we share an affinity 
for the art and culture of India, where I worked in the early 1980s, and where the artist has traveled regularly 
since 1973 I began discussions with Clemente about this particular project in 1994. and since then, he has 



had .1 steady involvement in our collecting and programming activities at the museum m New York as well as 
at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. 

In 1997, the museum acquired ten extraordinar) works on paper by the artist, which were then 
included in the exhibition From Diirer to Rauschenberg: A Quintessence o) Drawing, Masterworks from the 
Albertina and the Guggenheim, The artist was also commissioned to execute a site-specific cycle of paintings 
for the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Exploring such diverse subjects as the family, the Empedoclean 
philosophy of the tour elements, and the complexity of the self, the seventeen monumental paintings that 
make up this installation, entitled La Stanza della Madre, are among the most important works the artist has 
accomplished to date. 

With ereat enthusiasm. Lisa Dennison, the museum's Deputy Director and Chief Curator, assumed 
curarorship of the exhibition, and her expertise in contemporary painting has been invaluable in dealing with 
the artist and his evolving interactions with the museum. I would like to express sincere thanks to her for her 
expert direction of this retrospective and to the Guggenheim's start who have been instrumental in realizing 
this project. 

We also acknowledge with gratitude the generous support ot our sponsors. Special thanks must be 
given to Hu^o Boss, whose continuing support of the Guggenheim programs internationally is a shining 
example of corporate support at its finest. Hugo Boss has sponsored numerous programs at the Guggenheim 
Museums over the last five years and is an invaluable partner ot the institution. Special thanks must go to 
Chairman and CEO Werner Baldessanni tor his support. In addition, this long-term partnership would have 
been impossible without the commitment, enthusiasm, and support ot Isabella Heudort, who is responsible 
for arts sponsorship at Hugo Boss. 

Additional thanks must be given to the National Endowment tor the Arts. Isabella del Frate 
Rayburn Eich. and the Murray and Isabella Rayburn Foundation for their continuing support ot the 
museum's programs. 

Finally. I extend my warmest thanks to Francesco Clemente. He has been deeply involved with all 
aspects of this exhibition and catalogue. Without his efforts, it would not have been possible to realize this 
project, which explores full}- the richness and complexity ot his extraordinary oeuvre. 



Acknowledgments 



Lisa Dennison 



This retrospective of work, by Francesco Clemente has been realized with the generous participation ot many- 
individuals, to whom I offer my deepest thanks. Foremost, I thank the artist, who embraced every aspect of 
this project with remarkable thoughtfulness, focus, and attention. The time we spent together — on the ramps 
of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, at his studios, and at the Guggenheim Museum 
Bilbao — has been extremely rewarding, and it has been a privilege to work with him in every respect. 
Throughout the process of putting together this exhibition, Clemente's creation or new work was unflagging, 
and we are delighted that the selection of works represents the artist from the beginning of his career to the 

present day. 

This exhibition would not have been possible without the remarkable generosity of the lenders. 
On behalf of the museum, I extend sincere gratitude to the institutional and private lenders whose names 
appear elsewhere in this book. I would like to single out in particular those individuals who have collected 
Clemente's work in depth, lent most generously to the show, and shared their advice, including Doris 
Ammann; Bruno Bischofberger; Peter and Stephanie Seymour Brant; Anthony d'Offay; and Dieter Koepplin, 
Head of the Department for Prints and Drawings. Kunstmuseum Basel. My appreciation also goes to 
Francesco's principal dealers, including Bischofberger, d'Oftay. and Larry Gagosian, for their commitment to 
the artist and their support of our project. Angela Westwater and Gian Enzo Sperone were also instrumental 
in helping us locate important works. Thanks are due as well to gallery .staff members, specifically Tobias 
Muller and Frederique Hutter ofGalerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich; Christophe Van de Weghe, Jessie 
Washburne-Harris, Stephania Bortolami, and Robert McKeever of Gagosian Gallery, New York; Lorcar, 
O'Neill and [oanna Thornberry of Anthony d'Offay Gallery. London; Karen Polack and Sophie Prieto of 
Sperone Westwater, New York; and Maria Brassel of Thomas Ammann Fine Art, Zurich. We also benefited 



from the able assistance of Jean Bicklcy of the Brant Foundation. Greenwich, Connecticut; Petei Fischer of 
Alesco AG. Switzerland; and Rupert Burgess and Tina Sotel on behalf of a private collector. 

A special acknowledgment is due to Bill Katz, who acted as exhibition designer and was in every way 
an essential collaborator on the project. His knowledge ofClementes work is profound, due in part to his 
close friendship with the artist over the years, .md his unique perspective on the artists work is reflected in the 
exhibitions elegant design. Tal Varech, who works with Katz. was also helpful in realizing the design. 

I am truly indebted to Takaak. Matsumoto for his superb design of this catalogue. He has captured 
the essence of the artists sensibility in this monograph, which is the largest and most comprehensive 
publication ofClementes work to date. I also thank Matsumotos staff designer, Kathryn Hamm.ll. for he. 
valuable input. I am deeply grateful to Anthony Calnek. Director of Publications, Elizabeth Levy. Managing 
Editor. Esther Yun. Assistant Production Manager. Edward Weisberger. Editor. Meghan Pa. Icy. Assistant 
Editor, and Jennifer Knox-White, freelance editor, for their skillful handling of all aspects of the realization of 
this book. My appreciation also goes to Alpana Bawa for realizing the cloth production and embroidery foi 
the hardcover editions. She was ably assisted in this endeavor by Chandana Bau.i 

In addition, the catalogue has benefited greatlv from the knowledgeable and illuminating texts written 
by Robert Creeley. Raymond Fove. the late Allen Ginsberg. Jyotindra Jain, Gita Mehta, Francesco Peilizzi, 
Rene Ricard. Ettore Sottsass, and Gus Van Sant. All distinguished cultural figures in their own right, they are 
quite familiar with the artist and deeply engaged in his work, which is reflected in their insightful 
contributions. In addition, the catalogue has benefited from the inclusion of previously published poems by 
Creeley. Gregory Corso. and John Wieners, who have directly collaborated with the artist on specific projects 
and/or written verse in response to individual works by the artists. 

During the planning of this exhibition, individuals who have followed Clementes work have given 
advice and support, among them Michael Auping, Rafael Jablonka. Ann Percy, Diego Cortez. Peter Blum. 
Jerome de Noirmont, C. T. Nachiappan, and Prema Srinivasan. Others were not available to offer input but 
have nonetheless been inspirational to us, such as the late Stella Kramnsch and Henry Geldzahler. 

Clementes wife. Alba, and his family have been most gracious in dealing with the museum, and I 
hope they have enjoyed this experience as much as I have. The artists assistants have also been a pleasure to 
work with during the planning of the project. I thank Simeral Achenbach and Kara Vander Weg, without 
whose collaboration this exhibition would not have been possible. Barry Frier. Clementes framer, also 
provided essential information. 

The staff of the Guggenheim Museum has been supportive and meticulous in all aspects of planning 
this project, and to everyone involved, I extend my sincere gratitude. Above all. I am enormously grateful to 
Craig Houser, Curatorial Assistant, who has overseen all aspects of the project with extreme diligence and 
intelligence. Melanie Marino, Curatorial Assistant, has also played a critical role in the organization of this 
project, and her extensive research on the artist has been indispensable for the exhibition catalogue. I would like 
to thank Michael Govan, Director, Dia Center for the Arts, and Nancy Spector, Curator of Contemporary 
Art, for reading the texts of the catalogue. J. Fiona Ragheb. Associate Curator, provided useful input during 
the early stages of the project, and Anna Vallye, Curatorial Administrative Assistant, helped me throughout 
the process of planning the exhibition. Additional assistance has been provided by interns Jennifi I 
Hochhauser, Jennifer Kingsley, Anna Andrea Lehmann, Lee Ann Pomplas-Brucning, Gunrher Salzmann, 
Julia Katharma Schawe, Claire Schneider, and Lisa Zeitz. The exhibition team including Sean Mooney. 
Exhibition Design Manager, Marylouise Napier, Project Registrar, Carol Stringan. Senior Conservator, and 
Joe Adams, Assistant Manager of Art Services and Preparation, was a pleasure to work with in coordinating 



this retrospective. Thanks are also due to Melanie Forman, Director of Development, Ben Hartley, Director 
of Corporate Communication and Sponsorship, and Kendall Hubert, Manager of Corporate Sponsorship; 
Karen Meyerhoff. Director of Exhibition and Collection Management and Design, Marion Kahan, 
Exhibition Program Manager, and Jocelyn Groom, former Exhibition Design Coordinator; Marilyn JS 
Goodman, Director of Education, Pablo Helguera, Education Program Manager, Rebecca Shulman Herz. 
Education Program Manager, and Amy Whitaker, former Education Program Coordinator; Scott Wixon, 
Manager of Art Services and Preparations, Richard Gombar, Construction Manager, Jocelyn Brayshaw, Chief 
Preparator, Barry Hylton, Senior Exhibition Technician, and James Cullinane, former Senior Exhibition 
Technician; Peter Read, Jr., Manager of Exhibition Fabrication and Design; Meryl Cohen. Head Registrar; 
Paul M. Schwartzbaum. Chief Conservator, and Gillian McMillan, Senior Conservator; Alison M. G.ngeras, 
Curatorial Assistant, and Janice Yang, Curatorial Assistant; and David Heald, Director of Photographic 
Services and Chief Photographer, and Ellen Labenski, Assistant Photographer. I would also like to recognize 
the efforts of many individuals in the museums departments of Budgeting and Planning, Finance. Marketing, 
Membership, Public Affairs, and Special Events. And finally, I express my sincere gratitude to Thomas Krens. 
Director, for his continuous support of this project. 











2. Vomo che nonja nulla, from II viaggiatore napoletano, Rome 1971. Ink on paper. 9 inches (24.5 x 9.3 cm) 

OfTentliche Kunstsammlung Basel. Kupf'erstichkabtnett, 1984.12. 



Francesco Clemente: 
Once You Begin the Journey You Never Return 

Lisa Denmson 



The Guggenheim Museums last exh.b.tion of the twentieth century, Clemente charts ovet twenty-five 
year, of the artists career, including works in all the mediums that make up his prodigious oeuvre. In 
comparison, the institutional exhibitions that have ptev.ously matked the career of Ftancesco Clemente 
have been limited in scope. Francesco Clement*: Tfee Four.ee, Stations at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, 
London, in !983 and Funerary Painting at the Dia Att Foundanon. New York, in 1988-89. for example 
unveiled single bod.es of work soon after they were created. Clementes fust retrospective, at the ohn and 
Mab.e Ringling Museum of Att, Sarasota, in 1985 was billed as an "introduction to barely a decade o 
work. Otherwise, the retrospective format has been generally confined to specie mediums: paste, at the 
Nationalgalerie, Berlin, in 1984: fresco at the Fundacon C,a de Pensiones Madnd, m 987; d = an 

bound to locale ^.^ ss _ a perloa of 

A museum retrospective is always a glance backward, a vc^i 
A museum recro^p , o spe ahc choices or those 

.mense scrutiny and reflection on a parncular arnsts £« £ » ^ ^ ^^ space 

works that best illuminate that arnsts -^~ ^^ narrative. V customary otgan.cn, 

;;::; F ;;^:r::^x^:;:;^z::: 1S :^ — - — — -^ ^- 

-lut ary course that extend, horn early work to m« ^ ^ ^ 



L9 



works are ordered not by chronology bu« rather chrough the various systems of metaphysics, numerology, 

I^hologv and astrologj that form the basis ofhis singular artistic .anguage. The dd» - shaped 

is a journey than .1 career overview. As Clemente s 

Certain constellations ofwork[s] are formed even at a disrance of years! the same 
format, the S ame technique, the same subject, the same .mages that the technique 
evokes. . . . If you were to show my work chronologically, you would have a 
discontinuous representation since the same formats disappear for years and then 
return, then disappear and then return again. 
In general, the majestic Frank Lloyd Wright spiral of the Guggenheim building lends itself especiaUy 
,,,, to the chronological unfolding of an artist's career. The individual bays frame groupings ol similar works, 
and the vistas across the ramps grant a sweeping panorama of a span of time. It is significant to note that 
Clementes engagement with Wright began as early as 1970, when he was an architectural student m Rome 
and it contimTTo be evident today in the artists New York studio, which is sparsely formshed with « nght 
chairs The installation of Clemente takes advantage of the architects conception of space as a continuous 
becoming," which has been translated by Clemente as a process of constant metamorphosis and 
transmutation, rather than as linear development. 

For this exhibition, as the spiral folds in on itself, theme and chronology are juxtaposed and 
overlapped. Starting at the bottom, the visitor travels through the museums space and at each turn of the 
r am F is guided by a poetic title that suggests the theme for that particulat group of works. In the course of 
ascension, the viewer is diverted to the flat, tower galleries adjacent to the spiral, encountering rooms .devoted 
to "Books. Palimpsests, Collaborations'; The Fourteen Sr.no. painting cycle of 1981-82 (cat. nos. 154-65); 
frescoes, and The Indigo Rocn of 1983-84 (cat. no. 167). an environment of tour wall hangings .made of 
indigo-dyed paper and fabric. The final ram P brings the visitor to the summit, the domed skylight that opens 
onto the heavens-a metaphor for the cosmos and an emblem of Wright's utop.an ideas. 

Clemente himself provided the narrative trajectory that informs the exhibitions organization. 
T is the stound of the show. First you establish the Self. Then you give up the Sell with 
Unborn." Next, you cross a field of transformation ("Bestiary"]. Then you 
reeonciled with your powers ("Converse to Her"]. At that point, you can collect your 
weaponry ['Amulets and Prayers"). And then everything dissipates into nothing. 'Sky 
Once you begin the journey you never return. 
Of course, this is only one poss.ble narrative for the retrospective, but it is also a possible narrative lor the 
artist's entire body of work, quite aside from this particular presentation. At the core of his thought IS the 
notion that there is no single truth but many truths, so that, at any other moment in time, the story might 
be formulated differently. Each element of Clementes experience, and each object of his artistic production, 

is a fragment: 

I have always thought of eaeh one of my works as if they were the only work I would 
ever do. a total constellation of objects that had to suggest the idea that they came from 
another place, as if they had been dug up from under the earth, from a forgotten place, 
This is the way I feel, that 1 approach my work. It is very difficult for me to think only of 
a single object. An object .s a fragment of a more completed discourse. There ate other 
fragments and one story or another can be images from these fragments, but basically it 
is not important which one it is.' 





T< 








3. Untitled, from 1/ ^«*,e .**»» R-c L971. Ink on paper, B »*« H inches (2 



.5 cm). Offentliche Kunscsammlung Basel. Kupferstichkabinetr, 1984.20. 












4. Tutto. from II vtaggtatore napoletano. Rome. 1971. Ink on paper, 4 I inches (12.4 x 17.6 cm). Oftenthche Kunstsammlung Basel, Kuprcrstichkabincrr. 1984.22. 



Although this publication mirrors the intentions of the exhibition, it cannot totally simulate the ascent from 
"I" to "Sky" up the spiral of the Wright building with side trips to "Rooms" and "Books, Palimpsests, 
Collaborations" in the tower galleries. By its nature, as a book, it has an entirely linear arrangement in which 
"Rooms" and "Collaborations" appear after "Sky," the section that is otherwise the terminus of the journey that 

begins with "I." 

The authors, who call upon prophets and gods as well as mystical and sacred texts as reference points 
for the artist, explicate Clemente's themes from the vantage point of their own respective disciplines. They 
work on the cutting edge of contemporary culture and share an affinity of sensibilities. Like Clemente, they 
blend their own genres or disciplines with those of others. They have figured so prominently in the artist's 
personal pantheon as friends and colleagues that it would be truthful to classify them as being among the 
eclectic muses of civilization from whom he has drawn inspiration. 

Gita Mehta, author, documentary filmmaker, and resident of New York, London, and Delhi, 
is an integral part of New York's literary-publishing world. Her first book, Karma Cola: Marketing 
the Mystic East (1979), is the ultimate satire on the pilgrimages of 1960s hippies to India in search of spiritual 
unity and harmony. Mehta's texts for "Unborn" allude to the fluidity of Clemente's imagery and draw on 
Indian philosophical concepts of form and formlessness to explore how his art moves between East and West, 
matter and spirit, unconsciousness and consciousness. Also in the "Unborn" section is Gregory Corsos 
evocative poem "The Gold Paintings," which was originally published as part of a collaboration with 
Clemente and Adam Fuss. Corso is one of a number of Beat writers whose work the artist admires. 

Ettore Sottsass, a radical driving force in contemporary design and a central figure in avant-garde 
culture, has been active in the realms of anthropology, psychology, poetry, literature and art. In 1967. he 
founded a magazine. Vianeta Fresco, with Fernanda Pivano and Allen Ginsberg bringing together an 
American and European artistic and literary avant-garde. He is renowned in international circles for infus 
new life into the prevailing rationalist aesthetic in architecture and design. Through his work with 
Mel p s Design Group which he founded in 1981, he has introduced a Hgurative language to t 
Memphis utsig r Sottsass's essay for "Bestiary" illuminates a theme inspired by 

rum.nat.ons. .n a stream-of-.onsuousness sty J publication of G.nsbergs 

and Clemente's paintings. The "Bestiary section .s also graced by theta P ^ 

■Taste. Sentences.' which the poet wrote in response o specie ^d. b> CUn 
Ginsbergs works when he hved , Ron,, through «^^T^^Z^ relationship that 

rhev sustained unci the poets death in 199/. me sync $y 

1950s at the invitation of Charles Olson g count£ rtradition began with the poetry of Ezra 

emergingcountertradition to the literary esta ^ q ^ ^ ^ 

Pound and William Cat.os Williams f J^^* -ists. He has. on several occasions. 

Greeley has also written about many of the Abs« P ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ for ion 

composed poems for ° e ^^^Z presses the allusions to polymorphous sexuality m 

Clemente's images and a cycle of poems that, reflect on in ji u atrwor ^ ^ ^^ ^ ^ as 

Jyot i n draJain, Senior Director oftheNationa UW , ^ ^^ rf ^ ^ ^ 

the Crafts Museum) in New Delhi. ,s recognized as on. 



23 



folk arts. He has conducted extensive ethnographic field research in a number of states in India, focusing on 
the folk and tribal religions of the western part of the country. In "Amulets and Prayers." Jain examines the 

elements, senses, and symbols that proliferate throughout Clemente's work. Weaving together resonant details 
drawn from Indian folk history and mythology. Jam brings into relief the magical and spiritual aspects of 

Clemente's esoteric systems. 

Gus Van Sant is a filmmaker well known tor directing such independent classics as Drugstore Cowboy 
(1989) and My Ou-n Private Idaho (1991); as well as To Die For (1995) and Good Will Hunting (1997), in 

which Clemente played a cameo role as a hypnotist; and the remake of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho in 1998. 
Clemente characterizes Van Sant as a director "who likes to put a pill of poison under a coat ot sugar." 
Van Sant attended the Rhode Island School of Design and is himself a painter. He is also involved in 
photography, music, fashion, design, and fiction; his novel. Pink (1997), is about the power of the imag. 
contemporary society. In "Sky; the filmmaker constructs a wry. scenographic narrative of a visit to the artists 
studio. Through his excentric approach to Clemente's work, he captures how the complex structures and 
processes of the artists unique pictorial universe function analogically in relation to one another. 

Francesco Pell.zz. is the editor of Res. a journal of aesthetics and anthropology, and a collector ot 
primitive and contemporary art. Pell.zzi was one of the earliest collectors to recognize Clementes talents and 
began acquiring his work in 1980. Pellizzis thinking, like Jain's and Clementes. extends beyond the 
boundaries of pure art to social and cultural history in general. His commentaries for "Rooms" address the 
individual spaces that connote refuge, rest, an invitation to contemplation, a space for the soul. He approaches 
the technique and iconography of frescoes in terms of Clemente's passage through painting and through his 
native Italy; provides penetrating interpretations of The Fourteen Stations based on ancient alchemical texts 
that reflect on notions of time and metamorphosis; and describes his experience of The Indigo Room in terms 
of "hiding and revealing," movements intrinsic to both sexuality and visuality. 

Raymond Foye, editor and book publisher, has had a long engagement with the literary and art 
worlds and has bridged the two through collaborative projects initiated by him, many of them involving 
Clemente. Foye was introduced to Clemente by Henry Geldzahler in 1983 and in turn introduced the artist 
to many Beat writers, including Corso, Creeley, and Ginsberg. Together Foye and Clemente founded 
Hanuman Books in 1986, adopting the small format of Hindu prayer books for publications of artist's 
writings, Lower East Side poets, overlooked Sanskrit scholars, and rock musicians, among others. Foye 
himself has written extensively and authoritatively on Clemente's work. In "Books, Palimpsests, 
Collaborations," he focuses on Clemente's early notational drawings; collaborative projects with poets in the 
United States and with artisans in India; and watercolor portraits of contemporaries. 

The various strands of Clemente's biography are brought together for the first time in Rene Ricard's 
chronology. Ricard is a poet, critic, Warhol "superstar" (he appeared in the underground film classic 
The Chelsea Girls in 1966), and wit. According to Foye, the poet and the artist met during Clemente's first 
visit to New York, when Ricard was at "the height of his reign of terror over high society and the New York 
art world." Ricard's text is as much a narrative biography as a chronology. It highlights not only the major 
cultural influences and life experiences of the artist but also the more intangible elements that have been the 
ingredients of Clemente's creative process. 

Ezra Pound, whose poems are quoted throughout Pellizzis texts, played with the ideogrammatic 
notion of poetic image, and he has been particularly important to the artist, who found in Pound's writings, as 
well as those of James Joyce, a structure that mirrors his own approach to image-making. Clemente says: 
It is in the literary tradition, in literary invention, that one most often finds this 
siruation, in which seemingly meaningless imagistic elements rub against one another to 



spark a flame of indeterminate meaning. What these writers do that interests me very 

much is to use a collection of arbitrary choices to create a field of meaning. In their 

writing, the distinctions between private and public, important and unimportant, trivial 

and overwhelming, the big scheme and the little detail all fall away. They create a secular 

world of meaning, a constellation of familiar qualities that have an unfamiliar meaning, 

which makes us happy, and which is the task of art to do.' 

Indeed, Clemente's absorption of American culture occurred in part through the literature and music of the 

Beat generation, especially such dominant figures as William Burroughs, Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac. His 

empathy tor the Beats was grounded in their embrace of Eastern thought and mysticism, their irreverence for 

authority, their relentless mobility, and their celebration of everyday life and the commonplace. The Beats 

brought art out of the institutions and into the streets. The 1950s and 1960s, characterized by the fluid 

commingling of the worlds of avant-garde dance and theater, independent film, Abstract Expressionism, 

Fluxus, and Happenings, set the tone for the atmosphere of crossover and collaboration between the arts that 

Clemente found so invigorating when he first moved to New York in the 1980s. 

Clemcnte cultivates the randomness of the world. As Edit deAk so eloquently states. "He is footloose in time, 
culture, and metaphor."' The geographies of the different places he knows— as well as the people, history, 
culture, and religions that define each locale— accumulate in the artists memory and emerge as imagery after 
being filtered through his unique persona. To this. Clemente adds his exceptional craftsmanship, 
demonstrating proficiency in many mediums: from "drawing" (whether using pen and 
ink charcoal, watercolor, gouache, pastel, or pencil) to fresco, oil painting, sculpture, and handmade 
artist's books. He maintains an indifference toward subject and materials that frees him to move randomly 

through them: 

My overall strategy or view as an artist is to accept fragmentation, and to sec what 
comes of it-if anything. . , . Technically, this means I do not arrange the mediums and 
inuges I « o, k with in any hierarchy of value. One is as good as another for me. All the 
images have the same expressive weight, and 1 have no preferred medium. 
The internal model of fragmentation chat characterize, Clemente's oeuvre did not emerge by chance. 
It is inextricably linked to his biography. The artist was born in Naples, a city that began as an ancient Greek 
settlement and since the collapse of the Roman empire has been governed by a succession of foreign ruler 
lol Zantine to Spanish. The historically diverse layers of culture in Naples, Clemente, extenstve travc . 
tlughout Europe in his youth, and his early schooling in Latin and Greek profoundly affected his „ 

periods ,hcn there was ., kind of world culture. The world was at the same time one and 
Lllv split m . rhousand different possibilities. Yon could hnd Egyptian people pamnng 
Gree k Pictures, .recks singing harm songs. ^^^^ ^ W cultural 
In 1970. Clemente moved to Rome to study archttecture. The. J ^ 

Escape rfp »l«. WH: ^^X^S-^-.-* 

regional character on the orher-mcite t u an ^ ^ ^ ^^ ^ ^ cransformmg 

But it was the trips he made to India between . .^ rf th e East were 

influence on his world view. In India, b. romann — ^ ^ ^ 

quickly supplanted by a sense of disorientation and by the d.scont y 



25 




5. Untitled, from 11 vtaggiatore napoletano, Rome, 1971. Ink on pap 



.Ink on paper. 8 i 5 inchef (21.3 x 14.9 cm). Offentliche Kuiursammlung Bud, Kupferstichkabinetc, L984.25. 



As Foye writes: 

The cultural multiformity of India led Clemente to accept fragmentation and stylistic 
diversity in art, in contradistinction to the prevailing cultural hegemony of the West. By 
abandoning the traditional hierarchical ordering of experience, Clemente was seeking a 
more open form that was able to accommodate the influx of new factors brought to the 
fore in India: eros, the psychic imagination, the mutability of meaning. 
During an extended stay in India in 1977, Clemente's home was the Theosophical Society in Madras. 
The time he spent in the society's compound overlooking the Bay of Bengal, its garden harboring the oldest 
and largest banyan tree in India and its vast library filled with esoteric and occult literature, had a formative 
influence on the artist. Clemente's synthesizing impulse in the face of the awesome diversity of experiences and 
cultures is close to the spirit of Theosophy, a theological and philosophical movement that blends the 
teachings of the world's religions into a common spiritual narrative. The teachings and writings of Theosophy, 
espoused by Helena P. Blavatsky, the movement's founder in 1875, have been a persistent influence in 
twentieth-century art. Among the most prominent of those who have professed their interest in the tenets of 
the Thcosophists were the artists Vasily Kandinsky Piet Mondnan, and Joseph Beuys. Clemente's attraction 
to India extended beyond its mystical heritage to the contemporary arts of Madras and Bombay, including the 
, h( ap and gaudy products that advertise its popular culture to the masses: movie billboards, statuary and 
relics, souvenir books sold at temples and shrines, and Hindu comic books. Over time, he found great 
stimulation in collaborating with local artisans and craftspeople on the making of his art. 

Clemente returned briefly to Italy in 1980. At that time, he and such Italian figurative painters of his 
generation as Sandro Chia. Enzo Cucchi, Nicola de Maria, and Mimmo Palad.no were grouped by the art 
critic Achille Bonito Oliva under the banner of Transavanguardia. Of all these painters. Clemente perhaps 
best exemplified, stylistically and in his nomadic lifestyle, the transdural art described by Bonito Oliva: 
Every work becomes a vicissitude carrying and returning to the place of work, crossing 
multiple fields of reference, using every Utensil . - . allowing the works fragments to 
maintain a mobile relationship which is never bolted and never seeks shelter in the idea 
of unity . . . Today, making art means having everything on the table in a revolving and 
synchronous simultaneity which succeeds in blending ms.de the crucible of the work 
both private and mythic .mages, personal signs tied to the individual's story and public 
signs tied to culture and art history." r , mAnt( , 

In l9 81 drawn to the plurality of nationalities and cultures that populated New W . C.err, nte 

high and low. and within the city there was a strong spr„ de P rf 

gard e theater and f,,n, fashion, and popu at ^^^^ of pai Jf s , graffiti artis rs, 
rl , 1960s . Clemente found a congruenc - ; ^ ^ of his ne w 

«*— ~' P ° etS ' ln<1 r: on O Athe fits, of their many projects together,, and 

friends, illustrating .» poetry collection tot Omsberg l 

collahoratingonagroup ofworks with Je^Mic ^T^^l he continued to wander the 
Clemente returned to India an fa* ^An _ ^ _ pamrerly . 

elobe- Europe, the Caribbean, Egypt, japan-syntnes,- ng i 

, i i J I aV ,->ti rir desert, lust rhis enm u)t-' -. 

< h « Ameri " ^ h ; '' " ° telalh curve. , . . Where,, else you go. in .ndia 

pots. Where a village had been you see a dignt cur 



27 



N 




b. Unutlcd (W ?H n WS), 1974. Pencil on paper. E in. bet (22.3 x 14.7 cm). Offentliche Kun.ts lung I'-.,, I. Kupfc. ,.. hkal It, 1987.262. 



or in Europe you have foundations that go miles down into the earth. But here it seems 

that civilization has always, for thousands and thousands of years, been a matter of a 

very light film.' 

Drawn to the vastness of the landscape, visibly marked by these traces of earlier civilizations, Clemente 

established a home and studio in the desert of New Mexico, adding yet another layer to the web of experience 

that defines his personal cosmology. 



A combination of Indian mystic and Beat poet, Clemente is a wanderer who cultivates friendships with fellow 
artists, poets, and seers in the course of his journeys. He fashions himself as a cult figure, not unlike those 
artists who served as mentors and inspirations to him, four of the most legendary figures of Italian, German, 
and American postwar art: Alighiero Boetti, Beuys, Warhol, and Cy Twombly. 

Clemente met Boetti in 1972 in Rome, and the two developed an immediate spiritual kinship, 
stemming in large part from their interest in the East. In 1973, Clemente made his first trip to India. In 1974, 
he traveled with Boetti to Afghanistan, staying initially in Kabul, where Boetti ran a hostel and cafe, and 
eventually traveling further afield. For both artists, their voluntary exiles to other cultures were formative 
influences on their lives and work. Boetti was a nexus of personal and professional relationships, of artists and 
friends, around which Clemente shaped some of his own interactions. 

Boetti had been a major figure in Arte Povera, the dominant movement in Italian art in the late 1960s 
and early 1970s. Through an engagement with "poor." or humble, materials, either organic or industrial, the 
sculpture, installations, and performances created by the artists of this movement investigated the 
relationships between art and life, as well as art's relationship to institutions and the marketplace. Clemente 
saw that Boetti's field of ideas was much bigger than his roots in Arte Povera suggested. Already a 
postmodernist of sorts. Boett, had opened the door to a wider world through his art. He was interested in 
languages and systems of classification, in things that have prescribed orders, such as maps, numbers, and 
alphabets. He then set out to undermine and disorder these very systems through an intuitive, almost 



metaphysical, approach to them. 

So m e of Boetti'. most .mporrant works were collaborates. In Afghamstan he engaged local 

a„isan, weavers, embroiderers, mosaicists, poets, and philosophers-amateurs and professionals ahke-to 

realize his work. Often, he hired these collaborators through an intetmediar, so that *£"£%£ 

him in person. In this wa, he opened his art to the randomness and unpred.ctab.htv of unm dured 

c ce Boett, gave Clemente the sense that if the hand of the artist is removed from the procedures o 

- - °<^°* -I "■""' """::;,::;: ;;i;i-:;r,;,L .*, J * 

,h.«»,J. of j,™ s .. ««t,ng « «~ • **' a „ ml „ ,,„,,, e, tm 

„ „i, g ,„„. who,.. .o„„oo. «i -ta~ H » ■ "' ; « c< ,,. , „| „ „f ,„„ 

h, Boo,.. »,ggo„, ,1,0 ™H»~« "I -* ™ d 6 —'' " ""' 

to a phallic neck. 






Clemente also uses the swan as subject or as attribute in his work, dravi ing upon its symbolic 
function in history and myth. During the 1970s, he drew incessantly — in his studios and while traveling — 

producing hundreds of small drawings, executed in ink or pasrel on irregular sheers of paper, VI hu h were 
sometimes ideogrammatic in nature, sometimes hieroglyphic, and sometimes combined figure and text. 
Clemente pays homage to Beuys in Untitled (jOSl ?H BJ ) US), a pencil drawing from 1974 (cat. no. 6), in 
which a large male nude sprouts a flower, and a smaller seated figure holds a banner etched with the 
misspelled name "Bcyus." Like Betas, he explores the medium of drawing as a generative process, yielding a 
vocabulary of visual sources from which to draw again And again. In this particular image, the spontaneous 
growth of the flower also points to the function of drawing in the two artists' oeuvres .is a metaphor fol 
human creativity or thought. 

Beuys's earliest drawings were imbued with a sense of ritual and myth, both historical and personal. 
Clemente shared Beuys's belief in the transformative power of art through ritual. In the 1960s. Beuys used 
draftsmanship, much like sculpture and performance, as a vehicle for social change, to further his greater 
aspiration for the unification of divided aspects of the universe, as well as the healing o( a divided Germany. 
Clementes art. however, does not culminate in activism. His objective is not the reconciliation ofopposites 
but rather a fracturing of experience. 

The reigning deity of the New York art world m the 1960s. Warhol remained An inescapable And 
ubiquitous presence, and he and Clemente became friends soon after the younger artist arrived in New York. 
Warhol's public persona was as much an artistic creation as his paintings. Clemente was drawn nor only to 
that persona but also zo Warhol's unique blending of art and life, to his willingness at any moment :o mix high 
and low culture, and zo his ability to recognize the equal importance of art history, media, fashion, and social 
gatherings. As Clemente has said. "Andy Warhol found his subject matter in common places and asked the 
questions that everybody was too intelligent to ask. He was the exemplary mediator between the meaningful, 
the meaningless, and what is simply vague." 

Warhol's engagement with society — from movie idols and celebrities to the contemporary art 
world — was demonstrated most convincingly in his portraits. Portraiture has been a similarly important 
vehicle for Clemente, although he eschewed Warhol's society portraits in favor of commemorations of his 
friends and acquaintances, muses and patron saints. In 1983, Warhol painted a portrait of Clemente, And in 
that same year Clemente began a collaboration with Warhol and Basquiat on a group of paintings And 
drawings that were passed from studio to studio in a contemporary- variant of Surrealisms exquisite corpse. 

Another figure of tremendous importance to Clemente was Twombly. Unlike Boetti, Beuys. and 
Warhol, who stood as dominant figures in their respective cultures. Twombly was a reclusive artist, caught 
between cultures: Italy and the United States, ancient and modern. At first associated with Abstract 
Expressionism, Twombly moved to Rome in 1957 and made use of Italy's classical heritage, especially 
mythology, to form his personal painting style, which is characterized by an elegant and fluid draftsmanship 
and graffiti-like scribblings replete with sexual or erotic overtones. 

Clemente first saw Twombly's work in Rome in 1968, at Gallena La Tartaruga, and was attracted to 
the artists penchant for classical civilization, engagement with past and present, and sensibility driven by i 
linear impulse. Clemente, who understood distance and dislocation as crucial to cultural perspective, first as a 
pilgrim to India, then as an Italian expatriate in New York, found a kindred spirit in his inverse— Twombly — 
an American expatriate living in Rome. 




7. Symbolon. Venice, 1977. Ink on pape 



r , 6x8 inches (15.3x20.8 cm) 



OffentUche Kunscsammlung Basel. Kupferstichkabinett, 1984.60. 




I 



V 



8. Jo, 1978. Watercolor on paper, 12 /u x 8 / inches (30.9 x 21.6 cm). OfTenthche Kunstsammlung Basel, Kupferttii hkabinett, 1987.265. 



In the years following Bonito Oliva's call for artists to take a "nomadic position" in order to roam freely 
through all the realms of art and art history, such landmark exhibitions as Westkumt in Cologne in 1981, 
A New Spirit in Painting in London in 1981, and Zeitgeist in Berlin in 1982-83 heralded the arrival of a return 
to figuration in painting. Clemente's work was integrated into the framework of this international 
phenomenon, which was labeled Neo-Expressionism. His utilization of traditional mediums, the cultural 
diversity of his sources, his natural inclination to fragmentation, and his openness to contingency reflected the 
larger critical and theoretical concerns of the movement. 

Looking back, however, it is clear that Clemente was never bound by the rhetoric of Neo- 
Expressionism. He set his work apart in ways that can perhaps only be evaluated today, now that the clamor 
for figurative painting has subsided. The complexity, subtlety, and breadth of his project was from its 
inception more profound than the collage of transcultural and transhistoncal notions of Bonito Oliva's 
Transavanguardia. While many of his fellow Italian painters remained deeply rooted in the past, interweaving 
a national-historical consciousness with private myth, Clemente immersed himself in more than one culture 
simultaneously and took on more than one history at a time, releasing himself from any specific style or 
convention of making art. And it was precisely in this collision of diverse geographies, cultures, and histories 
that he found his voice. 

What sets Clemente even further apart from his contemporaries, in the United States as well as 
Europe, is his eschewal of juxtaposing different styles and images, and other strategies of appropriation, in 
favor of a method of synthesizing images into an extremely personal mythology. Drawing directly on literary 
as well as visual sources, Clemente has taken the risk of creating his own images. References in his work 
function as the echoes, the scents, the ghosts of his experiences, of other cultures, of the "other." 

Clemente has understood that what we call "art" is an extremely arbitrary distinction within a larger 
field of visual culture, and he has confronted the ambiguity of this situation through collaboration, whether 
making use of high or low culture. Rather than simply appropriating kitsch and craft, he chances an actual 
engagement with them, assimilating them totally into his process, especially through the collaborations with 
artisans in India. And the involvement of the craftsperson actually lends an additional layer of authenticity to 
the work, rather than taking it into an ironic mode. Clemente's engagement with the literary community is 
also an important component of his art. and his close relationships with poets have borne particular fruition 
through the numerous collaborative book projects he has realized. Here, the ego of the artist is not subverted, 
but rather drawn into a symbiosis where, at its most successful moments, "the painters line and the poets line 

are one and the same."' . ., , L.,_«. n 

Viewed through che lens of 1990s arc. Clemente's work is prescen, . » obsess.on w.th the hum 
body He has explored che body as a permeable membrane for absorbing and releasing experiences, bo h 
Doay. ne nas exj. iu.c / r visualization of the world is possible. 

sensual and intellectual, in ocher words, as an orgamsm chrough wh.ch a v.suah.ano 

U,macely,chesubsc T ndna^ 

In che !980, ^e-'mergence oH g a a ^ ^ _ ^ ^ 

representation as a sue of larger .ssues A focus on the ^ ^ ^ ^ rf ^ 

representation in media and advercsmg. locaced^ b - - _ __ _ as 

and political discourse ringed w.th che tragedy oi d s • R ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 

inadequace to communicate the tmphcacons th g ^ lhstncK d and described through its 

nonfiguraove painting, sculpture, and P hot °« rap ^jJ of c , eme ntes work, in which sexual taboos are 
absence or by association. The direct, erouc, imensio ^ ^^ ^ ^^ ^ often one and the 
prevalent and sexual orientation .s confounded rf ^ appropriated or 

:, and where the body is viscerally and vociferously presenr-runs 



same 



abstracted figurative art of the 1980s. Clemente's insistence on the body as a provocative libidinal space has 
made an impression on a younger generation of artists willing to allow the body an unmediated presence. 

Clemente has made a new and unique contribution to the art and culture of his times. His method is 
contemplative, meditative, and indulgent. He maintains a fantastical, exotic vision, even when dealing with the 
commonplace. The paradoxes in his work— the blurring of boundaries between interior and exterior, between 
self and others, between the physical and psychical— are what sustain its interest for us most deeply, and what 
continually open up its possibilities for the future. 



I Raj mond Foye, I ocal. . in Ann Per. , ind Foye Yumcesco Clemen Three Worlds, exh. cat (Ph.bdcl P h.a: Ph.ladclphia Museum of Art. 1990). p. 15. 
2. Francesco Clemente. quoted in < onversation « idl Francesco Clemente, Dan.lo Eccher and Frances^ Pclhiz," in Damlo Eccher. Francesco Clemente: 

Overt su carta, exh i " rurin: Umberto Allemandi fid C, 1999), p. 165. 
} Clemente, conversation with the author, June 18, 1999. 

4. Clemente. quoted in "Conversation with Francesco Clemente. Damlo Eccher and Francesco Pellizzi." p. 165. 

5. Fot an excellent m-deprh discussion of Cl( mente's collaborations wirh Gregory Corso. Robert Creeley. Allen Ginsberg. Rene Ricard. and John Wieners. 
I( i Foye, New York," in Percj and Foye, Francesco Clemente: Three Worlds, pp. 118-24. 

6. Clemente. conversation with the author, June 18, 1999. 

7. Foyc. "New York." p 

8. Clemente, quoted in 1 >onald Kuspit, Clemente Explores Clemente." in Contemporanea (New York) 2, no. 7 (Oct. 1989), P . 40. 

9. Edit dcAk, A Chameleon in a S<-.u ol ( rra. c Artforum (New Yotk) 19, no. 6 (Feb. 1981). p. 40. 

10. Clemente, quoted in Kuspit,"< l.mcntc Explores Clemente," p. 40. 

I I Clemente. mterv.ew w.th Rohm White, VttW (Oakland ) \ no. 6 (Nov. 1981). p. 2; this issue is devoted entirely to the interview. 

12. Clemente quoted in Foye, Madras,' in I'. xt ) and Foye, Francesco Clemente: Tlnee Worlds, p. 51. 

13, Ib.d. p. 58. 

14 A Julie Bonito Oliva, "The Italian Trans- Avantgarde," Flash Art. nos. 92-93 (Nov. 1979). p. 18. 

I Marsh, Clemente: An Interview with Francesco Clemente (New York: Vintage Books, 1987), P 59. 
16. Clemente, quoted in "A Collective Porrra.t of Andy Warhol, in Kynaston McShine. ed„ Andy Warhol: A Retrospective (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 

L 989), p. 447. Quotation revised bj Clemente 

I oyi New York. p. 121 



The journey began with "I" and "eye." "I" is the self-portrait Francesco Clemente returns to again and again. 
"Eye," the instrument of the artist's vision, is one of the body's holes that separate inside from outside and 
through which the self becomes porous to the world. 

The journey began in 1978 when a simple drawing entitled lo (cat. no. 8) became an ideogram of the 
self. Simultaneously language and image, the letters "i" and "o" (spelling to, the Italian word for "I") are body 
and head, male and female, an I and an eye. That same year, informed by four extended trips to India, 
Clemente broke with his Conceptual style and turned toward predominantly figural expression, starting with 
a self-portrait. 

The extensive series of self-portraits and portraits that have emerged throughout the artist's career are 
keys to understanding the nature of his vision. The enlarged, exaggerated eyes of many of his faces and figures 
suggest that the ocular openings allow access to the body (but not the soul, in the artist's secular iconography) 
and form a reciprocal boundary between body/artist and the world. In Clemente's work, the orifices of the flesh 
are both sensory and sexual, allowing for ingestion and excretion; in Edit de Ak's words, they are "receptors 
through which the world is channeled into personalized existence, points of high tension where interaction 
with the world takes place, and they are the domain of direct negotiation." 1 

Clemente says, 'All my early works revolve around the image of holes in the body. There are nine, there 
are ten, there are five million pores; the interior, the perception of that which is inner becomes just as important 
as the perception of what is outer. They are like two oceans which are separated by nothing. By what? By these 
millions of empty holes." 2 

In a series of dislocated situations or places, the artist depicted himself nude or clothed; truncated, 
decapitated, or otherwise deformed; transmuting between human and animal or between male and female. 
Images are coupled, doubled, or split in two. Ruptures, and sometimes bullet holes, add yet more apertures. 
The bodily cavities are themselves filled with smaller heads, creating an infinity of reflection. 

The self-portraits, in their endless variety, suggest that not only may one subject have many forms but 
also that the artist reflects his own unique state of consciousness: "The self-portrait for me is justified ... by the 
idea that the ego re-emerges, continually new. . . . The idea of the self-portrait is tied to the repetition ol the ego 
and the rebirth of the ego. It is the contrary of the mirror." 1 The same self, always new, Clemente's ego itself is 
permeable and indefinite. Absorbing, synthesizing, and releasing the substance of sensual and cultural 
experience, the artist remakes the ego in each encounter with an other, whether the other is something in the 
world, is another, or is the self in reflection. 

In Romantic philosophy, the I, or ego, projects, or expresses, itself as an other among others, placing 
the self in relationship to that which is outside the self. Conversely, in Clemente's formulation, the 



representation of the ego is porous enough for the other to pass through it. As a permeable membrane of 
orifices and pores, the skin allows for an osmosis between external and internal, and provides for the 
relationship to the other of the world. 

The metaphor of the sensual bodily encounter extends to Clemente's immersion in other cultures. 
His engagements with Italy, India, and America take on sexual and sensual dimensions, as does the meeting 
and blending of cultures and cultural narratives in his work. Indeed, isn't culture a body with borders like skin? 

The artists choice of subjects in his portraits is meaningful in itself. His sitters represent a community 
of kindred spirits: "I started with painters, continued with poets, ended with women.'" 1 The watercolor portraits 
of the 1980s are marked by the freshness and translucency of their medium. In Ins renderings of friends and 
collaborators — Jean-Michel Basquiat, William Burroughs, Morton Feldman, Allen Ginsberg, etc. — the 
borders of his own body are expanded through its association with other human sensibilities and through 
shared experience. Collectively, these images are a kind of sell-portrait. 

The blur of identity between Clemente and his subjects is perhaps nowhere more evident than in th< 
1982 watercolor Alba & Francesco (cat. no. 26), in which husband and wife, male .md female, dissolve into one 
superimposed image. Here, "I" and "other" are overlapped as seamlessly as his eyes and chose "I his Other. 
Clemente's portraits of women, a preoccupation of the 1990s, include I largei -than-life pastels "I 

female heads and paintings of recumbent women. The artist blends the living subject with art-historical artifice, 
drawing upon the stylistic conventions of Parmigianmo's mannered, long-necked madonnas and Ingress 
idealized and exoticized odalisques. Clemente's contemporary odalisques include artists and writers, all dose 
friends, but the heart of the group is again the person closest to him: Alba. 

Clemente's universe is more diverse than the monolithic and positivist goals of Western culture. 
His artist-self, neither genius nor prophet, is a body through which relations are established between things, 
between cultures, between people and thoughts. 



Lisa Dennison 

1. Edit de Ak. "A Chameleon in a State of Grace." Art/or (New V 

2. Francesco C.emenre. ouoted in -Conversation *icn Francesco Cement, , > ■ 

Frances cc Clement. Operc m carta, exh. cat. (Turin: Umberro Allenundi * C. 1999). pp. 129 



3. Ibid., p. 127. 

4. CUm«n t .. q uo K ainIn g riaSi.d,,-F,«c M coa« n ,«n K ,- J .«rW« l27.no.7CM> ■* 



39 



Self-Portrait, The First (1979. cat. no. 9) marks the beginning of Francesco Clemente's focus on depicting his 
own form. Executed without the aid of a mirror, this self-portrait and others that have followed are less like 
straightforward, mimetic self-portraits and more like explorations of the artist's psychic imagination. 
Clemente's body serves as a vehicle for realizing ambiguous and provocative visions, each of which brings 
together an amalgam of motifs. 

In this work, Clemente used Chinese ink to render himself in a linear manner across a neutral 
gouache background. Placing himself in the position of an artist's nude model, he becomes both the subject 
and the object. He has bared his body, showing his willingness to be vulnerable, yet his figure confronts 
us directly, and his eyes penetrate. 

The birds converging on Clemente's shoulders add to the ambiguity of the image. The 
inclusion of these feathered creatures is possibly a reference to Alberto Savinio. Part of the Italian 
Metaphysical School, Savinio sometimes painted historical figures with heads of fowl, giving 
hybridized forms nightmarish overtones. By comparison, Clemente's birds are more abstracted, 
reading as flattened, less threatening forms; upside down and right side up, they fit together like pieces 
of a puzzle. Mimicking the posture of a bird, the artist leans forward, his head jutting out. As a result, 
viewers may feel as if they are looking down upon the artist from a bird's-eye perspective. Self-Portrait, 
The First equates human and animal— an idea Clemente would continue to explore in his oeuvre— and its 
peculiar juxtapositions create a psychologically charged scene. 



Craig Houser 



v 



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9. Self-Portrait, The First, 1979. Chinese ink, paste 



t-1 ^.^-^-^-«-^tU«.l«-*.0*--rfl-.---^2 











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10. Self Portrait without a Broom, 1^7 l J. 
( hinese ink and gouache on paper, mounted on linen, 
, [X inches (212 x 325 cm). Private coil. a 

courtesy Galenc Bruno BUchofbcrger, Zurii h 



In 1980, Francesco Clemente painted a series of small self-portraits, rendering himself in unusual 
situations. Although his work focuses on the human body, he does not chink of himself as a figurative 
painter per se; for example, many of the 1980 self-portra.ts conflate corporeal representation with 
elements of abstraction. In Self-Portrait (cat. no. 11), a depiction of a diseased body is combined w.th 
.magery related to formal, abstract aspects of painting. Clemente portrayed himself with red 
markings that look like acne or inflammations resulting from an infecrion. These marks, however, are 
not clearly ingrained within the skin but almost float above it, creating a decorative patrern on the 
canvas. In a reverse effect, the surrounding field of blue in rhe background and shirt is treated like a 
skin .tself; random stipple marks puncture the otherwise smoorh surface of the paint, revealing what 
look to be .mbedded, open, fleshy sores. In this work, Clemente bridged the gap between the 
figurative and the abstract, an assumed dichotomy that has so often dominated twentieth-century art 
practice and theory. 



C. H. 






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11. Self -Portrait. 1980 



. Oil on linen, 19 V, « 15 V. inche. (50 x 40 cm). Private collection. 




12. Self -Portrait, 1980. Oil on linen, 17 u /u x 13 A inches (44.9 x 34.6 cm). 
Collection of Gian Enzo Sperone. New York, courtesy Sperone Westwatet, New York. 




13. Sclf-PortraU. 1980. Oil on linen, 17 A x 13 /« inch* (44.8 x 34.8 cm). 
Collection of Gun Enzo Sperone. New York, cources, Sperone Westw.er. New York. 




14. Self -Portrait. 1980 



.oa.nU»«. «•/.** .•—(«•«**->•»— » 



Throughout the history of portraiture, the face, or the head, has been privileged over the rest of the 
body in artists' attempts to record a "true" sense of the self, as it represents the psyche, the intellect, or 
one's personality. In Self-Portrait (cat. no. 15), perhaps his most bizarre self-portrait from 1980, 
Francesco Clemente played with this tradition. Although the head is placed in the center of the canvas, 
it is completely severed from the body, so that the two forms meet frontally tete-a-tete. In a savage 
gesture of domination, the hand grips the cropped hair of the head. Positioned to service the body 
sexually, the head appears to fellate the artist's erect penis. In this fantasy of self-gratification, 
Clemente problematized the familiar concept of Cartesian mind-body dualism. In addition, he 
inverted his color scheme, using hatch marks and patches of red on a dark background; the resulting 
image looks like an inked printer's block or, put more abstractly, the negative of a positive image. 
Employing strategies of fragmentation and inversion in this self-portrait, Clemente revealed that to 
render a so-called true representation of the self is indeed an elusive task — whether privileging the 
mind, the body, or a confrontation between the two. 



C.H. 




15. Self-PortraU, 1980. Oil on linen, 16 X 17 '/« inch* (40. 



.6 x 45 cm). Courtesy The Brant Foundation, Greenwich, Connect*, m 




l6 .Self*artraitmtbBird.l980.Oilon\intn,15 .11 hd-(40«2M 
Collection of Ron and Ann Pizzuri, Columbus. Ol. 




17. Pagan Self -Portrait, 1980 



,. Oil on linen. 20 '/, x 16 inche. (51 x 40.6 cm). Private collection. 




18. Self-Portrait 



U w ,th a Hole in the Head. 1981. Oil and wax on linen, 20 Vu x 29 inches (51 x 76 cm). Stedelijk Museum, Amscerdam. 




19. Fortune and Virtue. 1980. Oil, pencil, and pastel on paper, mounted on linen, 59 '/>« x 108 7. inches (150 x 275 cm) 

Private collection, Switzerland. 



During his continuous travels to and from Italy, the United States, India, and elsewhere, France! 
Clemente has absorbed the diverse references of each culture. In this spirit. ranee (,1982, 

cat. no. 20) contains imagery of ancient Rome and markings that relate to twentieth century Ameru an 
painting, particularly Abstract Expressionism. The rigidity of classicism, which emphasizes I 1 llai 
and order, is juxtaposed with the looseness of gestural abstraction. Standing amid a Storm) absi I a< I 
composition, Clemente's figure of himself appears strong and virile, with the hulking legs ol a gladiator. 
At the time he painted this image, which came to him in a dream, he had recentl) moved from Rome 
to New York. His dream and the resulting painting may be perceived as his working through i radical 
period of transition, and the tender protectiveness with which he clutches a miniatun Pantheon < lose 
to his face may be read as an expression of nostalgia for his homeland. 

Perseverance recalls the paintings of Cy Twombly, whose unique style grew directly OU1 "I 
Abstract Expressionism and often references classical mythology. In addition, both artists have alluded 
to the body and its emissions in their work. In Perseverance, tlu- brown oblong shapes hailing across the 
white background suggest the scatological. The contrast reads as peculiar: .. symbol of high classicism— an 
"ideal" of humankind— is juxtaposed with the most abject material in any culture. 



C.H. 



61 




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2 o. »m-m O* °-' - ** 78 " 95 ,nch " (198 -' X 2 '" Cm) ' V '"" WCbb " G " UP """ N ' W Y< " k 




21. Self-Portrait with Tears. 1983. Oil and wax on linen, 40 '/. x 34 '/. inches (101.9 x 86.7 cm). Collection of Alex Katz. 




aa 4? '/ inrh« (167 6 x 108 cm). Collect.on of Jacquel.ne SchnibeL 
22. Self-Portrait. 1983. Oil and wax on linen, 66 x 42 A inches (lo/.o 



In 1982, Francesco Clemente painted a series of watercolors, largely self-portraits and portraits of the 
friends, family, and colleagues who populated his universe and helped shape his sense of self. He took 
full advantage of the aqueous medium, which allowed forms in his imagery to easily flow together. 
In I (cat. no. 23), he depicted himself without glamour, distorting the features of his face by using 
patches of red and green. His head held high, he appears aloof, yet tears fill his eyes in sadness. These 
two different states of mind are merged into one expression. In Alba & Francesco (cat. no. 26), the artist 
extrapolated on this idea of consolidation, superimposing his wife's face with his own, so that 
distinctions between the two are purposely obfuscated. The new, combined head, a visual realization 
of their bond together in matrimony, displays two sets of eyes and two mouths. Questioning the 
concept of individuation, the image takes inspiration from Arthur Rimbaud's remark, "I is an Other." 1 



C.H. 

1. Arthur Rimbaud to George Izambard, May 13, 1871, in Rimbaud, Ocuvres completes (Pans, 1972), p. 249. 




14 '/ x 20 inches (36.2 x 50.8 cm). Pr.vate collection. 
23. 1. 1982. Watercolor on paper. 14 A x ZU mcnes ^ 




24. Morning. 1982. Watercolor on paper, 14 Vu x 20 7w inches (36 x 51 cm). Courtesy Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich. 




25. Laugh, 1982. Wacercolor on paper, 



14 ,;,, inches (36x51 cm). Private collection. 




26. Alba & Francesco. 1982. Watercolor on paper, 



,14 7.x 20 inches (36.2 x 50.8 cm). Private colK 




27. Distance, 1982. Watercolor on paper. 14 'A. x 20 V» inches (36 x 51 cm). Courtesy Galerie Bruno B.schofberger, Zurich. 













28. Rama. 1982. Watercolor on paper, 



.14 ..x 20 inches (36.2 x 50.8 cm). Private collo 




on u MA 7 v SO 8 cm) Collect.on of Stephan.e Seymour Branr. courtesy 
29. Waiting, 1982. Watercolor on paper. 14 V, x 20 mches (36.2 x 50.8 cm). Co. 



The Brant Found 11 



Francesco Clemente's New York Muses series (1993, cat. nos. 30-32) recalls Zeus and Mnemosyne's nine 
daughters, the goddesses who presided over the arts and sciences. During the Greek and Roman empires, the 
Muses were thought to be the source of inspiration for creative endeavors. According to Plato, poets were 
possessed by the Muses and thus touched by divine madness. Similarly, the women depicted in Clemente's 
Muses, with their enormous, close-cropped faces, possess their onlookers. They wear stoic expressions, and 
their large eyes penetrate — as if hypnotizing or casting spells — looking at, through, and beyond the viewer. 

In his revival of classical ideas, Clemente recast them in a contemporary context. Describing 
his New York Muses from a broader, cultural perspective, the artist said, "There is a very unique, 
martial, New York woman, a kind of Amazon, who walks the street without looking left: or right. She 
is strong enough to attract your attention, to not participate in 'the game.' To me that carries a sense of 
poetry. I draw these women larger than life. And though you feel very close to them when you are 
looking at them, the picture keeps a part of them private, because their bodies are left out." 1 



C.H. 

1. Francesco Clemente. quoted in Ingnd Sischy, "Francesco Clemente," Interview (New York) 27, no. 7 (July 1997), p. 79. 




30. Fabiola, from New 



40 . 28 inch* (1016x71.1 cm). Collection of F. ** Alb. I lemente, New York. 

York Muses, 1993. Pastel on paper, 40 x 28 inches (1UI.0 




31. Akure, from New York Muses, 1993. Pastel on paper, 40 x 28 inches (101.6 x 71.1 cm). Collecuon of Francesco and Alba Clemente, New York. 




32. Lysa, from New York Muses. 1993. Pastel on pape 



. Pascel on paper. 40 x 28 inches (101.6 x 71.1 cm). Collecuon of Francesco and All 



The subject of the self-portrait remains a constant in Francesco Clementes oeuvre, yet his recent work 
differs from his earlier self-portraits, in which he depicted himself with a decapitated head or multiple 
breasts or juxtaposed himself with animals, flora and fauna, or inanimate objects. The Grisaille Self-Portraits of 
1997_98 ( catt nos , 33-35) are reduced to a basic palette, a simple black background, and concentrate on just 
the artist's visage. He looks directly at the viewer and also inward at himself, revealing sadness and even a 
sense of shyness. As this series progressed, the brushstrokes became looser, and the eyes became more 
abstract, eventually bulging out of their sockets, larger than life. An inner psychological state took over. It is as 
if Clemente internalized the peculiarities of his earlier work and ended up communicating them, with unusual 
intensity and focus, through the eyes. 



C.H. 




33. Grisaille Self -Portrait, 1997 



. O.I on linen, 24 x 20 .nches (61 x 50.8 cm). Pr.vate collection, Milan. 




34. Gfisam Self.Portrait. 1998. Oil on linen, 17 x 15 .nches (43.2 x 38.1 cm). Courtesy Anthony d/Offay Gallery. London. 




35. Grisaille Self-Portrait, 1998. Oil on linen, 16 x 15 inch* (40.6 x 38.1 cm). Courtesy Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London. 




36. Self-Portrait with Black Gloves, 1996. Pastel on paper, 42 x 59 inches (106.7 x 149.9 cm). Collection of Kelly-Gilles Bensimon. 




37. Alba, 1997. Oil on linen. 46 % x 92 inches (117.8 x 233.7 cm). Collection of Francesco and Alba Clemente, New York. 



Unborn 



"I don't believe in a single truth, but in many truths," Franceseo Clemente has stated, and he na.led h.s 
colors to the mast in the 1981 painting Arm, Clemente (cat. no. 38). The heraldic images of his art are 
there- The deaths head contemplated both in the art of Christianity and the meditations of the god 
Shiva's ascetic followers. The dark flowing background as an amniotic fluid in which the artist struggles to 
be reborn and, equally, as the swirling energy in which the universe struggles to be reborn while the 
god Vishnu slumbers. Between the skulls reeth-the pearl of rhe drowned Western sailor or the myth.c 

eggoflndia? 

"Painting is one of the few things left in the Western world which is close to the oral tradition of the 
East You need to be an initiate," says the artist, describing rhe credo that gives him the flexibility to draw on 
contradictory worlds.' It is a view that allows him to move between West and East, exchanging forms, colors, 
backgrounds, and materials without self-consciousness. "Craft is the enemy of the artist. For a century there 
has been no such thing as a given craft in Western art-a breakdown reflecting the general breakdown. Art is 
now such a fragile thing, reinventing itself in starts and jumps." 

For Clemente, one of India's attractions lies in her rejection of knowledge as an objective entity. 
"I have always been very diffident about the suggestion that knowledge can be seen as objective, that art is 
something objective that can be taught. I still believe any artist has to break away from his tribe. Tribes are 
based on confirming each others idea of knowledge. But what is vital about knowledge cannot be confirmed. 
It has to be discovered fresh every time." 

Equally important to Clemente is India's long and profound meditation on issues central to 
the artist-form and formlessness, the manifest and the unmanifest. arupa and rupa. It is a preoccupation 
Clemente finds restful. "Formlessness is made approachable in India. Death is made approachable. Color is 
always in motion, something you can't experience anywhere else." 

In Unborn (1983, cat. no. 40), a crouching tiger is seen through iron bars, expectant, its ears forward, 
while a man slumbers within the tiger. The tension between the wakeful tiger and the unconscious man 
reinforces the Indian philosophical concept that to be unborn is to be in a state of blind unconsciousness, 
while to be born is to be conscious, to see. Eyes are a recurrent theme in Indian iconography; single figures 
created from composite images are a recurrent obsession with connections. Clemente acknowledges the 
insp.rat.on but notes, "I never really quore in my work. It is more like a ritual, like trying to renew the memory 



of an experience. All rituals have an inventor. In my head I try to mimic that first experience — the origin "I 
the ritual." 

Nonetheless, India's fascination with synthesis seeps through his art. "All my work— if it is an image, 
a form — is always a reconciliation. Otherwise it could not come together in completion as a form," 

Reconciliation — or put another way, rejection of tribal certainties — is shown in the vitalit) "I 
Clemente's flower pictures. The image of a Western rose contained in the domesticity of a Western vase, 
symbolizing the Rosicrucian view of beauty and pain in the petal and the thorn, is sundered when the vise is 
replaced by the torso of a woman, with parted thighs revealing an open vulva, in the classic pose of Indian and 
African fertility goddesses. The rose remains, but now it has gained the Tantnc symbology of Kundalini energy. 

"I have a notion in my head that there are commonplace notions which are a mystery. Which is why 
you can work with them. Everyone thinks they understand them. But no one really does." 

And what is more commonplace than a rose or a vulva? But while the first is a common theme in 
Western art, the second has been eliminated. A Western lineage of the phalli< image exists. Images of fertility 
and female sexuality were displaced by those of virginity so long ago; little remains, except in the thl 
of witchcraft. Maybe it is no coincidence that Clemente can observe, "My work was first shown in 
Amsterdam, Cologne, Basel-a funny map of the most liberal European cities. Three cities in which they 

never burned a witch.' 

Such mysteries of the commonplace no less than the movement between worlds and traditions allow 
Clemente to return again and again to rest inside the t.ger of consciousness. Suspended in the siacc ol the 
unborn, the artist attends the next awakening, the next discovery to be shared in hi. next work. As h« says, 
"I have always felt art implied a relationship, an emotional deal between people. The hrst thing you have to do 
is imagine an audience for your picture. Then you have to imagine the place where this work comes from. 
Then there is the audience that is actually there. Without patronage an artist can't exist. After all, painting ,s a 
communal activity." 



Gita Mchta 

1. Th.s and all subsequent quocatio,* are from the authors conversions *ith th< ««« b. I •" - 



91 




, , ia'V * 21 "/* inches (43 x 55 cm). Private collection. 

38. Arme Clemcnte. 1981. Enamel on linen. 16 /itXZl I 




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39. Purgatory, 1983. O.l on linen, 94 7/8 x 101 '7, inches (241 x 259 cm). Private collection. 




40 



, Unborn, 1983. O.I on linen, 77 »/.. x 83 7. mches (198 x 213 cm). Pr.vate collecuon. 



In Francesco Clemenre's work, the artist's unconscious seems to lie just below the surface of his conscious 
images, and in Multitude (1983, cat. no. 41) these twin states are so close it is as if both are seen through 
refraction. Indeed, the swirling color suggests water or amniotic fluid, while the vivid red evokes the Eastern 
or Buddhist palette used in mandalic art to explore states of awareness. Even the title, Multitude, reinforces the 
enigmatic quality of this painting. Is the floating figure asleep or dreaming? Is an appetite for the sensual world 
suggested by the full lips, the open nostrils, the glass, the eyelid closed perhaps in pleasure or in saturation? 
At the same time, the other eye is submerged, lost in inner contemplation. This is a portrait not just of the 
artist's external features but also of his interior state, reinforced by the use of white around the visible face, as if 
indicating a force field of stimulation from the external world. Within the overpowering red, the white 
suggests an innocence that rejects moral judgment, implying that withdrawal from the multitude is essential 
to creation but acknowledging that the world of the senses is serious fun. 



G. M. 




41. Multitude, 1983. O.l on wood, mounted on alummum, 42 x 32 '/,. mches (106.7 x 81.5 cm). Pnvate collecuon. Switzerland. 



In 1983, Francesco Clcmente was teaching at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine when he 
painted Multitude and Son (cat. nos. 41, 42). If the reds of Multitude evoke the sensuality of his native Naples 
and his long sojourn in India, Son evokes bleak Northern winters. Yellow globes hang like ornaments from a 
tree, but the foreground is dominated by a gray-black trunk that rises from a mysterious undergrowth, its 
menacing presence dispelling any notion that this is a cozy Christmas tree. The shades of gray that culminate 
in the brooding darkness of the trunk also seep through the glass globes, suggesting the dread of uninhabited 
forests, and the bright yellow of the balls, with their artisan handles, evokes the very human need for light, 
warmth, association. This juxtaposition of menace and gaiety is a frequent motif in Clemente's work. So too is 
a dominant image— like the tree— rising from a mysterious, even primal, source, as if the artist is always 
struggling to free himself from the very subconscious that inspires his creative impulse. 



G. M. 



42. Son. 1983. Oil on linen, 112 '/. x 91 V. inches (284.8 x 231.5 cm). Albnghc-Knox Arc Gallery. Buffalo, George B. and jenny R. Mathews Fund, 1985. 



€; « 



I 





43. Usary of Love, 1986. Oil and gold leaf on linen, two panels, 78 V, x 173 'A inches (200 x 440 cm) overall. Private collection. 



Flower 



All my peculiar sense 
of life I've wanted to 
tear out of the bounds 
of it be less or more 
than meat and feel the 
edges less bloody now I 
circle am conscious now 
the exact pieces of oblong 
world make a leaden place- 
ment I watch the colors follow 
the articulate limits measure 
the black flower of weights. 



Robert Creeley 




44. IW, 1988. Pastel on pape, 26 '/,, * 19 ,„ch« (66.5 , 483 cm). M» die* », < U B Bi. h.<b«*r. Zu, 




45. Clou*. 1988. Pastel on paper, 26 %. x 19 .nches (66.5 x 48.3 cm). Collection of Dav.d Salle. 




46. I Hear, 1988. Pastel on paper. 26 /« x 19 inches (66.5 x 48.3 cm). Private collection. 



Chain 



Had they told you, you 
were "four or more cells 
joined end ro end," the Latin, 
catena, "a chain," the loop, 
the running leap to actual 
heaven spills at my stunned 
feet, pours out the imprison- 
ing threads of genesis, 
oh light beaded necklace, 
chain around my neck, my 
inexorably bound birth, the sweet 
closed curve of fading life? 



Robert Creeley 




... , a • h„ Wfifi S x 48 3 cm) Private collection, courtesy Galer.e Bruno B.schofoerger, Zurich. 
47. Units omn«. 1988. Pastel on paper, 26 '/« x 19 inches (66.5 x 48.3 cm). 



Place 



That amoebic threadlike place 
it finds itself to be grayish 
waiting this presence you have 
anticipated the deep tinged 
space of darkness all for you 
it hovers the dots of intense 
gleaming light poised through 
it and back of it an invitation 
to the other world the bargain of 
simple existence all your words 
so label there and out there wait- 
ing quietly it keeps waiting. 



Robert Creeley 




48. Silence, 1988. Pastel on paper, 26 '/.« x 19 inches (66.5 x 48.3 cm) 



. Pr.vate collection, courtesy Galerie Bruno B.schofbergcr. Zurich. 



The Gold Paintings 



I come for the pies 

Carpets covered with leather'd-silvcr 
shoes, sandals, gloves, gold-woven purses 
and garish tnnklets 
ah, Etruria, speak not of Byzantium 

Thanks to the dark in me 
I can be seen 

O domes, arches, fiery galleries! 

Stockings, garters, ribbons, feathers, and soft silk 

Coats, capotes, and cloaks 

long and short 

furs of different hues 

and wide-brimmed hats 

These eyes glint like a skinless sun 
in the Februarian sky 

Gold unlike fire doesn't go out 



A an \A | M f on linen 94 '/ x 78 V. inchea (240 x 200 cm). Mugrabi ' loll* ction. 
49. The Dark m Me. 1988. Oil. pigment, and gold leal on linen, w /. 



113 



Terra cotta 

was angry 
"You ger me pine trees 
and a side saddle 

and mind yr 

own business" 
she screamed 
Gold went after the 

horses 
"We'll go up to Italy 
get the pines and cypresses to boot — 
I'm hungry for fingers, wrists, necks" 
Gold took terra cotta to Umbria 
"This is on me," he said 
"and so is Tuscany." 
"Good," she said 

Gold statues look at terra cotta figurines 
s \y\y — O — they always start to say something 
then they change their minds. 

Any place is a good place 

to make love 

when one is not burdened with property 

The roof leaked in a hundred places 

and dinner was a long time coming 

I'd love to shove a rose up your heart 

If one must do wrong things 

one must always try 

to do them 

in the right way 

The trouble was 
I was too real 
And death wasn't 

Why can't I 
walk away from me 
a good knowing man 
and take my place 
no more hereafter? 



The magic fink 

he may dress in pink 
And the fat lady 
she may wipe 

the nude Norseman 
But the weather that's known 
in New Jersey 
is also known in New York 
with no cost to Penn. or Conn. 

Here be the terra cotta 
anus of a 
gold aphid 

The whites of her Fra Angelican blue eyes 
glistened like eyes under a March sun 

You* 11 be followed 
home if you 
display wealth 
O Etruria! 
Ah, Roma! 

Dogs, young or old 
yellow or black 
are the bane 
of the burglar's life- 
gold inside a house 
where people are sleeping 
invites burglary 
and the dog 
it prohibits 

Two men prowling about in the house 
in the dark are apt to get confused 
if anyone wakes up, they can 
shoot each other 
it has happened. 

To the thief, the moon is a stool pigeon- 
Ever see moonlight 
alight a wedding ring? 



115 



Where there's gold 

There has to be a code of ethics 

In a wild shoot-out 

Besides the nuts and bolts 
a small fry- 
runs counter to himself 

There never was any question about it 
until everybody 
started answering it 

Life 

We often think how difficult it must be 
Until a Greek comes along wearing shorts- 
Why do they do that? 
Why do they do anything? 

I'm the only guy 

who knows the gold dealers 

by their first name. 

Are you looking for Gold? 
No, I'm asking for it. 

Take an Etruscan 

subway ride 
in a terra cotta car 
let the newly buried 

gold 

slide 
in a grandma 

mason jar 



SO. S^ No, , ^ .938. 0„. pignut, and g o.d W on ,,ne, 94 "/,. . 78 V. inches (240, , 200, c m ). PH~ 



collection, Switzerland. 



The gold 6s 

are horned 9's 
— the oval dab 

be a scarab 
And the hole of it 

a pile of tit 

Ah — and now the 
neo-Etruscan 

buys a house 
in Etruria 
and what happens? 
Guys come up from 

Rome 
with geiger counters 
looking for buried gold 
He complains. 

When in Etruria, do as the Romans do. 
What's the oldest goldest? 

November 19-25, 1988, New York City 
Gregory Corso 



XA . f linen 94 7 x 77 V. inches (239 x 198 cm). Private collection, courtesy Cleric Bruno B.schofoerger, Zurich. 
51. Februarian Sky, 1988. Oil. pigment, and gold leaf on linen. 94 A x 77 f» \x> 




52. Funerary Painting, 1987. Tempera on linen, 73 'A x 183 inches (187.3 x 464.8 cm). Private collection. 



Bestiary 



People-those people who starting from a spec.al monkey very slowly became Homo sap.ens and then, so 
they say, Homo sapiens sapiens (i.e., those pacing up and down streets and sidewalks clutching mobile phones 
and knowing almost everythmg)-have always been in hot pursuit of the idea that somewhere, hidden m the 
sky or in the sea or in the forests or underground or at worst above ground, there must be someone all good 
and wise, some light, some sun, some mighty presence armed with thunder and lightning or a being armed 
with a sword, who could keep everything in order or at least know what order should be like and know where 
order, which is destiny, might be concealed on this miserable, muddled planet; there must be someone who 
could unveil the answer to every question persecuting us about the "thing" in general. In fact, there always 
happens to be a d.re need for wisdom and knowledge, forecasts, programs, and destinies-g.ven the daily 
stress of having to cope with the opposite, the daily trouble of looking into the face of the truth, the only truth 
we've got, that we are living and in the meantime also dying. 

' Even the brilliant scientist Stephen Hawking is looking for an ultimate bliss; he says that if he finds 
the one total formula for the universe, he will know what God thinks. Finally, everybody would like to know 
what God thinks or at least what the high and mighty-the ones evidently protected or enlightened by some 

god — think. 

Precisely because of these uncertainties and this obscurity were wrapped up in, many people have 
always attempted to outline, draw, paint, carve, and describe in order to get on friendly rerms with some 
invisible being, so that his or her presence might be imagined and worshiped as the one in charge of order, 
of truth, indeed, of everything, of the entire "thing." Francesco Clemente is someone who doesn't try to 
draw the "thing"; he doesn't draw global answers. He knows too well that the answer to the question has no 
shape or figure or even speech. He doesn't get worked up, doesn't gasp or shout or destroy, doesn't send 
messages. Francesco doesn't draw figures of those truths that some believe are right or of the truths that 
some believe are wrong. Vast numbers of such truths exist; they are virtual trurhs, provisional, uncertain, 

fragile, blurred conventions. 

Francesco stays absolutely calm. He just keeps on drawing the ambiguity of what's going on around 
him. Rather than what's actually happening around him, he draws the non-truth of everything that's 
happening, the non-dependence on a possible visible truth or an invisible truth, the non-dependence of the 
human comedy or drama on a set script. He draws the non-dependence on that truth set by the mere fact that 
the comedy takes place at all. Whenever something happens, at that same moment it has already happened. It 
only remains for us to reinvent it. And then in any case what happened, if by chance it began between the legs, 
also happened in the middle of the forehead, in the middle of the heart, in breathing, in the distance, in 
betrayal, in nostalgia, in fear, in joy, in dying. What has happened and happens always, happens inside an 
unstoppable kaleidoscope of combinations, variants, vicissitudes, wonders and horrors, gains and losses, 
continuities and interruptions, beginnings and farewells. 

Francesco invited me to write about the group of works that he calls his Bestiary. I was very pleased and 
got out the encyclopedia to look up "bestiary." The encyclopedia says that in the Middle Ages there was a book 
in which real or imaginary beasts were described by telling fantastic allegories of true or imaginary cases in life. 
The allegories travel through landscapes over or above (or maybe below) the ups and downs of life, travel into 
supermarvelous or superternfymg landscapes— spaces and places that smell more of dragons than of 
minestrone and are closer to spectacular apparitions than to afternoon sermons. These are the landscapes 
through which the innocents imagine they journey to feel their hearts beating, to be able to laugh or to be 



scared out of their wits, to keep their eyes wide open and glued on life. These are the landscapes where wise- 
men and women float over the ground, making no noise, almost no noise. 

I don't know if Francesco is innocent or wise. The innocent usually can't help being wise, and the wise 
can't help being innocent. Maybe it is Francesco's destiny to journey through life with his feet off the ground, 
making no noise, looking here and there, as if going through an infinite amusement park of Stories— happy, 
unhappy, heroic, wretched, shining, shadowy stones-his heart thumping, his eyes peeled to make sur< hi 
misses nothing and sees absolutely everything that can be seen and everything that cannot be seen or even 
known. The "cannot be seen" and the "cannot be known" are irremediably attached to what can be seen, as 
moving clouds are attached to the blue visible sky, as the distant noise of a river (which cant be seen) is 

attached to a mountain. Is it so? 

When one is in a boat, one is also in the sea. One swims in the boat and sails on the sea, When one 
grows old. one gets sadly into the yellow boat of the beyond, no need to row anymore. The big eye of darkness 
is expecting us. When you kiss your beloved in the dark, don't you sink into a gigantic mysterious ball of light? 

Is it so? ., c 

The amusement park of stones never ends. One story is that of pamt.ng, an ancient way o 
representing other stones, known and unknown, by using oche, fingers, brushes, colors, pencils, pastels, all 
the means once used but hardly used anymore. (Nowadays, people prefer to represent ideas, not stones that 
happen, and there are movie and video cameras and all those other technolog.es.) In his journey through the 
amusement park, Francesco has bumped, as an innocent, into the story of painting into the mysteries of 
painting. It is as if he were crossing a wide river of pur.fy.ng, special water, of special, hidden, dangerous waves 
and currents, leading far into a deep orgasm, into a total physical ecstasy. The ecstasy ends m . fantast.C 
exhaustion. It always happens after a deep, very deep, orgasm. 

Painting is ultimately a challenge, an aggressive existential hope, a total self-abandonme t of body, 

ve,ns, Hood, and breath in the arms of life, a deep erotic self-representation, with many «£££^ 

a!ong the way. nothing else but pleasures. Francesco never gives up what some call the Stn the lies, w ch 

noble painring. He never gives up the pleasure, the abandonment, the tenderness, the only distraction left. 

thet background of existence. He cannot deny himself the subtle pleasures of painting. As .1 

He ,s a bit like that Sadhu, with eyes looking far into the distance, who held out h,s 

fresh mint and lumps of sugar. , , j r 

playing cards by the seaside with our beloved ladies. Will it be so? 



Ettore Sottsass 

Translated, from the Italian, by Rodney Stringer. 



125 




53. Circuito, 1980. Pastel on paper, 24 x 18 



, hes (61 x 45.8 cm). Private collection, East Sussex. 




54. E,ery, h in g I K„o». 1983. Pastel on paper. 26 x 18 V. inches (66 x 48 cm). Pnvace collecon. courresy Galene Bruno Bischofberge, Zurich. 




55. She and She, 1982. Pastel on paper, 24 



; 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm). Private collection. 




56. Intenor Landscape, 1980. Pastel on pape 



r , 24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm). Pr.vatc collection. 











57. N««. 1983. Pastel on paper. 26 * 19 inches (66 x 48.3 cm). Collector, of Francesco and Alba Clemente. New York. 




58. Abbracao, 1983. Pastel on pape 



lonpap «,26 Xl 8V. i nch«(66x4» OT 



, Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich. 




« 




59. Non ti ricordi, 1 L )82. Pastel on paper, 



. 24 x 18 '/, mches (61 x 45.8 cm). Collection of Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich. 




60. Kiss. 1983. Pastel on pape 



r , 26 xl9inches(66x48.3cm).CoUeccionofFra 



and Alba ( lemente,N«> 




61. W,. INS. Oil on linen, 78 , 93 inch^ml x 2,6.2 en,). Collecuon of Mu »nd P> ■■ I >«* "- 




62. Name, 1983. OU on linen, »2 inch. 



63. Untitled, L983. Oil and wax on linen, 82 x 28 '/.- in (208.3 x 72.4,-m). Private collection. 




64. M A„i m a,. ,984. Oil on wood. m oun t ed on aluminum. 59 , 68 rnches (99 , ,74.9 cm). Private collection, Switzerland. 




65. Suitcase, 1984-85. Oil on wood, mounted on aluminum, 41 K 6' inches ( L06 x 172 cm). Private collection. 




66. Breathing, 1984. Oil on wood, mounted on aluminum 72 



k42 indict (183 1 L09 




67. Fountain, from The Book of ihe Set, L993. Watercoloi onpaper,44 x 45 inches (112.4 x 114.6 cm). Collection of Francesco and Alba Clemente, New York. 




68. Symmetry, from The Book of the Sea. 1991. Watercolor on pape 



.«,vu«».^eumw^c^«— -"*■«— *•** 




69. Tra from I be Boo* oj tht Sea, 199 I W icercol i p iper, 1 1 < 46 inches ' I L2.4 k L16.8 cm | Private collection. 




70. TU, Kino mi the Cr,«, fro. The BooK 4* ta. 19 - ?^ 



.... ■ 



Loop 



I left it behind 

Only me 
in the dark 

like they say 

for others to find 

no one more 
as they came in 

than another 

two and two 

if there 
the doubles of desire 

it's enough 

their bodies' architecture 

inside flesh 
myself still inside 

I could be 

singing small gray bird 

more than reflection 

caught by design 

fixed as an echo 

upright cock breast 
be myself more 

hips the rope's loop. 

like passage like door. 



Robert Creeley 




71 .L. , 1W .Te„,pc,ao„„„e„. 7 ,x7„„chc S (>, ixl ^c m ,0 — " 



Pastel Sentences 

Perfume bottle between thighs, she appreciates blue human odor. 

Soles & palms stare our wide-eyed under World War Is low monoplane skies. 

Sn.nl brows, chakra eyes, iron nose, portico mouth, oak beard, ears hear the sea. 

Mice ate at the big red heart in her breast, she was distracted in love. 

Peek through the keyhole big blue sky, man & woman support empty space. 

He kneels & slurps ov^e lips between spread knees that lift up blind joy birds. 

Big Mother bent on knees head down hands on ass still can come by herself. 

Bowed down by the weight of nebulae he crouches underneath the hill. 

A bat that's bigger than your ear watches you sleep while you dream him there. 

Protect your black electric octopus plexus with red parasol. 

Protca your low dark secret eye-crotch with long pink fingers intertwined. 

Earth birdhead prow, Dead Man cargo; Earth manhead prow, passenger Big Bird. 

One brown bird impassive eyes her crotch, two black birds backs turned watch what's up. 

A round blue eye work red lipped heath this century's gigantic lightbulb. 

One points ahead horn moon- whale's jaws; one's caught his moon- whale, looks up surprised. 

He kneels on all fours red hot, she sits Lotus & mouths the blue apple. 

Lantern-jawed Bismarck dreams a rich red rose blossoms thorn-stemmed through his skull. 

In an oval blue womb a full-grown girl curled up eyes closed dreams her birth. 

Big little people do yab yum in their ten petal'd yellow daisy. 

Long hand over left eye Mother Sudan sees big bellied kids' thin ribs. 

In midst ol coition a blood-red worm spurts out his heaving rib-cage. 

Death sweats blood in Earth's black womb, yearning as clouds wing 'round blue horizons. 

The one eyed moon -whale watches you weep, drifting pale seas in a pale boat. 

Climb Snowtooth Mountain, put your staff in the moon's beak, fall down from the sky. 

Thirty Kingdoms' keys chainmailed down his chest, the Pope dreams he's St. Peter. 

Perfume bottle twixt his asscheeks, they smile to inhale human odor. 

The black hermaphrodite squats on black spheres upholding square black slave-blocks. 

He lies back eyes half shut stupefied by Sun that hovers far too low. 




72. She, from Ex Libris Chenonceau. L994-95. Pastel on paper. 26 x 19 inches 66 ■ 48.3 cm 



"'" ll 



Jeannie Duval's cheek tickled by a Pans fly, 1852. 

Angels pour amphorae of black water on her rainbow parasol. 

Octopus sun cracks red legs above tb umbrella'd dreamers ram rock stream. 

The Czar's green felt greatcoat hangs in Hermitages Hall of Mirrors now. 

Sun manhcad prow, passenger Big Bird; Sun birdhead prow, passenger Dead Man. 

Red sun on ye.low seas, pale boats float a b.rd's and dead man's heads, necks cut. 

Sp.ra.ed above ghost earth Chnst feints in blue sky floating black lightning clouds. 

She watches three black birds question us at th'entrance to her green spread thighs. 

Meteors flash down, skulls wait under earth, one green leaf breaks through black so... 

Standing between black door keys in Afric graveyards she births a white ghost. 

Puff a cigarette between skullfleshed lips, smoke gets in your empty eyes. 

A funnel a knife, * eight-legged Ant stand ups.de down the night's black floor. 

What bluefaced sin! he holds a wh.te-hot candle between her sunny thighs. 

Jonah give* his high sign to a man who cuddles the whale at his breast. 

Sphincter-wound in his chest, he kneels and lifts both hands in surpr.se to pray. 

All mixed up breasts feet gen.tals nipples & hand, both fall into sleep. 

Adam contemplates his navel covered with a bush of jealous hearts 

Body spread open, black legs held down, she eats his ice cream-white sex-tongue. 

On grey moon crescent, green thumb-p.nk.es ra.se a brown champaigne shoe-last. 

The black serpent vortex r.ses round-eyed, fist & black heart arrow-pierced. 

One centaur palm raised thru earth-crust lifts a red l.ve dog bark.ng at stars. 

Her dog licks the five red heart of tb African lady curled up in bed. 

The green tree dreams a pink sun, the root-buned head dreams an egg-brown globe. 

Naked in sol.tary prison cell he looks down at a hard-on. 

Hands hold her ass tight with joy to lick and eat the blue star 'tw.xt her thighs. 

Small pink-winged Lady-Heart hovers, rose-cunt legs spread n.gh h.s stiff black dick. 

The one-eyed twat squats on h.s head, scissors at masked Pinocchios nose. 

Willendorf Venus stands on Mars' shoulders, arms stretched up hold sky's blue bowl. 

Her Shield: third eye. armpits, eye boobs, navel, pussy ass split on star-field. 

Grave ghosts guard the chthonic cellar door steps out to cypress, sky & clouds. 

Chic shoes rest in a black rose vortex of sociable fash.on money. 




73. Sky, from Ex Libris Chenonccau, 1994-95. Pastel on paper. 26 x 19 inches (66 x 48.3 cm). Collect.on of Francesco and Alba Clemente. New York. 



She pose, self-confident, blue sky & clouds borne in her oval womb. 

White die, brown nipple, rose I, legs u, dark eyes scare through be cross-hand mask. 

Buddha sic,,, on blue air in > green leaf, knee, raised spread naked. 
Repose open-eyed on starry blue pillows under a star-roofed sky 
rwo girls show big dildos-or is one a boy with his dick in the airf 
The black guy steps in the shade, glancing back at the sunlit boy be screwed. 
| , ,„,..,., stuck thru beachtowel .olds, hands telescope an unashamed eye. 
Legs behind neck, arms hung down, Yogis sola, anal navel burns red. 
Blowing bubbles in blue sky he squats on his own blue bubble planer. 
Star, hud. cane * big thigh hones, the ghost baby dreams life beyond the womb. 
Regarding then- long chick tails, blue demons wrestle with golden scissors. 
One dances in red fire, one leaps in blue sea. no one burnt or drowned yet. 
He steps on his own breast lying in bed with red hall hard-on. 
He kneels with big dong toenails to marvel the radiant snake in his breast. 
fongue hung out. he hangs near his orange bicycle exhausted ro death. 
Kneeling nr.de he upholds a big newt on each palm, doesn't know why yet. 
I ,dv snails delicately climb naked thighs to stir his genitals. 
A human white leopard kneels hard on top the pink zebra on all tours. 
| ,,, forefinger probed into his own left hand proves a Doubting Thomas. 
Half-man Half-woman share then head, a fish gasping one big sad blue eye. 
Smiling eye, hand cupped to her ear. a huge red egg prophesies twin boys. 
They exchange glances, a bee shadows her tail, a rose grows on his hip. 
William Burroughs' skeleton twists a towel, he's got the bloody rag on. 
The rose-girl kneels weighed down, iron tanks on shoulder, coccyx, calves & footsoles. 
Horse stands on horse upon horse, he back on top & take your forty winks. 
He dives horn naked sky past the sun's nimbus into space-blue ocean. 
( urtains part on a nail and its shadow, Sams.ira's drama Act 1. 
I he red lipd far billionaire appeals you try out his wee rw.ir or dick. 
Arms to neck. Ins tit, her belly, prong-twat, the President and Ins wife. 
Pale green headless phantoms uys.de down dipsy-doodle with thin hard-ons. 





74. Story, from Ex Libris Che.onceau, 1994-95. Pasrel on pape, 2 



l9 mcl 



d Alba i 



nose mouths secret place's white tusks wound importunate magicians. 
Lady Day bows her neck under a pyramid of oily black rocks. 
Cloud-shoulders balloon a pale headless dame above his brooding chalk face. 
Beneath breast-eyed wasp-beaks the pink rose opens, better get in there quick! 
Insider her red womb the hermaphrodite fetus closes a third eye. 
Wiping blood-black tears from hard labor, try holding up your big sad head. 
Jealousy! Jealousy! Chin in hand he ponders the Unfaithful Muse. 
Young Don Juan bravely displays his girlish red-sexed lips and eyeshadow. 
Caught in the burning house of my brown body I fainted openeyed. 

Black legs spread wide, arm neath neck relaxed, a hand shakes gold leaves down her crotch. 
A golden lady's pink lips and fingers soothe her lover prone in sleep. 
Comets fly, sperm shoots forth, man kneels erect, woman climbs him glancing back. 
Blue Adam kneels on blue clay earth. Eve dances his neck in gold-washed sky. 
Big phallus, black womb lined with reddish flesh, look at the monkey we birthed. 
One bird pecks her double's breast on a ghost-white lingam's unblinking head. 
The thin brown man studies his stuck-up prong, a tall pink conchshell shrinks back. 
The red-lipped ladyman's head rests eyes calm on bright mineral pillows. 
Cut by the green knife neck to crotch, he grins in pain, blue guts rolling out. 
Bird beaks poke in his eyeball skull and heart's eye while his red thing spurts seed. 
She Hies down thousands of stone steps for years, aged climbs them all back up. 



for Francesco Clemente 
Chateau Chenonceau, June 24, 1995 
Naropa Institute, July 5, 1995 
Lawrence, Kansas, July 22, 1995 

Allen Ginsberg 




n , Jt ,o in - hcs (66x48.3 cm). Collect f Francesco and Alba Clemente, N< 

75. Nose, from Ex Libris Chenonceau. 1994-95. Pastel on paper, 26 m 19 inches 100 




l j a M «« 91 '/. x 27 /i inches (53.7 x 70.8 cm). Private collection. 
76. Seal from F(/t r o»e Days on Mount Abu. 1995. Wacercolor on handmade P a P cr. 2 I 




77. Food, from Fifty-one Days on Mount Abu. 1995. Watercolor on handmade paper. 21 'A x 27 '/• inches (53.7 x 70.8 cm). 

Courtesy Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London. 




78. An im „ from m ™ Days o„ Mo„», A*«, 1995. Warercolor on handmade P a P er. 2! A . 27 I. h. (53.7 . 7C 

Collection of Francesco and Alba Clemente. New York. 




79. Muse, from Fifty-one Days on Mount Abu. L995. Watercolor on handmade paper, 21 '/■ x 27 / inches (53.7 x 70.8 cm). 
Collection of Francesco and Alba Clemence, New York. 




80. Tree, from Fifty-one Days on Mount Abu. 1995. Watercolor on handmade pap 

Private coll< 



depap. inche* (53.7 x 70.8 




81. Silence, from Fifty-one Days on Mount Abu. L995. Watercolor on handmade paper, 21 X 27 inches (53.7 x 70.8 cm). Carm.gnac Gest.on. Pans. 




82. Skin. 19% 



.Oil on linen, 48x60 inches (121.9x152.4 ace collection. 




83. Heart. L996 



, Oil on linen, 48 x 60 inches (121.9 « 1514 cm). Courtesy The Branc Foundation, Greenwich, Connecticut. 




84.Me»«*1996.0 linen, 48x60 inch, 




Conversion to Her 



Parts of each person, 
Lumber of bodies. 
Heads and legs 
Inside the echoes — 

I got here slowly 
Coming out of my mother, 
Herself in passage 
Still wet with echoes- 
Little things surrounding, 
Little feet, little ey< 
Black particulars, 
Win re disparities — 

Who was I then? 
What man had entered? 
Was my own person 
Passing pleasure? 



My body shrank, 
Breath was constricted, 
Head confounded, 
Tongue muted. 

I wouldn't know you, 
Self in old mirror. 
1 won't please you 
Crossing over. 

Knife cuts through. 
Things stick in holes. 
Spit covers body. 
Head's left hanging. 

The hole is in the middle. 
Little boy wants one. 
Help him sing here 
Helpless and wanting. 






My odor? 
My name? 
My flesh? 
My shame? 

My other 
than you arc, 
my way out — 
My door shut- 
in silence this 
happens, in pain. 



Outside is empty. 

Inside is a house 
o[" various size. 

Covered with skin 
one lives within. 

Women are told 
to let world unfold. 

Men, to take it, 
make or break it. 

All's true 
except for you. 



Being human, one wonders at the others, 
men with their beards and anger, 

women with their friends and pleasure — 
and the children they engender together — 

until the sky goes suddenly black and a monstrous thing 
comes from nowhere upon them 

in their secure slumbers, in their righteous undertakings, 
shattering thought. 

One cannot say, Be as women, 

be peaceful, then. The hole from which we came 

isn't metaphysical. 

The one to which we go is real. 

Surrounding a vast space 
seems boundless appetite 

in which a man still lives 
till he become a woman. 



Robert Creeley 







85. Besttanum. !*?»*?- Pastel on pape 



r, 30 x 26 »/. inches (76.2 x 66.9 cm). Museum fur Moderne Kunst. Frankfurt am Mam. 



Sleeping birds, lead me, 
soft birds, be me 

inside this black room, 
back of the white moon. 

In the dark night 
sight frightens me. 







86. Bestiarium, 1989. Pastel on pipe 



. Pastel on paper. 30 x 26 Inches (76.2 x 66.9 cm). Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Mam. 



Who is it nuzzles there 

with furred, round headed stare? 

Who, perched on the skin, 
body's float, is holding on? 

What other one stares still, 
plays still, on and on? 



181 




87. Bcstiarium, 1989. 



. Pastel on paper, 30 x 26 Vu inches (76.2 x 66.9 cm). Museum fur Moderne Kunst. Frankfurt am Mam. 



Stand upright, prehensile, 
squat, determined, 

small guardians of the painful 
outside coming in — 

in stuck-in vials with needles, 
bleeding life in, particular, heedless. 



18J 




88. Btstiarium, 1989. Pastel on paper, JO . 26 inches (76.2 x 66.9 cm). Museum fiir Moderne Kunsc. Frankfurr am Mam. 



Matrix of world 

upon a turtle's broad back, 

earned on like that, 
eggs as pearls, 

flesh and blood and bone 
all borne along. 



185 




89. BcsUarium. 1989. Pastel on paper. 30 x 26 ■/„ inches (76.2 x 66.9 cm). Museum fur Moderne Kunsc. Frankfurt am Mam. 



I'll tell you what you want, 
to say a word, 

to know the letters in yourself, 
a skin falls off, 

a big eared head appears, 
an eye and mouth. 



187 




90. Bestiarium, 1989. 



. Pastel on paper. 30 x 26 in< hd [76.2 x 66.9 cm). Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Mam. 



Under watery here, 

under breath, under duress, 

understand a pun 

has threaded a needle with a little man- 

gone fishing. 

And fish appear. 



189 




91. Bestiarium, 1989. Pastel on paper, 30 x 26 V, inches (76.2 x 66.9 cm). Museum rur Moderne Kunst. Frankfurt am Main. 



If small were big, 
if then were now, 

if here were there, 
if find were found, 

if mind were all there was, 
would the animals still save us? 



191 




E . ^^vH-^g* ■ Vw^flffiy : 



92. B«tt«ri«m, L989. Pastel on paper, 30 x 26 V,, inches (76.2 x 66.9 cm). Museum fur Moderne Kunsc. Frankfurt am Mam. 



A head was put 
upon the shelf got t< 

by animal's hand and stuck 
upon a vacant corpse 

who. blurred, could nonetheless 

not ever be the quietly standing hud it watched. 



Not lost, 

not better or worse, 



much must of necessity depend on resources, 

the pipes and bags brought with us 



inside, all the sacks 

and how and to what they are or were attached. 







93. Earth. 1988. Tempera on linen. 84 x 135 inches (213.4 \ ^42. 9 cm). Private collection. 



Everybody's child 

walks the same winding road, 

laughs and cries, dies. 
That's "everybody's child," 

the one who's in between 

the others who have come And oowc. 



Turn as one will, the sky will always he 

fai up above the place he thinks to dream .is earth. 

There float the heavenlj 

archaic persons of primordial birth, 

held in rhe scan of ancient serpent's rooth, 
locked in rhe nund as when it first began. 










94. Everybody's ChM, I 190 tempera on lii 




95. Constellation, 1990. Tempera on linen, tou. panels, I" x 220 inches (121 x 559 cm) overall. Private collection, courtesy Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zu 



Inside I am the other of a sell. 

who feels a presence always close at hand. 

one side or the other, knows another one 
unlocks the door and quickly enters in. 

Either as or, we live a common person. 
Two is still one. It cannot live apart. 



Oh, weep for me — 

.ill from whom life has stolen 

hopes of a happiness stored 
in gold's ubiquitous pattern. 

in tinkle of commodious, enduring money, 
else the bee's industry in hives of golden honey. 



203 




96. Paradigm. \9SS. Tempera on linen, 82 \ 56 inches (208.3 x L42.2 cm). Collection of Angela Westwater, New York, courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York. 




97. Honey and Gold, 1988. Tempera on linen, 8] x55 inche*(208x ollection 




98. Signature, 1988. tempera on linen, 82 x 56 inches (.20S.5 x L42.2 cm). Collection of Thomas and Janine Koerfer-Weill. 



He is safely put 

in a container, head to toot, 

and there, on his upper part, wears still 
remnants of a life he lived at will- 
but, lower down, he probes at that doubled sack 
holds all his random virtues in a mindless fact. 



The forms wait, swan, 

elephant, crab, rabbit, horse, monkey, cow, 

squirrel and crocodile. From the one 

sits in empty consciousness, all seemingly has come 

and now it goes, to regather, 

to tell another story to its patient mother. 



207 




99. Oblation, 1990 tempera on linen, 79 ic 108 inches (200.8 x 274 
Tfo ! Museum ol Art, Dorothea Wrfghi I lamilton I und 1993 L64 



Reflection reforms, each man's a lire, 

makes irs stumbling way from mother to wife- 

cast as a gesture from ignorant flesh, 
here writes in fumbling words to touch, 

say, bow can I be, 

when she is all that was ever me? 




100. Contemplation, 1991. Tempera on linen, 44 , 64 inches (111.8 x 163.2 cm). Collection of Gun Enzo Sperone. New York, courtesy Sperone Wesrwate, New Yi 




101. Oblation, 1990-91. Tempera on linen, 44 x 44 inches (111.8 x 111.8 cm). Collecuon of Robert and Mary Looker. 



Around and in — 

And up and down again, 

and far and near — 
and here and there, 

in the middle is 

a great round nothingness. 



213 




102. Seed, 1991. Tempera on linen, 24 x 24 inches (61 x 61 cm). Collection of Francesco and Alba Clemente. New York. 



Not metaphoric, 
flesh is literal earth. 

turns to dust 

as all the body must, 

becomes the ground 
wherein the seed's passed on. 



215 




103. Foot. 1990. -Temper, on linen, 23 x 2 SM «63.5 cm). Collection o< Raymond Foye 



Entries, each foot feels its own way, 
echoes passage in persons, 

holds the body upright, 

the secret oi thresholds, lintels. 

opening body above ir. 

looks up, looks down, moves forward. 







,04. KM* W91.Te.npe* en, 40 . 40 in, h. (.02 ■ .02 on). Private coUecnou. cour.es, derie Bruno BUchofberge* Zurich. 



Necessity, the mother of invention, 
father of intention, 

sister to brother to sister, to innumerable others, 

all one as the time comes, 

death's appointment, 

in the echoing head, in the breaking heart. 



219 




105. Friendship, L991. Tempera on linen, 30 x 24 inches (76.2 x 61 cm). Private collodion 



In self one's place defined, 
in heart the other find. 

In mind discover I. 
in body find the sky. 

Sleep in the dream as one. 
wake to the others there found. 







I 76 x 21 inches (66 ■ 53.3 cm). Private collection, courtesy Annika Barbarigos Fine Arc 

106. Foot. 1990. Tempera on linen. 26 x 21 inches iro ; 



Emptying out 

each complicating part, 

each little twist of mind inside, 
each clenched hst. 

each locked, particularizing thought, 
forgotten, emptying out. 



221 




i 5 Q »/ v 1A inches (76 x 61 cm). Collection of Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich. 

107. Meditation, 1991. Tempera on linen, 29 * 24 inches l/° xonn, 



What did it feel like 
to be one at a time — 

to be caught in a mind 
in the body you'd found 

in yourself alone — 
in each other one? 



225 




108 



. Broke,, Hearts. 1990. Tempera on linen, 52 ■ 42 inches ( 1 32 x 106.7 cm). Courtesy Sperone W, 



Westwater, New York. 



Broken hearts, a curious round of echoes- 
and there behind them the old garden 

with its faded, familiar flowers, 

where all was seemingly laced together— 

a trueness of true, 
a blueness of blue. 



The truth is in a container 
of no size or situation. 

It has nothing 
inside. 

Worship — 
Warship. Sail away. 



Robert Crcclcy 



in 




109. Black Muse Twice. 1990. Tempera on linen. 87 ■. [06 inches (222.3 x 27] 
Collection of Jean Pigozzi, Swiczei 



Amulets and Pra\ 



Francesco Clemente does nor perceive any inherent incongruity in his concurrent explorations of images from 
his own "dominant" culture and from India's "alternative" one. He probes the classical Upan.shad.c ideas of the 
elements and the five senses, as well as the flood of contemporary popular imagery in Madras, such as cinema 
billboards and campaign posters. The artist says, "The gods who left us thousands of years ago in Naples are 
still in India," 1 and "in Indian diversity there is still the memory of very refined expressions, which we have 
lost." : The Indian concept of parampara (one permeating the other), a sort of simultaneous and polymorphous 
transmigration of images, each rooted in its essence but equal in relation to the other, appeals immensely to 
Clemente, for whom one image is as good as another, each having the same expressive power. 

Fragmented, dccontextualizcd. self-contained images, imbued with their own radiance, were 
reconfigured as Clemente's The Pondicherry Pasteh (1979-80, cat. no. Ill) without a hierarchical order. 
Full of transcultural quotes, not vying for a known referential context, they dwell in an ambivalent space 
and speak in what the Tantrics would call "twilight language." Ruptured hierarchies are replaced by a 
fantasizing and reschemat.zing personal order, searching for new possibilities of representation. Clemente's 
transient, symbolic images adopt forms concrete enough to evoke definite history and illusive enough to 

elicit mythology. 

For Clemente, fascinated by variations on a theme, the Indian literary form of kathachakra (cycle of 
stories), as employed in the revolving narrative of The King and the Corpse (1994, cat. no. 120), had to be 
alluring. Each rime the king pursues the corpse to bring it under his control, he has to carry it on his shoulders 
from one magical place to another. As he does so, he has to solve riddles posed by the corpse. The idea of 
riddle— what is real and what is deceptive, what is manifest and what is concealed— appeals to Clemente's 
highly articulated sense of fantasy. Once the riddle is solved, the story ends. Decoding an image would be 
tantamount to emptying it of its spell its power. It would then no longer remain an amulet. In The King and 
the Corpse sculptures, Clemente brings into play a transmuting permeation between the corporeal and the 
imaginary, often marked by a metamorphosis of genders. King and corpse are entangled like a riddle; 
the answer is encapsulated in bodies of copper, tin, bronze, brass, and lead. 

The alchemical powers of metals pervade the elements of the cosmic order. The formula 
for fashioning Hindu divine images entails the use of five metals, which are also the essence of the five 
elements and the five senses. Clemente's planets Mercury and Saturn (1992, cat. nos. 117. 118) emanate as 
anthropomorphs of rin and lead. Each is in the image of the other, shooting off a burst of light through a pair 
of open palms, forming a radiant halo, echoing the Brhadaranyaka Upamshad: "His voice enters into the fire, 
his breath into the wind, his thought into the moon, his hearing into the four directions." 

Clemente's intellect ma)' have been charged by the classical Indian tradition, but his painter's eye was 
drawn to the bright and florid imagery proliferating in the bazaars of Madras. He saw the continuity and 
fragmentation of Indian tradition in the gigantic cinema billboards, staring fixedly at the onlooker from all 
directions, with their simplified, almost emblematic, renderings of eyes, ears, noses, and lips, imagery that 



virtually underlines the notion of senses. In all this, however, what interested Clemente most was the 
possibility of having his work attain an immense artistic transformation of history, imagery, meaning, 
symbolism, and, above all, the scale of the picture plane. He employed the services of the bazaar painters of 
cinema billboards and created the Five Senses series (1990, cat. nos. 121-2 3), as well .is Sun (1980. 
cat. no. 113), Moon (1980, cat. no. 114), Contemplation (1990, cat. no. 124), Birth (1990. cat. no. L26), et< .. on 
vast surfaces composed by joining sheets of handmade Pondicherry paper. Wide areas of flat gaud)- colors. 
vestigial shadings, sharp outlines, and grids of horizontal and vertical lines of joinery, in combination with 
quotes from the "three worlds" that he effortlessly maps, turn his images into haunting new icons. 

The same magical transformation marks Clemente's erotic imagery, In The Black Bool 
cat. no. 131), orgiastic coital diagrams, reminiscent of the Kamasutra and Khajuraho, bathe in a distant 
twilight atmosphere of brilliance and celebration. While the doe-eyed women of The White Booh { 1989. 
cat. no. 130) — their faces in profile, their yonis worn like emblems — wander in another resplendent space ot 
liberation, their counterparts in Tke Red Book (1989, cat. no. 129) appear to have been synopsized horn a 
performative context. 

Clemente sees himself rooted in the highly eclectic environment of the Roman Empire of the third 
century, when Egyptians painted Greek themes, Greeks sang Latin songs, and Latin Romans worshiped the 
gods from the East.' Story of My Country I (1990, cat. no. 127) is an intertwined narrative of two raconteurs: 
Clemente and the Other. As he painted this work, in layered improvisations, he forged time into the 
vast spaces of many mythologies, histories, and ideas, looking through the consciousness of the Other, letting 
the Other think through his consciousness; the I is always the Other. 4 Clemente constructed the story 
through sketches in which he has a distant Orissan painter build up the Active narrative. The story— from 
Clemente's own imagination — of violence, intrigue, fragmentation, love, separation, jealousy, and rape is 
told through another's language, images, and symbols. In the process, an unanticipated world of surprise 
and wonder is brought into being. Clemente seeks to find himself through these surprises, these elements 
ot the unknown. 



Jyotindra jam 

1. Francesco Clemente. quoted in Raj mond Foye, Madras," in Ann Percy and Foye. Fn 
(Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1990). p. SO. 

2. Clemente. quoted in Donald Kuspit, "Clemente Explore, Clemente. u MUM (New York) 2. no. 7 (Oct. 1989). | 

3. See Clemente, inten iew with Rob.n White, in View (Oakland) \ no. 6 (Nov. 1981); thij -sue \s devoted entirel, to th. i. 

4. See Dieter Koepplm/Offener Zyklus," introduction to Frances, WH.exh ca. Zurich V urich and 
Basel: Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, 1 V 'H"), p. 9. 



2** 




r* u *n* 17 inches (152 4 x 144.8 cm). Courtesy Anthony d'< lery, London. 

110. Map of What Is Effortless, 1978. Gouache on paper. 60 x 5 inch* s [LW 



Pondicherry, the former French colonial city near Madras, was where Francesco Clemente obtained the 
unevenly grained handmade paper he used for The Pondicherry Pastels (1979-80, cat. no. 111). Imbued with a 
certain sense of lightness, joy, freshness, immediacy, and a percipient distancing from "meaning; the images 
exalt the commonplace: a ceiling fan, a bucket, a plate, a tumbler doll, a carrot or a banana, a palm tree or a 
rose, a pair of scissors or a rosary. These are iconized in a liminal space between their momentary and eternal 
existences. At times, they are amulets infused with magical powers; at times, they are merely deconsecrated 
charms waiting to be immersed in the river of transmigration, to be born again in other forms, other contexts. 

Conscious of the futility of finding meaning in hierarchical ordering, Clemente configured his swiftly 
recorded "notes," "quotes," and "raw material" into a series redolent with his personal associations, leaving open 
to his viewers the possibility of an alternative configuration. 

For Clemente, "Pastels reveal the primeval qualities of colour. Pastels are colours just born. 
In India ... in the evening all colours are born and they are pastels." 1 



1. Francesco Clemente, statement in Francesco CUmcntt Two Horizons, exh. cat. | Tokyo: Sezon Museum of Art. 1994). P . 23. 



following nine pages: 
111. Thirty-one drawings from The Pondicherry Pastels. 1979-80. Ink. pastel, charcoal, gouache, paint, and pencil on paper, 
sliest: 6 V. X 3 '/; inches (16.2 x 8.9 cm); largest: 13x13 /, inches (33 x 34.9 cm). Courtesy The Brant Foundation, Greenwich, Connecticut. 
Please note that drawings shown as full -page reproductions are also shown as part of groupings. 










o ■ , 






9»> ■' 





112. Two Painters. 1980. Gouache on nine sheet* ol handmade 
Pondicherry paper, joined with handwoven cotton 
68 x 94 '/• inches (172.7 x2?9 cm). Private collection 




113. Sun, 1980. Gouache on twelve sheets of handmade Pondicherry paper, joined with handwoven cotton strips, 91 x 95 inches (231.1 x 241.3 cm). 
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Edward and Althea Budd Fund, Katharine Levin Farrell Fund, and funds contributed by Mrs. H. Gates Lloyd. 




114. Moon, 1980. Gouache on twelve sheers of handmade Pondicherry paper, joined with handwoven cotton Strips, 96 7. ■ 91 inch* (245.7 x 231.1 cm). 

Private collection, courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York. 








115. Inside /Outside, 1980. Watercolor, pastel, and pencil on fourteen sheets of handmade Pondicherry paper, joined with handwoven cotton strips, 

63 x 164 inches (160 x 416.6 cm). Rubell Family Collections. 



ii 





116. The Four Corners, 1985. Gouache on twelve sheets of handmade Pondicherry papet, joined with handwoven cotton strips, 

96 'At, x 94 '/.• inches (244 x 240 cm). Private collection. 



Cast from the same mold, born from the same womb, Francesco Clemente's Mercury and Saturn (1992, 
cat. nos. 117, 118) adopt different mediums — tin and lead — evoking the eternal powers ofdhatu, the essential 
substances of the matter that pervade all the senses. 

The serially multiplying image, while projecting a sense of drama and mystery, amplifies and reinvents 
the idea and also has reverberations from the Upanishad: "I am One who becomes Many." The fingers ol 
open palms, forming a dazzling nimbus behind the heavenly bodies, reiterate the artist's obsession with the 
number five. 



J- J- 



253 




117. Mercury, 1992. Tin, 16 A x 18 7. x 14 Vu inches (42.5 x 47 x 37 cm). Private collection. 




HS.Saturn, 1992. Lead. 16 , x 18 x 14 .rubes (42 .5 x 47 x 37 cm). Private collection, 



following ten pages: 

119. Thirty watercolors from CVIII, 1985. Watercolor on paper, smallest: 4 7, x 7 '/: inches (12.3 x 19.1 cm); largest: 10 '/« x 10 '/,- inches (25.6 x 25.9 cm). 

Offentliche Kunstsammlung Basel. Kupferstichkabinett, Gift of CIVA-GEIGY, AG, Basel. 



In 1992, with the creation of a series of analogous figures of planets, one mirroring the other — Moon, Sun, 
Mercury (cat. no. 117), and Saturn, (cat. no. 118) cast in copper, brass, tin, and lead — Francesco Clemente 
discovered the spirit of the elemental powers of the metals that pervade the heavenly bodies. 

In 1994, Clemente further enunciated this idea in The King and the Corpse (cat. no. 120), a series of 
metal sculptures. Here the entangled bodies of king and corpse, also cast in different metals, appear to be 
organically growing from and into each other. Surging, bending, enveloping, and convoluting, the bodies at 
times change their gender, like Roman Polanski's vampires. 

The King and the Corpse series was inspired by the medieval Indian fable that revolves around the 
valiant King Vikrama in his efforts to bring Vetala, a ghost residing in a corpse, under his control. He carries 
the corpse from one place to the other "bound to his body like a beggar's wallet." On his way, the king listens 
to a cycle of interconnected stories, each in the form of a riddle. 

Clemente apparently begins where the fable ends; the metamorphosed bodies of king and corpse have 
become iconized images. 



]■]■ 



120. The King and the Corpse, 1994. Copper, tin, bronze, brass, and lead, respectively, five pieces, smallest: 8 x 6 'A x 2 inches (20.3 x 15.9 x 5.1 i 
largest: 9 x 7 'A x 1 '/. inches (22.9 x 19.7 x 3.2 cm). Unnumbered edition of 10. Private collection. 



The words "sense," "sensorial," and "sensual" are interrelated. The senses transmit the external world to human 
beings through sense organs. Francesco Clemente imagines "the body to be a line. The boundary between 
inner and outer worlds. . . . Outer worlds leak inside, inner worlds pour out." 1 The senses are the medium 
through which the two worlds meet. The body is perceived to be a negative space within the outer world, and 
the outer world is construed as a negative space around the body. 

In Five Senses (1990, cat. nos. 121-23), Clemente turned senses into vast anthropomorphic icons, 
each personified as a separate entity or an element. He amplified a sense symmetrically within the checkered 
grid of the picture plane, which was created by joining together several rectangular sheets of handmade paper 
in the same way in which the bazaar painters of Madras enlarge, square by square, a sketch or photograph into 
a cinema billboard of giant proportions. 



]■]■ 

1. Francesco Clemente, statement in Francesco Clemente: Two Horizons, exh. cat. (Tokyo: Sezon Museum of Art, 1994), p. 23. 




121. F.ve Senses. 1990. Gouache on twelve sheets of handmade Pondicherry paper, joined with handwoven cotton strips, 
94 'A x 96 '/» inches (239 x 244 cm). Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. 




122. Five Senses, 1990. Gouache on twelve sheets of handmade Pondicherry paper, joined with handwoven cotton strips, 
94 V, x 96 Vu inches (239 x 244 cm). Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. 









Jl 



123. Five Senses, 1990. Gouache on twelve sheets oi handmade Pondicherry paper, joined with handwoven cot. trips, 

93 x 95 inches (237.5 k 242.6 cm). Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. 



The images of Story of My Country I (1990, cat. no. 127) are those of stories from many countries, 
times, and mythologies. These are the perpetual images of fragmentation, separation, duality, isolation, and 
boundaries, represented by water and earth, ocean and sky, man and woman, woman and woman, torso and 
legs, lotus and sword, circle and square, object and reflection. 

As Clemente sought to speak through the voice of an Orissan painter, he let the men, women, trees, 
birds, animals, oceans, mountains, rain, and even the picture frames of medieval Orissan painting enact the 
ancient Mediterranean stories that surfaced from his own "memory." The transient and otherworldly space 
emanates from the disparate visions of two artists, alien to each othei for that very reason. 

By changing the setting and speaking through another's language of pictorial narration. Clemente 
transformed the same people, the same geography, and the same flora and fauna of patachitra (the 
conventional ragboard painting of Onssa) into omnipresent symbols and metaphors. Story of My Country I 
invites repeat visits and offers surprises in return. 



]■]■ 



following four pai:< a: 

127. Story of My Country I. 1990. India ink and gou.uhc on Tama, ind vdlum. eighteen iheecs, 

approximately 9 x 18 inches { 2^ I 45.7 cm) each. Courtesy Anthony dOffay Gallery, London. 



279 




125. Sound, Point, 1990. Gouache on twelve sheets of handmade Pondicherry paper, joined with handwoven cotton strips, 
95 N ' inches (243 x 248 cm). Courtesy Anthony d'Oft'ay Gallery, London. 




126. Birth. 1990. Gouache on twelve sheets of handmade Pondicherrj paper, joined with handwoven cotton strips. 
95 lI /i x 97 inches (243 x 248 cm). Courtesy Anthony d'Offay Gallery. London. 




124. Contemplation, 1990. Gouache on twelve sheets ofhandm.de Pondicherry paper, joined w.rh handwoven cotton scrips, 

95 "/» x 97 /• inches (243 x 248 cm)- Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo. 








Ba»«eM?saEsag«te^BraaBSiga¥iS«s 






I 



E~ 



im 






129. Four pages from The Red Book, 1989. Watercolor on handmade paper, 11 7, x 5 inches (29.2 x 14 cm) each. Collection of Francesco and Alba Clemente. New York. 




■■ 



128. Mothers of Letters. 1992. Iron, twenty-one pieces, 1': k 19 x\ inches (56 x 48.6 x 2.5 cm) each. 
Collection of Francesco and Alba Clemente, New York. 




■^w a i ' ' w w \. \ m u WK im ^ v' . i.m * \ i w ^> ig y KS^^ms^^msmn m^. » \ w ^ nrnss 









a»HlBMB!ffl^M^lte*Mj gj 







'&VW-V f-^V ( '^2 f « 



S«; *jfe* c^ ^ sgi* ;«& ^gtf «<8f «»*■•'* 
















1 30. lour pases from The White Book. 1989. Waiercolor on handmade paper, 11 x 5 inches (29.2 x 14 cm) each. Collection of Francesco and Alba Clemente, New Ybrl 




131. Four pages from The Black Book, 1989. Watcrcolor on handmade paper, n x : > inches(29.2x 14cm)each < ollection of Francesco and Alba Clemente, New Yor 



Sky 



The daylight from Francesco Clemente's studio window is muted; because of the filter of fine New York bus 
and truck filth, it is retracted on its way to a floor of rough wood streaked with paint. It brightens up this Lire. 
room, which feels like India but is New York. Open books and items lie on a tabic in the center of the space. 
and Francesco's larger paintings are against a far wall. They are whopping in person. People in the neighboring 
building watch Francesco paint in front of the smeary windows. On the table. I sec tiny drawings and 
scribbles. Some are on napkins he has worked on in restaurants and have religious, metaphysical, or allegorical 
themes. He tells me the history of some of the scribbles, how one is from a Buddhist text and how another, "I 
a worm becoming a man, was inspired by a scientific finding that the people in a small village were telling him 
about when he last traveled to India. His focus is intense, and his eyes are azure crystals when he is explaining 
the drawings to me. 

I ask about the many jars or mixed paint lined up together on the floor "I mix all the colors" he saj 
"before I start on a painting. This might take a little time before I start something. I mix even more paint 
when I think that there will be more than one painting." I ask him, "Then you know what colors you are going 
to use before you start to paint?" He lifts his shoulders and holds his palms up in a shrug. I notice he is 
wearing a very nice wool suit. "Something like that. I think or the colors that I am going to use, and 1 get into 
that in the beginning. It is part of the painting ritual. It is not an exact science," he laughs. "If there an 
other colors I've forgotten, I can mix them later, but that usually doesn't happen because by then I will have 
convinced myself that these colors are the only ones that I need." Francesco points to paintings as we walk 
around his space. "You need a lot of paint when the painting is ten feet tall, which is really why all the paint is 
mixed first." A few dented dishpan lights on the floor here and there light up the paintings that arc standing 
farther from the window. He likes to have guests and asks for a cigarette horn anothei visitor, saj ing he 

doesn't want to smoke, but He lights the cigarette that he doesn't want to be smoking and says to his 

friend that we have addictive personalities, that we are not necessarily in control of our impulses. h< 
charmingly pulls us all into his small excuse. The phone rings, but Francesco doesn't want to pick it up. It has 
been distracting him, and I wonder if we are a distraction as well. 

We examine one of the Meditation paintings. Helvetius and Tracy (1993, cat. no. 1 3 8 Hmm. 
I wonder what to say about it. but I feel comfortable that a response isn't expected oi parti< ularly needed. I 
point to the little bird in Helvetius and Tracy. "I like that." I say. Francesco pauses before he offers, "Yes, I think 
I do too. It's growing on me." After a few more moments, he saj s, 'You can tell me when you ... finished 
looking at this one." I help Francesco move the paintings from behind one another, which is somewhat 
difficult because they are so big. Two other Meditation paintings are before us. Trigonometric and Fioriture 
(1993, cat. nos. 136, 137). While we prop them up and look them over. I think of the Indian celebrations at 
Chidambaram, where Francesco has traveled, able to pose as an Indian and walk in and witness the 
ceremonial dances of Siva. I think of vaudeville. Berlin in the L920s. I thmk of a psychological minds, ape and 
oi, movie theater showing curiously symbolic or psychosexual or ceremonial movies; I Jon I know. 

He is consumed by sex. Sexuality. Which is beauty. He wants to paint sexualitj ,nd does. I le wants 
to paint literal intellectual and metaphysical and psychological and scientific and religious origins. Which 
often leads to sex. Which I understand through some of his paintings. 



Cm Van Sant 



295 




n , 26 , /x40 i„ches(66.7xl02.2cm).Courres K Antl 

132. Trophy, 1990. Pastel on paper, 26 x W 




133. Porta Coeli. 1^83. Tempera on 



linen, L03x93inch« 236.2 cm). Collection oi Stefan X EdUs. 




134. Semen, 1983-84. Tempera on linen, 93 x 106 inches (236.2 x 269.2 cm). Collection of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Caracas. 




135. Sky, 1984. O.I and shale on l.nen, 107 /. x 187 »/„ inches (274 x 477 cm). Private collec 




136. MeditatiomTrigonometrie, 1993. Enamel and screen on 

Private coUeccion, Switzerland, c tcsy Galerie Bruno Bischofbe. 




137. Meditation: Fioriture, 1993. Enamel and silkscreen on linen. 73 '/< x 77 . inches (186.1 x 196.; 
Private collection, Switzerland, courtesy Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich. 




138. Meditation; Helvetia* a„d Tracy, L993. Enamel and silfccreen on 

Private collection, Switzerland, courtesj Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich. 



■i 




/ A i 



139. In Silence, 1995. Temper, on linen, 49 



inch* (125x133 cm). Private collection. 




140. Mandala, 1993. Tempera on l.nen. 44 '/, x 44 7. inches (112x112 cm). Collection or Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich. 




141. Mother o 



,/Hope, 1993. Tempera on linen, 49 «52inche a 



in d Uba( l( 




142. Mother of Paintings, 1995. Tempera and oil on linen, 84 « J02 inches (214 x 767.1 cm). Courtesy The Brant Foundation, Greenwich, Connecticut. 



The Swan 



Peculiar that swan should mean a sound! 

I'd thought of gods and power, and wounds. 

But here in the curious quiet this one has settled down. 

All day the barking dogs were kept at bay. 
Better than dogs, a single swan, they say, 
will keep all such malignant force away 

and so preserve a calm, make pond a swelling lake — 
sound through the silent grove a shattering spare 
of resonances, jarring the mind awake. 



The Skull 



"Come closer. Now there is nothing left 
either inside or out to gainsay death, 
the skull that keeps its secrets saith. 

The ways one went, the forms that were 
empty as wind and yet they stirred 
the heart to its passion, all is passed 

Lighten the load. Close the < 

let the mind loosen, the body die. 
the bird fly off to the opening sky. 



Robert Creeley 







143. The Swan, 1997. Oil on linen, 46 x 92 inches (116.8 x 233.7 cm). Private collection, Switzerland. 




144. Tl,e Skull. 1997. O.I on linen, lb k 92 inches 1 1 16,8 x 2 33.7 cm) Courtesy Gagosian Gallery, New York. 




l45 .B.«fc Mh ^ M 1998. Oil on I , Ltt. H i„ch« I UA 5x233 >«n , 




146. Circle. 1998. Oil on l.nen. 46 x 92 inches (116.8 x 233.7 cm). Courtesy Anthony dOffay Gallery, London. 




147 



. Skull, 1999. Oil on linen, 48 x 48 inches (121.9 x 121.9 cm) 



. Collection of Francesco and Alba Clemente. New York. 




148. S«„.„ *i Hh 1999. O,, on h„e„, 91 x 92 h h. (231.1 , ' °U«, M Fresco .nd Mb, C.o„,nu, K, 



Rooms 



When you open windows and doors for a room it is where there is nothing 
that they are useful to the room. Therefore being is for benefit, nonbeing is 
for usefulness. 
— Tao Te Ching, XI (trans. T. Cleary) 

There is something dizzying and profound, as though we are on the edge of an abyss, in the first known 
decorated "rooms." those dark caves reached by narrow, oppressive shafts, carved by water into malleable and 
living rock. Sixteen thousand years ago, the barely visible images danced like ghostly presences on the irregular 
walls as long as a flame flickered in the subterranean breezes, then were swallowed up once more by the 
geological night. 

In the heart of Mexico's Mazatec Mountains, a wooden, windowless hut was lined with sheets of 
newsprint. In the candlelight, amid clouds of incense smoke and under the influence of the psilocybin 
mushroom, the swirl of images and words was no less exquisite than the most palatial rococo interior. As in a 
Paleolithic cavern, the chanting and dancing seer, gathering time and space into his state of trance, fought the 
night with light, and the day with darkness. 

That the shaman's disposition may forever be lost to modern man is a given that no contemporary 
experience can alter, for the artist or anyone else. But echoes of classical spaces — such as the mantic ones still 
resonating from the sibyl's cave in Neapolitan Cumac — offer, to any who can reel it, a sort of intermediate 
space, poised between passion and reason. For Francesco Clemente, passion is an antinomic category, and it is 
rooted in his receptive nature. This is a "Mediterranean" disposition whose power still emanates from 
Demeter, the Great Mother. In our age, it must take new forms since we are living in Kali-Yuga, a time of 
apocalyptic reabsorption into the room of Nothingness, silvery moon and indigo night. 

Meister Eckhart said in a sermon, "that which must be received must be received into something" 
("On Detachment"); the soul is also a room. Yet the idea of room-as-container may be too limited; who, as 
Ramana Maharishi would say, or what is to be contained? Making the room a site uncovers its muted wall: a 
discovery, the invention of Inside and Outside, as the mountain sides open up (as they did for the prehistonc 
painter), and we are there within the secret (secretum). One does not need to suffer from claustrophobia to 
dread the grip of enclosures or from agoraphobia to imagine the panic associated with amorphous places in 
the shadowless hours of midday or a moonless night. If the usefulness of the primitive shelter derived from its 
hidden access, the modern room favors an easy entrance and open views that ideally expand its roominess to 
the infinite. Even television, the ubiquitous "tube," is both an opening to the world, a channel, and a 
contraption that boxes it in, and the image it relays is seen as through a window, as if we were looking in. 
Clemente's "rooms" have paintings in the place of windows, and we see into them, not through them; in 
relation to their first habitation — in the studio — they appear to function more as mirrors than as openings, 



reflecting particular states-of-being of that original setting. Thus, the walls of these rooms expand the 
enclosure indefinitely, while also holding it in place. Clemente has spoken of the raise perspectives on the wall 
decorations of Rome's Palazzo Spada, of the impression they made on him early on, but the inwardness of his 
own walls is radically nonillusionistic, the opposite otfaux-semblants. as if we were made to intrude on a most 
private realm. Yet, one finds his walls the expression of a relation being negotiated, rather perilously, between 
inner and outer realms, between the room itself and "the world." 

Clemente*s rooms also suggest the experience of the simultaneous. They are time-traveling capsules of 
sorts and also out of time, representing not so much a moment as a suspension. He has actually stated how, as 
a painter, he is "naturally" inclined to be more interested in "space" than in "time." A room is a place in which to 
stay, in which to sit or lie down. Since antiquity, and notably since the Renaissance (from the stanze, the 
rooms, of Poliziano and Lorenzo to those of Raffaello), the room has implied an invitation to rest, to linger. 
Between rest and movement, the room embodies a discontinuity different from the stop-and-go flow of the 
gallery, the serpent, spotted with images, that coils and uncoils up and down the ramps of Frank Lloyd 
Wright's Guggenheim Museum. Stanze are not galleries; they are like refuges from life's unstoppable How. And 
if death is the ultimate resting place, it is appropriate that, after The Fourteen Stations (1981-82. car. nos. 
154-165), Clemente's most coherent group of works should have been his Funerary Paintings (1987, see cat. 
no. 44), even though human figures were absent from them. 

In the Piramus and Thisbe play-within-the-play of A Midsummer Night's Dream, the wall, a barrier 
separating one reality from another, an obstacle to love and desire, also carves out a fatal landscape of 
inwardness; it is a symbol of the Limit (of desire), hence of Death, death encountered but also perhaps, 
through that transformative encounter, conquered. Clemente's rooms also lie within the walls of life and 
death, guarding intimations of eternity. He has said that everything began with a vivid vision of his own death, 
and it is in The Fourteen Stations more than anywhere else in Ins oeuvre that one finds the alchemical 
precipitation of that singular and defining experience; it permeates every surface, every .mage, and almost 
every brushstroke. The implication, as in a traditional initiation, is that the possibility of resurrection is also 
encoded within these and his other rooms. Beyond the practice of painting as a therapeutic act, these 
paintings were conceived as if around the memory of a perilous journey to and from the undiscovered 
country? In almost pragmatic terms, resurrection, for Clemente-the survivor who has lived and painted his 
way through Naples. Rome, many parts of India. New York, and beyond-stands for a daily reincarnation for 
an almost miraculous series of epiphanic life-acts; "The point is that we do reincarnate in our daily life-I am 
only providing a record of this process of being. 

If all express.cn is in some way autobiographical. Clememes-far beyond the surface of his self- 
referential imagery-is certainly so. Biography cue experience and the experience of truth with itsmttture rf 
recollection, appropriation, risk, and abandonment, is embedded in the work itself (opus. Ved.c afah. 



331 



"religious action, sacrifice"). Ir could be that between the Beginning and the End, somewhere between Lascaux 
and Mark Rothko's chapel in Houston, the image-in-the-room, the secreted image, became the counterpart, 
and the trace, of sacrifice, and sacrificial substitution constituted the price of consciousness. It is as if in some 
fundamental way self-awareness implied an objectification of the space occupied by one's spirit, and inner 
space has been visualized and transmuted into an artificial environment. Certain Eastern forms or this 
reification intersect with Western ones in the way they come to express, through imagery, the longing for a 
dissolution of the Subject. But this spiritual goal is pursued though an extreme heightening of self- awareness, 
which in turn can be seen as the ultimate sublimation of sacrifice itself and also of any idea of "relic." Thus, the 
modern painted room became a transsacrificial abode in which the relevance of the Vedic conception that 
"Man is sacrifice." "Sacrifice is Man." faded away, like the polyvalent erotic imagery in The Indigo Room 
(1983-84. cat. no. 167). Yet, what would human life be if it were truly free of sacrifice? 

From the distended surfaces of Clementc's frescoes to the concretions of The Fourteen Stations — 
which have something of the imaginary vividness of waking dreams— to the absorption or The Indigo Room, it 
is as if we are made newly aware of the connection between the outer surface of our skin and the inner one of 
our world, the world as our enveloping cave or womb. Then comes the question: what can we make of this 
relation? In the translation of motives and affections, through line— which, according to the painter, "is a 
continuation of the surface that separates the inner room of the body from the outer one" — and pigment, the 
hell of the world, or the world as hell, is transmuted into a half-hidden paradise (bienestar oculto), or the world 
as bliss. That both worlds should be simultaneously present and visible is the allegorical magic, and the secret, 
performed by Clementc's environments; it is one aspect of the meeting of opposites, or mystical wedding 
(mystenum comunctioms), which they evoke with engulfing effect. And it is as if the very walls of his rooms are 
not still but approach and recede, leading us into a perceptual and conceptual dance. They are plastic rooms in 
more than one sense, forming a cosmology in which single-locus perspective is undetermined. They are 
centerless circles of being and nonbeing, which certain alchemists called "the Round" {il Rotondo) and which 
Clemente may be inviting us to contemplate as mirrors of our own and his own displacement (depaysement). 

"I wish I could change sex as I change shirts," Andre Breton proclaimed. Disarticulated desire, 
floating on and off Clemente's surfaces, permeates the images' many "openings," which are analogous to the 
body's and the person's own porosity. There is, first of all, the painter-magician conjuring up the illusions of 
permanence and impermanence. What is built up, on the wall, rather than the appearance of an Ego "always 
under construction," in C. G.Jung's expression, is a cumulative Ego subtraction. Something transpires that is 
at once most intimate, even secret, and yet out there for all to see: perhaps the ultimate, unmasking mask that 
the painter had seized from within his own heart. So, the room, this familiar refuge, also becomes terra 
incognita, a wilderness of adventures and encounters in the painter's studio. One has the impression of 
embarking on a journey through the debris of inferiority. Perhaps we have come full circle from the ancient 



subterranean painter — the masked shaman dancing in the cave at Les Trois Freres who may have translated 
the power of direct perception (experience), and perhaps dreaming, by projecting the moving images captured 
within his heart — the Greeks' thumos — in glorious parades of vivid forms (a Paleolithic cinematography). 

Clemente, a modern explorer of deep recesses and monts analogues gives life to images that arc limin.il. 
One cannot situate them out there, among the wild creatures of an unpeaceful kingdom, nor in the soul, which 
Jung called the "rubble of destruction." It is as if they belong in the passages between those two realms and that 
this accounts for their frequent depiction or bodily orifices. Their orality may also stand foi an understated 
metaphysical hunger. If they radiate that "tension towards that which is primary." which Jung saw as the mark of 
true art, it stems from the painter's rigor in simultaneously keeping himself present and forgetting what he has 
been doing. The forms, even his manner, are familiar, yet it is as though he rediscovered them every time, even 
within different parts of a single work. "Always remember what you are doing and A^ndon it," the painter has 
said, and this is true of his earlier work as much as of the rest of his oeuvre, with its transformations ol 
leitmotifs through different mediums. It is a peculiar contest (tenzone), this striving for a certain passivity, in 
which the elusive evidence of the immediate is sought, each moment, through painting as .1 meditative act. 
Particularly in Clemente's rooms, all thoughts are accepted at face value, neither countered nor suppressed, as 
transient mind-states unworthy of attachment. The byproduct is as much a record of occurrence as ol passing 
into nothingness. "Have no discrimination, behave unconcernedly with all things, resembling .m idiot" is one of 
the Bodhidharma's sayings that were discovered at Tun-Huang. 

In the framework of the present volume, one can isolate three early phases of Clemente's journ< 
the center-three phases of his rooms: frescoes, The Indigo Room, and The Fourteen Stations. As with other 
groups of works, these should be seen not in sequence but as recurring existential and aesthetic patterns that 
represent three basic exchanges between the traveling room of the spirit and its worldly and otherworldly 
conditions. The walls of The Indigo Room-soaked in the color of the heavenly depths, the purity of night 
interspersed with silvery moon rays, like Paul Klee's Naeht der Liebe (1937)-are an immersion into a paradise 
remembered, a product of travel to the East and a sense of participation in the great chain of being (Dantes 
"Amor che muove il sole e Valtre stelle"). In the painter's own words, he discovered the "huge inner space of 
India, a space wherein, as Stella Kramnsch said of Clemente's images, "forms unite." And Ind^o is also, m 
some way, a music room, where, if one listens intently, one hears not just echoes of the tambouras drone the 
sound of the universe," or the Kirana-style spiritual virtuosity oL, Pandit Pran Natl, hut that of modem 
sound too, such as Morton Feldman's eddying journeys through minimal variations and repetitions, ,n his 
long, late compositions— a music more of space than of time. 

The oil paintings of Tbe Fourree,, Stations, at the opposite end of the painters broad register of states 
of being, transfigure the here and now. the hellish and exhilarating confrontation with modern hfe ( am a 
modern painteO-within the "huge outer space, soulful and full of hope" of Ame, lea. I hus the Sutvm 



333 



provide an inventory of wordly lures, with all their frightful excesses (a sort of "panic" eros), but also, in my 
view, an intimation of possible escape, as through transformative action of, and on, spiritualized matter — 
matter invested with transmuting desire. This may have been a prevalently "Oriental" approach, originally, but 
also one that had Western hermetic counterparts — witness Paracelsus, Kepler, and even Newton — at the 
very beginning of our scientific revolution. Between these two approaches — which are also mediums (indigo 
dye, silver, and charcoal on paper and cloth, on the one hand, and oil and wax on linen on the other) — but in 
another sense at the root of all forms — the frescoes may be seen as standing for the "purgatorial" moment 
(this is, despite all, art catholica, i.e., universalis). They function as both a filter of pristine immediacy and a 
reservoir of archetypal elements that makes all other expressive experience possible, through classical 
memory — Pompeii, but also Villa Adriana; Rome as "door to the Orient" — and through the irrepressible 
reflections of Italian light. 

Between India's distensions of the spiritual body (which are just as contemporary as we are, the 
painter reminds us) and America's pragmatic tightening of the physical one, Italy functions as the eye of the 
hourglass, filtering one into the other. Two spaces and two time-frames stand side by side in The Indigo Room 
and The Fourteen Stations, perfectly self-contained, yet pressing at the boundaries to meet. The connection — 
osmotically, organically, almost bodily — is provided by the epidermal quality of the frescoes. Italian space- 
time shares traits with both the Indian and the American and here transmutes, through the immediacy of the 
medium, the inexhaustible inwardness of India into America's vast outwardness and freshness of gaze. 
Nothing is ever lost in such translations, but in each instance, the specific and intrinsic nature of the body's 
experience of different environments is quite evident in the temperature — and temper — of each of the rooms. 
If any medium can be said to be closest to Clemente's true nature (together with pastels and watercolors) it is 
certainly fresco: all the expressive strains of his work seem to come together in the simplest, most subtle way. 
In fact, each fresco in this exhibition could be said to make up a room by itself: the frescoes are about origins. 

A leitmotif of Hindu mythology that is startling in the face of our tragic, Greco-Semitic penchant tor 
rebelling against the dictates of fate is the deities' own full and lighthearted acceptance of the consequences of 
spells, sometimes spanning entire eons: no hell is forever ("Han, the Blessed Lord, sportive and gracious, 
accepted her curse" — Tulasidasa, Shriramacharitamanasa). Since blame is inevitably attached to all action — 
even ritual action (especially sacrifice) — destiny, even that of supernatural beings, is necessarily shaped by the 
consequences of those actions, and the sooner this karman is spent — as inevitably it must be — the better. Far 
from being a dark persecution, guilt is what makes it possible to take on the curse of living with joyous intent: 
'"No one is wise or foolish,' said the great Lord Siva with a smile" (ibid.). The descent of gods and heroes into 
hellish realms is not just an instance of paradise lost, nor a capricious or willful intrusion of the numinous 
irrational in human affairs, but constitutes a sacrificial act (karman), a human incarnation: "men who have 
committed crimes and have been punished by the sovereign go to heaven" (Mann Smrti, VIII, 318). 



Sacrifice implies subtraction, an act of diminishing — an important metaphor in Clemente's aesthetic- 
strategy. But there should be no confusion: Arte Povera is one thing; this art of impoverishment is quite 
another. It is not abstraction, but, rather, a game of subtraction, of adding by taking away. The way of the cross 
leads to a shedding and purification through suffering (dolore, an Italian word, whose resonances, Clemente 
has noted, are richer than those of any of its English equivalents). For a Westerner, this attenuation can only 
come of reason stripped bare — as in Marcel Duchamp's The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even 
(1915-23), and perhaps anticipated in Titian's late painting The Flaying of Marsyas (1575-76). It is so that 
painting asserts its diminished presence in the itinerary of the Stations. Unmoving movement is convulsive 
stillness, seeking somehow to reverse the order of desire, possibly toward a "Love that moves the sun and other 
stars," which concludes the Divine Comedy and shapes our consciousness. What the painter might seek, and 
what the viewer should find, is not a sense (aisthesis) of liberation, but the transmodern sense of a shifting 
place of origin; every step, every station, is the first and last in this vortex, a maelstrom animated by an eros 
that is enveloping and inevitable but also, in the end, joyous, soft, and welcoming. The deconstruction is 
within painting, but the painter is saved. 

An entire artistic generation has come and gone between the sensuous reductionism of Barnett 
Newman's Stations of the Cross (1958-66) — or the nihilism of Rothko's chapel — and Clemente's rooms. The 
difference is not one of abstraction versus representation, for a circularity of movement and stillness is 
apparent throughout. It is a question of metaphysical versus nonmetaphysical painting, or of a modern 
reinterpretation of the mythological. More accurately, one might see in the two forms distantly rehired 
manifestations of a common, post-metaphysical, search for "suehness." Whatever their immediate source, 
whether Italian, Indian, or American, Clemente's images often appear as forms-beforc-form in their willful 
roughness and immediacy. In Indian terms, they might be defined as kalpa representations, personal glimpses 
of finite yet infinitely recurring eons. In Italian terms, they digest and dissolve the classical. In the American 
perspective of a world empire (and an empire state) they reflect a new uncloseted expression of the daily 
encounters with the immediate perils and exhilaration of present life. 



Francesco Pellizzi 

I especially thank Gini Alhadeff for her invaluable help with my texts. 






Frescoes 



A fresco is done swiftly, before its supporting surface has a chance to dry (the opposite of oil paint, which 
needs a dry ground to take hold). That accounts for its air of freshness .\nd transparency of touch, horn 
ancient Roman walls to the Cappella Paolina. The nerve-racking process that makes the swiftness of execution 
possible goes unrecorded — very much as in the case of a great jazz virtuoso or an Indian traditional singer of 
ragas. The tension between the immediacy of improvisation and the groundedness ot the wall gives fres< i 
their special character. In Francesco Clemente's case, of course, thanks to a technique developed for him by an 
ingenious Roman restorer, frescoes do travel, and his hybrids of water, light, soil, and air ^\m transcend the site 
and float between continents. The chance effect that the painter cultivates in making his watercolors (the 
uneven spreading of diluted hues and their varying absorption into the paper's fiber) is reduced here to a 
spontaneous, yet always definitive gesture. No pentimento is possible, but the constriction is voluntary; the 
word fresco should not be confused with alfresco, which in Italian means "imprisoned." Self imposed 
"limitations"— technical, formal, of color, perceptual strategy, even of manner— define the work of the painter. 
So do ropes, laces, enclosures, scissors, etc., as well as groups of beings linked by ties oi desire and by 
ritualized (hence, theatrical) forms of pain and pleasure. A limitation and definition of color schemes and 
registers is also possible with fresco as well as other mediums (recently in oils) to tree the hand eak, 

and permit a great fluidity of form. That all refuge is a prison, yet that we cannot help seeking it, is a constant 
in the climate of Clemente's journey through painting. 

The discipline of technique is a mask that the painter impersonates, in each instance, imagining and 
interpreting the medium as a filter, what he has called a "distancing of the hand." His original use of the 
photograph, in the 1970s, which was connected to the approach to factura of his fellow-travelers Alighiero 
Boetti, who worked with traditional craftsmen, and Luigi Ontani, who disguised himself and "performed 
stereotypical impersonations. In employing such a specific re, hnique, the painter fully adopts it as a 
"mediation-which also happens to be the basic attitude that links Modernism to the traditional ■ , afts, and 
makes any true Modernist, including Clemente. a "primitivist." In a recent oil Untitled (19,8). the painter 
himself is shown holding his palette and pointing to a female model whose lace is covered by a red mask 

The precise planum, that goes into preparing tor the fresco demands perhaps a more rigorous clarity 
about specihe aesthetic and representational aims than tor any other medium. The group of frescoes presei 
here (which do not truly constitute a room, since they were painted at different cues an in different , , 
from Vriapea ( 1980, cat. no. 149) to those that were in Clemente's fresco exhibition at Madrid s Fundaaon 
Caja de Pensiones in 1987 (see cat. nos. 149-52). echo the playful daring of murals in Pompeian brothels as 
much as the formal sophistication of those gracing the walls ot Augustan palaces. 



RP. 







149. Pnapea, 1980. Fresco, 78 x L25 in< lies (200 x 319.5 cm). Colleccion of Dr. Erich Marx, Berlin. 



y^s/* 





a 



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i 



i 







150. Coi sentimenti insegna alle emozioni, L980. Fresco, three panels, L18 k 236 inches J00 n 600 cm) overall. 
Private collection, courtesy Galerie Bruno Bischofberger. Zurich. 



Bodily changes follow directly the perception of the exciting fact, and . . . our feeling 
of the same changes as they occur is the emotion. 
— William James 

In Coi sentimenti insegena die emozioni (1980. cat no. 150). at the top of the left panel, are la civetta e il 
coniglio, the owl and the rabbit: one who sees in the dark, one who acts in fear. These are symbols, and, as 
such, contradictory: the owl is blinded by the sun and attacked by inoffensive, vocal larks; the lecherous and 
prolific rabbit lives in fear of its own vitality. What is the rabbit's wisdom, what is the sensuousness of the owl? 
Are the zig-zags behind the owl flashes of lightning (insight), and the crosses behind the rabbit a reference to 
keeping some kind of score? That might relate to the bright yellow field beneath, in which the subject is 
immersed; does it hint at their common source of jealousy and curiosity? It is as if Francesco Clemente's 
identity could only be established when his hands are tied and every opening of his body is being touched 
(obstructed?). But Who is he? There is also a gentleness to the erotic theme here as elsewhere. As the painter 
said, "I am as interested in small wounds as I am in big wounds. It relates to the idea of fragments, emotional 
fragments, fragments of time, fragility, softness." 

Between the "physis" of feeling and emotional "metaphysis" — a remembered sensation — lies the 
image of the body-as-presence. Tactility is the preeminent "feeling." Sensation-as-feeling becomes the 
substance of emotion — not as depicted, though, but through a sort of tactful evocation: a painting about 
touch as much as one to be touched by — and painting, particularly fresco, is eminently a form of touching, 
priere de toucher. 



RP. 



The enigma of beginnings, of nascent form, lies buried deep in the sea. The sign, the gesture of the hand, is 
like a calligraphic evocation of being and non-being, of forgotten and unforgotten origins. The horizon, 
symbol of our final room, terra incognita, unites and separates all shapes and colors. Eros reverts to an airy, 
watery ground, basic and nurturing. 

In Francesco Clemente's Maternal (1986, cat. no. 151), there seems to be a clockwise progression 
from the flower — a generative form in nature — to pure shapes. (Or is it due to the eye's habits? It is hard to 
forget Piet Mondrian's "vanishing" tree.) These shapes retain a sensuousness — a sort of hollow 
concreteness — that is almost Chinese: "Form comes to life before ideas." Stella Kramrisch told the painter. 
There may be an affinity, here, with the use of certain found materials, surfaces, and shapes by Brice Marden 
(and the influence may work both ways). 

The meditative atmosphere of Maternal is split between the yantralike geometries below and the 
dreamlike visions above. In the faint landscape of body parts floating above, the surface of the painting 
seems pierced from the back (a distancing device that may also remind us of Keith Hanng's work), as it to 
point to a physical connection between painting and space-time before, and after, painting. Or perhaps, in 
another sense, this points to painting and life as one, at least in the realm that many traditional cultures refer 
ro as dreams or the "soul world," which is that of a parallel awareness having little to do with ordinary dreams. 



F. P. 



J43 





■J 




N - 



50 



J 







1 



C^Jl* 




151. Maternal, 1986. Fres< o, three panels, 1 18 x 236 'A inches (301 x 600.1 cm) overall. 
Stephanie Seymour Brant, courtesy The Brant Foundation, Greenwich, Connecticut. 





152. Honey, Silver, Blood, 1986. Fresco, three panels, 78 '/. x 236 '/« inches (200 x 600 cm) overall. Contemporary Art Fundacio "la Caixa," Barcelona. 






Honey, silver, blood — nourishment, speed, libation. Quicksilver as clair de lune. Purgatory and yoga, a realm 
between the honey-gold of eternity and immortality (sweet transmutation), and the regenerative infernal 
powers (sacrificial reincarnations). But the horsefly stings the heavens while the breasts, mouth (oscula), and 
tongue [non dixit) may magically take us there: "e risalimmo a vedcr Ic stelle." The only way out. symbolically, is 
to follow the spiral movement suggested by this uplifting well. 

Classical memories, such as those of monochrome stucco panels of Roman villas, are transformed in 
Francesco Clemente's Honey, Silver, Blood (1986, cat no. 152) by an expansive modulation of Indian hues. 
Here, color, in all its luscious understatement, represents the quintessence of the wall. This wall "moves" (and 
is movable) like a screen: paravento, in Italian, a barrier to drafts in a room. Vertical streaks and "hinges" 
articulate the panels in a deceptively simple hanging of color curtains. One might recall the floating decorations 
on the tents of Central Asia, but here the abstraction is both countered and enhanced by a heraldry of female 
body parts, like banners of a depersonalized eros (a post-Surrealist reinterpretation of Indian yantras). Yet 
space is also enclosed. How is one to enter such a place, to inhabit such a room? The only doors are emblems of 
soma: the body of desire subsumed into archetypal fields, and into impersonal moments. 



EP. 



Francesco Clemente's Meaning oj Sacrifice (1989, cat. no. 153) is closely related to Honey, Silver, Blood (1986, 
cat no. 152) but also, despite great differences in color register and imagery, to the earlier Cot sentimenti 
insegna alle emozioni (1980, cat no. 150). It could be subtitled "repetition as contrition," because of the 
prominence of the sacrificial-erotic theme. Excess may be hinted at (there are, after all, less human figures than 
there are duck bodies and heads!), and so too its Augustiman counterpart, penitence, another form of sacrifice 
(note that the male organs are cut off by the painting's edge). 

Though the connection between the altered spiritual states of Western (and Ea < etic practices 

and the experience of rechanneling and sublimating sexual energies— more developed in the Indo-1 ibei in 
tradition— is obviously familiar to the painter, one should not interpret the content of any of his paintii 
religious. What appears particularly relevant here is that, as in most religions, pleasure is an issue 



RP. 



J49 




153. Meanmg of Sacrifice. 1989. Fresco, three panels. 118 ■ 2^ inches (301 x 604.5 cm) overall. Collection of Francesco and Alba Clemenre. New Yorl 




The Fourteen Stations 

Our oneiric being is one. It continues in the light of day 

the experience of the night. 

— Gaston Bachelard, The Air and the Dreams 

On the tide-page of the original catalogue for The Fourteen Stations (Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 
1983), Francesco Clemente drew the black-and-white image of a clock surmounted by two Janus-head 
donkey profiles, one with eyes shut, the other with eyes open. The hands of the clock are represented 
by what looks like a male sexual organ; here is movement, desire, looking forward and backward, 
sensing, through memory, recurrent deaths and rebirths. The cycle announces itself at first as dumb 
time plodding along through stations— sites at which action, and time itself, have stopped, transfixed 
in the stillness of the room. 

The ancient voyage ad injera entailed a confrontation with shadowlike creatures — diaphanous 
emanations of departed bodies forever reenacting the entrapments of their existence; the shadow 
images of modern souls, as in Gogol, are but numbers locked in vacuous, formless permutations. This 
room is a place in which such spirit concretions — after appearing and vanishing in the studio — are 
reevoked. Disposition (Aristotle's Diathesis) is a condition of emotional receptivity, corresponding to 
a specific situation, in which physical states are evaluated in relation to higher intellectual functions. 
In this room, the disposition is like that of someone awakening from a dream (perhaps not always a 
pleasant one) — or of returning from a trancelike state. It is the stanza as "space of the soul," in which 
time is both the memory and site of the everlasting present, as in Martin Heidegger's version of Saint 
Augustine: "In you, my soul, I measure time ... I measure the feeling-of-myself in present existence" 
(The Concept of Time). 

The harsh impact of progress through The Fourteen Stations, the way the images always seem to 
break the very aesthetic habits into which they have lured us, is achieved by cultivating imperfections. 
These demand our attention, so that, as in Sukracharya's precept, their "defects" may "constantly be 
destroyed by the power of the virtue of the worshiper." At one time, love and faith signified a 
surrender to ultimate Imperfection, the via dolorosa of resurrection. Today, an orphic voyage, 



and a pilgrim's progress, might be no more than a "voyage to the end of night," although it could 
be — as Fernando Pessoa, wearer of many masks, once wrote — that "this Night is light" (Fiat Lux). 
Certainly, in these paintings, the analogical play between the forms of the world (matter, reality) and 
those of emotion (spirit, soul) still points to the workings of true experience, to an initiation. 
In the words of one of Clemente's favorite poets: 

Being no longer human, why should I 

Pretend humanity or don the frail attire? 

Men have I known and men, but never one 

Was grown so free an essence, or become 

So simply element as what I am. 

The mist goes from the mirror and I see. 

Behold! the world of form is swept beneath — 

Turmoil grown visible beneath our peace, 

And we are that are grown formless, rise above — 

Fluids intangible that have been men, 

We seem as statues round whose high -risen base 

Some overflowing river is run mad, 

In us alone the element ot calm. 

— Ezra Pound, "Paracelsus in Excelsis," Personae 



FP. 

Unattributed quotations in the following entries are statements bj Francesco Clemente Man, of the al, he ,1 reference, ma, be 

found in Lyndy Abraham, A DM «,* U* u ' ambridge: Cambridge Universir, P mdthealche, dsrudie, 

of C. G. Jung; -ill of these writings are well known to Clemente. 







154. The Fourteen Stations I, 1981-82. Oil and wax on linen. 77 ■■ , x 88 inches (198 x 223.5 cm). Private collection, loan to the exhibition in memory of Thomas Amman 



Quaterna. "Others act as if the world were a 'paradise' of which they must reveal the hidden horrors, I 
see it more as a hell, of which I must uncover the blessings." Beginning and end, and the end within the 
beginning. Volcanic prima materia embracing nigredo, and incandescence holding the gaping treasure of 
albificatio: the great, moonlike whitening effected by mercurial waters and by fire. Like an alembic, the exotic 
world holds the "water of life" that "whitens the body" and purifies it (Arcephius). But sulphur (i.e., the devil 
and fire) is a fundamental aspect or prima materia, its male principle in our Western alchemical tradition (opu< 
alchetnicum) and, fundamentally, its form, and that tension between form and formlessness (again, mercury) is 
ominously depicted here. 

In The Fourteen Stations I (1981-82, cat. no. 154), the selva oscura — an almost Gauguin-like setting 
in which Francesco Clemente himself has become the primitive — forms a devilish cave for the containment of 
light, in which the four elements (air, fire, earth, water) are conjoined around the "white foliated earth" 
(Michael Maier, Atalanta Fugiens). Yet, if the transmuting forces are awakened, we arc still within die furnace. 

I join these works for four people, 

Others may overhear them, 

O world, I am sorry for you, 

That you do not know those four 

— Ezra Pound, "Causa," Personae 



F.P. 



355 



Uroboros. And then there were three. If we proceed with an alchemical reading, after the four figures 
of The Fourteen Station I (1981-82, car. no. 154), the three women in Francesco Clemente's The Fourteen 
Stations II (1981-82, cat. no. 155) may be seen as standing for the three primary principles [tria prima) of 
Paracelsus — salt (the body), sulphur (the soul), and mercury (the spirit) — linked into what the great 
alchemist-scientist called circular work (opus ciculatorium): through the cycle of "melting and coagulating" 
(solve et coagula), of separation and union, endlessly reiterated, a unification or qualities is brought about. 
This "philosophical wheel," also a wheel of fortune, is inscribed within the rectangular painting as a sort 
of "squaring of the circle," and its aim, through a "shifting of the elements" (George Ripley), would be the 
attainment of ultimate harmony, or, more precisely, peace — as in John Donne's description of "elements and 
passions living at peace." Peace is the joining of opposing principles that results from this opus, a resurfacing of 
the ancient archetype of the cosmic serpent biting its own tail (Uroboros). 

Unlike the uniform whiteness of two figures in The Fourteen Stations I, permutation is reflected in the 
changing colors of the three women in The Fourteen Stations II, with a rainbowlike effect; in alchemical terms, 
this would be a movement toward the perfect whiteness of the albedo, perhaps descending from the painting's 
upper right-hand corner. There are, of course, many other possible readings of the three women, whirling 
against a stormy sky; formally they look somewhat like those Tiepolesque apparitions that grace so many of 
the ceilings and cupolas in Venetian villas. Their realism, even garishness, is a perfect disguise for their 
archetypal trinitarian resonance. Multicolored desire above and below; look up! 



F.P. 




.s,^w, ee „s ttt ,o„ ! „,,s 1 - 8 ,.o,u„ d ^o„„no,;; ..■.-d-.O-.ms-O.P ——.' —- « '"' T "*" 




156. The Fourteen Stations III, 1981-82. Oil and wax on linen, 77 '*/» x 92 'Vie inches (198 x 236 cm). Private collection, loan to the exhibition in memory of Thomas 



hAona Lisa. At least since the fabled journey of Gilgamesh to the Western land of death, entering the ancestors' 
time and space has marked the initiation into higher existence. A landscape with a winding mountain path, 
framed by a Renaissance-like window in the background, as in Francesco Clemente's The Fourteen Stations III 
(1981-82, cat. no. 156), may remind us of our search for, and encounter with, shadows. In many traditional 
cultures, funerary remains were literally consumed, then carefully polished (only theatrically so in our Baroque 
ossuaries); here, skulls are almost devoured, becoming ornaments ol the mouth in the form of golden, 
intarsioed teeth. (There are thirteen skulls, as many as there are levels in the Mayan dream world, but this may 
just be coincidental.) The self-portrait close-up, though suffused with a symbolist aura, clashes with the 
impersonality of the skulls. Yet, they seem almost alive — in the color reflections around their teeth, for 
instance — while the subject is half lost in a hypnotic state, like a python digesting. Where, in all this, is the Ego 
in its transformative journey? And where arc we and where is Clemente — within the limits of his body, or 
outside of them? Are we, and he, to (re)enter their precincts? 

To see close up can be chaotic (as Hugo von Hofmannsthal's character, Lord Chandos, condemned 
to see microscopically, fnghteningly attests), and chaos is associated with the dark beginnings of any opus 
alchymicum. In alchemy, the dead head (caput mortuum) is both the "residue" and the "symbol ol the initial 
stage of the opus, the black nigredo, during which process the old form ... is 'killed.' dissolved into the prima 
materia or original stuff of creation" (Lyndy Abraham). But here a certain redness of the subject and its 
surroundings would seem to indicate that there is life and regeneration in this encounter with death, as in 
the alchemist's ]ourney where rubedo indicates the final stage of transformation: "sublimation . . calcination 
(the skulls], rubification" (John Lily. Gallathea). The operation stood for the resurrection of the body into 
immortality, but also for being bloodied; the life of the white soul, vivified by its conjunction with the spirit, 
is in its inner redness. 



F.P. 



359 



Spoils. The ever- increasing concentration on an image of the self can be seen, historically, as the expression of 
art's progressive journey inward. It is also, in another sense, a feminization of representation, as the old fighter 
and hunter turns in on himself, examining his own existential condition. (But are we really sure that those 
reclusive geniuses who painted our Paleolithic caves were not women? How better to while away the hours 
waiting tor a bison entrecote or a leg of gazelle?) Self-mutilation— in fact, castration— was the supreme 
ecstatic gesture for devotees of certain Great Mother cults of antiquity, which may also have included sacred 
whores — anc J t heir lineage also connects ro chat of extreme ascetic practices of the desert outcasts of early 
Christianity. 

The animal of the hunter was sacrificed in c^'xgy, deep in mountain recesses, as though the prey 
should not see what was done to its image, and to its soul, forever transformed into a vividly fleeting shadow. 
The shedding of mortal spoils in life is one of the themes of Francesco Clemente's The Fourteen Stations. In 
particular, it is the image in The Fourteen Stations IV (1981-82. cat. no. 157)— the shadow skin, the clothing, 
or the mask — that is sacrificed, while Nandi, Siva's bull, prances across a stormy end-of-the-world landscape. 
One may be reminded of Michelangelo's quasi-anamorphic semblance as disembodied, or flayed, skin, held up 
by Saint Bartholomew in The Last judgment (1534-41), and perhaps echoed by Titian's The Flaying of 
Marsyas (1575-76), in which the grieving Midas represents the painter himself: self-portrait as a painful 
distancing from the worldly self. 



F. P. 




157. TV Fourteen Stations IV, 1981-82. Oil and wax on linen, 77 x 88 inches (198 x 225 cm | P. ivatc < olleccion, loan to the exhibition in memor, of I homas Ammann 




158. The Fourteen Stations V, 1981-82. Oil and wax on linen, 92 inches (198 x 234 cm). Private collection, loan to the exhibition in memory of Thomas Ammann. 






Ockham. The cat has nine lives — many too are chose or desire. Light and darkness, water and air, duality and 
self-sufficiency. Sanskrit logicians are masters at splitting hairs into inhnitcsim.il threads; if you do it long and 
rigorously enough, all distinctions are ultimately effaced. The cat has a long tail | Is it also .1 sad one, like that of 
the mouse in Alice's wonderland? Animal post coition triste, said the philosopher.) But in Francesco Clemente's 
The Fourteen Stations V (1981-82, cat. no. 158), the cat is cut in half, and all redness is flowing out of it. 
Ockham's razor calls for simplicity — "entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem" (plurality should not be 
posited unnecessarily) — and images are multiplications of reality of sorts; two hall-cats are less, nor more, than 
one whole car 

The top of the painting cuts off the sub|ect*s head, yet playfulness will not make one lose one's hea< 
Rumi sang, "ask the severed head the secrets of the heart'' (Diwan Shans-i Tdbrizi). 1 In- alchemist Van 
Melmont reportedly did it by experimenting with certain witches' herbs. For Stephane Mallarme, tin- 
experience is referred back to John the Baptist (significantly. .\n androgyne in Leonardo da Vinci's famous 
depiction), whose overflowing and boiling blood, the origin of all desire, like that from the head of Raktabija, 
held up by Kali as she couples with Siva, signifies the rising sun oi "clarity, intensity, and pe; 



RP. 






Creche. The reclining tree. here, is not quite an arbor inversa, as in the alchemical figure signifying 
nourishment from above, or from a bottle of virgins milk. like the one kept by Athanasius Kircher in his 
personal museum— another ofalchemys innumerable images of mercurial water. With its look of a discarded 
Christmas tree in a heap of snow, it evokes the truncated tree, symbol, once more, of the dark labor of nigredo, 
in which the worker confronts death, his own and that of the Object of his work, as the prima materia is 
buried and becomes subject to "putrefaction" (Lyndy Abraham). 

The bright red balls in Francesco Clemente's The Fourteen Stations VI (1981-82, cat. no. 159) are 
there as a sign of hope, without which there is no surviving the noche oscura, and the flood of whiteness 
engulfs the spotted hide of an enticing and fearsome leopardess. This painting, which reminds us of Dante's 
own symbol of lechery— "c non mi si partia dinanzi al volto" (she would not pull back from before my face)— 
reappears in later works by Clemente. In this midwinter night's dream, though, the whitening light at the 
center, as in many of The Fourteen Stations, supplies raw energy to the whole sacred representation, and this is 
an indication, in my view, that it is not a Manichaean struggle that is being depicted. Is that the painter's own 
face, barely visible within the vulva-shaped opening at the center? 

The tree has entered my hands, 

The sap has ascended my arms, 

The tree has grown in my breast — 

Downward 

The branches grow out of me, like arms. 

Tree you are. 

Mob you are, 

You are violets with wind above them. 

A child — so high — you are, 

And all this is folly to the world. 

— Ezra Pound, "A Girl," Ripostes 



FP. 




l». Ih W,„„ S , fl ,„„ s n 1981 . 82 . 0l| and wa , on | , „ , 88 „,, hl . % | ,98 . 22 1.5 a. M «< ■ ^tion, ta . A. «U* , .or, d I ». * - 







160. The Fourteen Stations VII, 1981-82. Oil and wax on linen. 7~ .. 89 in< hes ( 198 x 228.5 cm). 

I'i ivace collection, loan to th« exhibition in memory of 'I I imann. 



Breathing. In or out? Big fish and small fish always find each other. The spot of whiteness makes it all rather 
distant, and yet so present; the goal is not forgotten. Three nipples around water flowing from the lips— or is 
it being sucked back through them? Inhale and exhale. And so we reach the stage of ablution, also called 
mundification, which might be seen as the breathing in and out of all the water of the seas — as in the Chinese 
tale of the little fisherman. Water into air, soul into spirit, receptivity into meditation; the thought of 
awakening is entertained. 

"Some alchemists say that, during or after washing or whitening the blackened earth or body of the 
stone at the ablution, there appear pearls or fishes' eyes in the vessel. It is the appearance in the dark solution 
of the spark or light of pure consciousness. . . . Then the work is complete in the first part" (Benjamin Lock, 
"His Picklock to Ripply His Castle"). 

The white splash in Francesco Clemente's The Fourteen Station* VII (^ 1981 —82, cat. no. 160) is like a 
bright sun opposite the barely visible blue crescent moon, but it is also a distancing device in relation to both 
the iconographical content of the painting and the picture plane, providing a counterpoint ro the wide. 
somewhat vacuous pool of the subject's eyes. Despite their realism, the eyes are asymmetrical, looking in 
different directions and with different expressions. Yet we have come a long way from the piercing blindness of 
the subject's eyes in The Fourteen Station* III (1981-82, cat. no. 156). Meister Eckhardc comes ro mind: 
"When detachment reaches its zenith, by knowledge it is made unknowing, by love, not-loving" [On 
Detachment). Or Ezra Pound, not long before his death: 

But to live as flowers reflected, 

as moonlight, 

free from all possessiveness in affections 

but, as Chu says, egoistical. 

— Pound, "Canto 99," Throno 



F.P. 






Suspension. Lazarus redivivus. Excrement, crumpled sheers, and vermin. Painring is not resurrection, bur 
description cannot kill the painring either. Equivalence between curiosity and voluptas; pleasure is the force 
that opens the doors of the body, does lr also cause the transfusion of soul and spirit that points to a 
transcendence of the body? The deceptions of pleasure, transformed into bittersweet memories, may lead ro 
higher understanding. In our inverted materialistic world, the sweet carnal fruit has fulfilled the deceitful 
promise of Eve's apple, though perhaps the gift of knowledge has been lost. 

Levitation in a white and black field. Lightness above, darkness below; what goes up, must come 
down; humility in detachment. In Francesco Clemente's The Fourteen Stations VIII (1981-82, cat. no. 161). it 
is as if the male, the spirit (C. G.Jung's "animus"), the androgynous child, rises up despite being trampled by 
the leftover marks of the soul's uncontrolled affections. But amma also activates the energy centers of being, 
suggested by the woman's shoes distributed over the body, placed roughly at Hindu chakra sites. 

Distillation and sublimation are equivalent in alchemy, and spiritual sublimation, according to all 
traditions, is a journey rhar must be rooted in filth and darkness. This is the alchemist's putrefactio, which also 
appears, to dramatic effect, in the Baroque sermons or John Donne. Rabelais, on the orher hand, gives a 
hilarious description of an alchemical "kingdom of the quintessence": "I saw one calcinator artificially 
exrracring farts from a dead donkey. . . . Another was putrefying . . . abstractions" (Pantagruel, 651). 
In The Fourteen Stations VIII, we can once more find nigredo below — the nocturnal mice and excrement: 
"The faeces ... are the dross and terra dannata" (Artephius) — but also the material of the alchemist's 
pharmaka, potions for worldly aims. In the same vein, the blood-stained, crumpled sheets may stand for both 
the vet unclean matter of the (philosophical) stone, which must be washed and dried at the ablution (see 
The Fourteen Stations VII, 1981-82, cat. no. 160) to attain the pure white matter of the albedo (i.e., the 
"body" of the stone; note the whiteness of the levitating body) now ready to receive the imprint of form 
(rhe spirit of the stone), and "the staining of the white sheets with the red blood of the precious red elixir or 
tincture" (Lyndy Abraham). 



FP. 



161. The Fourteen Stations VIII 1981-82. Oil and wax on linen, 77 »/■ x 92 »/. inches (198 x 236 cm) 
Private collection, loan to the exhibition in memory of Thomas Ammann. 




162. The Fourteen Stations IX, 1981. Oil and wax on linen, 77 'Vie x 92 ini hes (198 x 236 cm). Private collection, loan to the exhibition in memory of Thomas Ammann 



Beginnings. Closeness can come in many ways, as between the evanescences of odor (never twice) and the 
rigidity of shadow (never again). What is the magic of the moment? Aura and persona, soul and mask; yet 
something is fishy here! Early hunters may have started washing so as to hotter sneak up on their prey. In 
"high" civilizations, the extreme, dandyesque disregard for bodily-care of the sannyasin/world-renouncers- 
our saintly odore dt santita—hts well with a tripartition of being: the solar body (object of desire!; the shadow 
(the soul and language); and in between the two, perhaps as an evocation of the marriage of sun and moon, of 

male and female, the "tingeing arcanum that "has the power to bring wisdom to the heart of man." the volatile. 

mercurial substance of spirit, "whose rejoining with the purified body of the Stone constitutes the 

culminations of the opus" (Lyndy Abraham). 

In Francesco Clementes The Fourteen Station IX (1981-82. cat. no. 162), there is. once again, black. 

white, and red. mediated by gold, but still separate, with the evocation of the alchemists stinking gumme, 

proceeding from the unclean body in the hrst distillation. The whole play of body-soul-spirit is immersed in a 

green-gold field that may evoke a germinating and transformative condition which, like the alchemical green 

lyon," is "multiplicable, spermatids and not yet perfected by nature" (St. Dusten 



F.P. 









Jonah. I see Francesco Clemence's The Fourteen Stations X (1981-82, cat. no. 163), this complex and central 
painting, as providing a sort of cosmology of transition: the Great Goddess— a Western Kali— the subject 
subsumed (but not subjugated) within her. with flaming hair (Pentecost), the compass held out in the egg- 
shaped, distant azure (for Paracelsus, the "arcane substance"; for Thomas Vaughan, the "body of heaven"), the 
vessels on the left, navigating dark waters, and a whaler on the right, with its open womb, ready to receive 
Jonah, the twice-born traveler. It all amounts to an unsettled and unsettling stream or worldly and other- 
worldly emblems that are not easy to navigate; "child's play" (ludus puerorum), or "woman's work" (ars nostra est 
ludus puerorum cum labor mulierum), turns "undermost that which before was uppermost," the hard (body) 
into soft (spirit), while the soft spirit, in turn, is "congealed into form" (Lyndy Abraham). 

The Fourteen Stations X depicts within its strong horizontal/vertical four-part divisions, a harmony in 
disorder that comes together in spite of itself (confro voglia). It does so through an obstinate, obsessive pursuit 
of imbalance, which might also be traced to alchemical imagery — notably, in the progression from the "white 
king" to the "ruby king" ("a little island in the middle of a feminine ocean"; "what is feminine includes 
what is masculine"), or in the "incest" between the red man and the white woman, which is one metaphor for 
the chemical wedding that must produce the all-transforming stone of wisdom. But it is the gesture itself, 
both as depicted and in depiction, that manages to juggle everything in a vertiginous swirl and yet also convey 
an uncannily serene vision. 



F.P. 




163. TJ>e Fourteen Stations X. 1981-82. Oil and wax on 



linen,77 «92 inches (198 x 236 cm). Private 



collection, loan to the exhibition in memory of Thomas Ammann. 




164. The Fourteen Stations XI. 1981-82. Oil and wax on linen, 77 M 92 inches (198 x 236 cm). Private collection, loan to the exhibition in memory of Thomas Amm.mn 



See no evil. And then there were five. Eye thar sees and eye chat is seen; piercing eye and eye transfixed. 
Witchcraft and fame, and foresight (as in the all-embracing gaze of the shaman). The shadow is the body — a 
nocturnal constellation of innumerable eyes. Night prevails in The Fourteen Stations, as it did in the lire of 
Francesco Clemente at the time that he painted them. The alchemists work is also mostly nocturnal, and the 
soul-spirit conjunction of the opus may be seen to spring from Clemente*s analogous experience in the form of i 
handheld lotus flower. The left hand may indicate the via oscura, the tantric way of Hindo-Tibetan traditions. 

There are five bodies in The Fourteen Stations XI (1981-82, cat. no. 164), and it is tempting to think 
of the Grand Oeuvre: "Gerhard Dorn stated that the quintessence was needed for the purification and 
preparation of the body. The purified body or caelum became the corpus glorificatum, a substance capable of 
being united with the already united soul and spirit, in the final coniunctio or chemical wedding of the opus, 
[and one must combine] the four contrary elements into an integrated, harmonious whole," .in effect of the 
opus circolatorium, a circular movement that is evident in this painting. Lyndy Abraham also evokes Isaac 
Newton's statement that "quintessence is a thing that is spiritual, penetrating, tinging, and incorruptible, 
which emerges anew from the four elements when they are bound to each other.' 

The classical positioning of the main figure (reminiscent of a Bernini river god on a Roman fountain , 
the central cluster of intertwined bodies, and the agro romano pine trees in the distance convey the feeling that 
the modern alchemist/painter is somehow being supervised in his work and is not quite free to act alone. 



F. P. 



375 



Deposition. It is mysterious, and momentous, how duality reemerges from the expression of quintessence— 
the end is also the beginning. Now the spiritual body is worn, so to speak, outwardly, looking somewhat like a 
fallen idol from Easter Island, while the heart rests tranquil in its duplicity whose symmetry is never absolute, 
or the eternal generative cycle would be stilled. "Between Winterreise and Nativity," says Lyndy Abrahams 
Clangor Buccinae, "the sublime Body [of the Stone] . . . [will] ascend most purely, like Snow, which is our pure 
Quintessence." The ultimate albedo, which the alchemists represented as a "landscape . . . cold, white, still and 
silver under the illumination of the moon," may have been reached. It is in such a landscape that the twin 
brothers, the adelphoi, "burn" as "Asiatic male twins," their union forming "one perfect whole" (Abraham). 

In Francesco Clemente's The Fourteen Stations XII (1981-82, cat. no. 165), as in The Fourteen 
Stations I (1981-82, cat. no. 154), a foursome, but here their arrangement is as different as their transformed 
nature. The soulful, white female head rests on the knees of a dark male while the devils have become the 
twins within; in Paracelsus's words, "Tis dissolved by itself, coupled by itself, and conceives by itself" 
(Aurora). Incest is traditionally represented as that of mother and son, which may be sublimated, in The 
Fourteen Stations XII, as a reversal of the Deposition. A Western, hyperborean Parvati rests her head on the 
knees of a melancholic, brooding Siva. The natural, spiritual order is reversed— albedo below, nigredo above- 
but hope swirls through the darkness in luminously white snowflakes, and the reversal may also be an 
invitation to move around the room — perhaps in the opposite direction? — one more time: "d'opra non star, se 
dije non se sciolto" (Cino to Dante). 



EP. 




165. The Fourteen Stations XII. 1981 



, tniii „ Q9 uuhcs (198 x 236 cm 

-82. Oil and wax on linen, 77 /i. x */ '»<■»« v 



pi iv (u . coUecrionj loan t0 thc exhibirion in memory of Thomas Ammann. 



Self-Portrait 

Each consciousness must emigrate 
And lose its neighbour once. 
— Emily Dickinson 

Rembrandt may have invented the self-portrait as disguise: exteriorization through fancy dress. Francesco 
Clementc brings a new use to portraiture; through his innumerable self-portraits, it becomes clear that he may 
have intended from the start to dissolve his own image, both his presence as person (persona: mask) and as 
artifact. Repetition is not meant to affirm but to weaken any illusion of continuity: "For I do not exist: there 
exist but the thousand mirrors that reflect me. With every acquaintance I make, the population of phantoms 
resembling me increases. Somewhere they live, somewhere they multiply. I alone do not exist. ... A fetus in 
reverse, my image, too, will dwindle and die within that last witness of the crime I committed by the mere fact 
of living" (Vladimir Nabokov, The Eye). In the Christian reading of Self-Portrait (1982, cat. no. 166), personal 
existence is not a crime to be expiated in a binary relation to the transcendent, but a moment in the circular 
movement of an epiphanic and healing Trinity. Self-sacrifice is only one of the transmuting vehicles, and 
compassion starts at home. 

As we look further, there is something disquieting about the iconography of the image. Is the shape of 
the crucified animal that of a frog: Or, perhaps the memory of a woman's body, or (not mutually exclusive) of 
an alter ego? Certainly, the factura of this portrait-mask accentuates a sense of extraneousness: the odd, 
asymmetrical nostrils, the bright, parrotlike shadow beneath the left eye, the quadripartition of the face (close- 
up as microcosm), the whites of the eyes overflowing their confines (a Matissean device). The subject hovers 
between the figures of cross and amphibian, mediators from opposite worlds: "Perhaps he will think with a bit 
of melancholy that Greek mythology does not know the word 'resurrection'" (Zbignicw Herbert, "Antaeus"). 
It all makes one wonder whether the experience of the Crucifixion, in a Blakeian echo, has touched something 
as deep and phylogenetically remote as the murderous neural strains that humans share with serpents. 
"Yes, he thought, between grief and nothing, I will take grief" (William Faulkner, The Wild Palms). 

O strange face there in the glass! 

O ribald company, O saintly host, 

O sorrow-swept my fool, 

What answer? O ye myriad 

That strive and play and pass, 

Jest, challenge, counterlie! 

I? I? I? 
And ye? 

— Ezra Pound, "On his own face in a glass," Personae 



F.P. 




166. Self-Port ratt, 1982 



. O.l on linen, 40 x 34 inches (101.6 x 86.4 cm). Private collection, I 



The Indigo Room 



Night now! Tell me, tell me, tell me, elm! Night Night! Tell me tale of stem or stone. 
Beside the rivering waters, hither and thithering waters of. Night! 
— James Joyce, Fmnegan's Wake 

Many years ago, in a Madras garden, I saw thick, immaculate sheets of porous, handmade Pondichcrry paper 
being dipped again and again into basins filled with indigo ink. Gigantic overhanging trees shaded the 
operation in dappled green. As the blue deepened, sapphire drips speckled Francesco Clemente's dhoti and 
body. I didn't know then what would become of these color saturations, which drew their feci and technique 
from traditional handcrafted cloth dyeing, until years later, in Philadelphia, when I saw The Indigo Room 
(1983-84, cat. no. 167). 

Materials cohere in this room, where paper has the consistency of papier-mache and cloth the 
gauzelike delicacy of weavings produced by Gandhi cooperatives. The whole space is like an enveloping sari, 
and its modulated dominant hue reminds me of the old indigo cloaks of Dogon men in Mali and wraparound 
skirts of Mayan women in Mexico. Here, there is hiding and revealing, with elegance as the overriding theme. 
This is the realm of rasa, where the test, and taste, of seeing is believing. There is much sensuousness on th. 
walls; in traditional Indian aesthetic theory, rasafeule-literally, "filled with rasa -refers to the emotion of 
being "overcome with sexual passion" (J. Moussaieff Masson). 

And this is also a tantnc room, in which one is caught in a net of illusions ur also enticed to slip 
beyond appearances into the world of the unseen: "The wall oiM,, the wall of illusion, is not a wall bur ., 
net. And what is a net? Your eye focuses on the threads that block your vision, but ,1 you were to change locus. 
you would see the holes, the void." Through this "net; one perceives barely visible chains of sexually 
interlocked figures, faintly reminiscent of the reliefs oi Konarak in Orissa. 

In this softly resonatin* space. I am reminded of the poetically obsessive atmosphere m Satyajit Kays 
The Music Room (1958), where, in the end. music becomes a silent presence, associated With the 



F.P. 



381 




left and following six | 
167. The Indigo Room. 1983-84. Indigo dy< md silvei pieces on 123 sheets of handmade Pondicherq paper, foined with hand 

cotton strips, four parts, 148 'V.6 x 164 Vu inches (378 x 417 cm : 123 k235 inches (313 x 597 ci 235 inches (248 x 59 

147 | 163 inches (374 m 4 If cm). Como Group, courtesy Diego Cortez Aire. Ltd., New York. 



Books, Palimpsests, Collaborations 



The idea of collaboration in art is often viewed with mistrust by critics and audiences; it frustrates the impulse 
to identify and label, as well as the desire to elevate individual authorship. This prejudice overlooks thousands 
of years of actual practice by artists, from the times of ancient Greece and Rome to the Renaissance and after. 
In regard to production and the specialized division of labor, an artist's studio has as often resembled a small 
film set or a couturier's workshop as it has the solitary atelier of lore. In tune with the spirit of the past. 
Francesco Clemente has stated: 

I enjoy being part of a standard — that's exactly what I'm missing as a painter in the 

twentieth century. Everybody always says to me, "Do whatever you want to do." That's 

a terrible situation to be in. So it was a great relief and joy to hear someone in a Jaipur 

workshop say, "No, it must be this color." . . . The image is totally mine, but the craft 

I'm relating to is the craft that is used in the decoration of temples or for movie 

posters or souvenirs for the tourist trade. In India I never go to the museums, I go to 

the streets and look at all the things I like. The most beautiful things you see in India 

are the ones that only last for a day. I hate the whole authorship frenzy we have in the 

West. I don't believe in it, I don't care about it — how everything has to be known 

down to the last brushstroke. If you look at Mantegna, you know this man had some 

fourteen-year-old boy helping him, and they were modestly doing the best they could. 

And now Mantegna is up there with the immortals. But the reason why he's up there 

is because the work was done without flaw, modestly, to the craft. 1 

Throughout his career, Clemente has consistently worked against the notions of fixed identity that 

are denoted by a "signature" style. Diversity in mediums and execution is characteristic of his work. By using 

another person's sensibility as a tool — the way one might use a pencil or brush — Clemente at times exchanges 

his own view for that of another, in the process expanding his own thought. Wallace Stevens once asked, 

"What are the motives for metaphor?" Clemente's self-imposed task as an artist has been to seek out the needs 

and desires that give rise to metaphor, as well as to invite situations from which new motives might arise. In 

filtering his decision-making process through that of another, and in following pathways he would not have 

traveled otherwise, collaboration has been essential for him. 

Clemente's reticence to discuss the particulars of his collaborative efforts has less to do with any 
covertness of fabrication and more to do with a deep ambivalence toward dissecting the creative process: 
"I think painting is still about enjoyment and the more you know about it the less you enjoy." 2 To replace 
appreciation with analysis is something of a modern malady in art. Clemente belongs to the breed of artists 
who seek to guard mysteries and not unravel them. 

The germ of Clemente's penchant lor collaboration can be traced to the work of Alighiero Boetti: 
A great inspiration for me was certainly Boetti's work. Boetti was an extremely 
original, unique mind whose approach to the making of images was almost like a 
composer. He would orchestrate a certain process but he would not execute the work 
himself. He would find ways to have the work executed by other people in an 
anonymous way. He was traveling to the Orient, and I was traveling with him, and he 
was making works which were embroidered in Afghanistan. . . . That was a great 
inspiration to me, the wider feeling that this activity doesn't stop with you but rather 
extends away from you, away from your control and taste and sense of self.' 



.1 



Another early mentor was Luigi Ontani, whose wry and operatic imagination manifested itself in 
number of collaborations with artisans in India. By the end of 1977, Clcmcnte himself had completed a series 
of collaborative works in India, employing local craftspeople, including tinsmiths, clay and papier-mache 
model makers, billboard sign painters from the vast Indian film industry, and painters of miniatures. In the 
best of these works, one cannot tell where one hand leaves off and another begins. As Clcmente noted of the 
Tamil sign painters, "I was copying them and they were copying me." 4 It was also in 1977 that he began 
collaborating with C. T. Nachiappan of Kalakshetra Publications in Madras, and this has been perhaps the 
most fruitful and personally rewarding of all his collaborative relationships. Alike in temperament, both men 
tend to be taciturn, cryptic in their intentions, and somewhat fatalistic in their general outlook, although not 
without humor. The books produced by Nachiappan contributed to the early renown of Clemente's work. 
Long before I'd met the artist or seen his work in the flesh, I was acquainted with these publications and was 
struck by their otherworldly look, like fabulous travelogues from another time and place. 

In Italy, Clemente has enjoyed a long friendship with Claudio di Giambamsta. a skilled restorer 
or Renaissance paintings, whose expertise has aided the artist not only in the execution of a great number of 
frescoes but also in various centuries-old recipes for mediums, grounds, and pigments. But collaboration 
remains a fine line, and the results must ring true to the artist's sensibility. For over a dozen years, I have 
seen Clemente design and commission various work in Indian embroidery and fabrics, only to abandon the 
work midway or dispose of the results shortly after completion. At other times, he is motivated by a sense 
of preservation of craft, employing artisans, mostly in India, when the fashion or demand for their work 
nears extinction. 

When Clemente moved to America, his lifelong love of the writers of the Beat generation was 
suddenly actualized, and poems became a new type of canvas. Ovid's phrase "ut pictura poesis" (as poetry, so 
painting) may serve as a motto for Clemente's New York years. Almost daily contact with William Burroughs, 
Gregory Corso, Robert Creeley, Allen Ginsberg, Rene Ricard, and John Wieners made for a world as 
romantic and picaresque as anything out of John Aubrey's Brief Lives. In 1986, in New York, the painter and I 
cofounded Hanuman Books, a small press that has to date published fifty chapbooks. including all the above 
authors, as well as Cookie Mueller. Eileen Myles, Parti Smith, and others. Printed in Madras by Nachiappan. 
the project brought together the discrete worlds of Clemente's inspiration. In delving into the common roots 
of painting and poetry, Clemente has created a parable of connectedness for our divided age. one that may 
serve as an ethic and standard, as well as an aesthetic. 



Raymond Foye 

1. Francesco Clemente. conversation with Vishakha N. Desai \ ' ialleries, New Vo,k. Maj 

2. Ibid. 

3. Clemente. conversation with Robert Storr, 92nd Streei V New K>rk, Maj -» L995 

4 Clemente, interview with die author. August 7, 199 



J93 



If there is a single key to Francesco Clemenre's art, it is drawing. It underlies both his painting and thought. 
Line is where his sensibility exists in its purest form: tenuous, agile, penetrating. Possessing a potent, latent 
elegance. Clemenre's early drawings are akin to writing in their epigrammatical approach (see cat. nos. 2, 4, 5, 
7, 8, 168). Rarely exhibited at the time they were made, they were presented unframed, often laid in piles on 
the gallery floor. Like seeds, each drawing contained a germ oi thought that ultimately and voluptuously 
flowered into paintings, pastels, gouaches, and watercolors. These early notational studies are the aesthetic 
DNA, so to speak, of Clemente's later work. "Rome is the city of emblems, of grotesques and seals," 1 the 
artist has noted, and there is an archaic quality to these images, like ancient graffiti or an incised glyph on a 
seal or tomb. 

As with most of his colleagues, Clemente's artmaking activites in Rome in the 1970s took place along 
the lines of philosophical investigation: "The artists I knew didn't even keep studios in those days — it was 
such a metaphysical activity to be an artist." 2 Given that nearly all of his preceding works were photo-based 
conceptual installations, the early drawings represent a resolute reconciliation with the hand. In his 
reintroducnon of traditional materials, Clemente was determined to establish a territory of his own in relation 
to his contemporaries, but the visual thinking behind these works was very much a continuation of that 
"metaphysical activity." 



R.F. 



1. Francesco Clemente, quoted in "Conversation with Francesco Clemente, Danilo Eccher and Francesco Pellizzi." in Danilo Eccher, 
Francesco Clemente: Oft re tu carta, exh. cat. (Turin: Umberto Allemandi & C, 1999). p. 1 14. 

2. Clemente, conversation with Robert Storr. 92nd Street Y, New York, May 4, 1995. 




168. Wl,ether the Holes in the Body Are Nine or Ten, 1977. India ink on paper, 5 n 6 inches L4.3 x 16.7 cm). 
Offentliche Kunstsammlung Basel. Kupferstichkabinett, 1984.59. 



In The Bestiary of Christ (1943)— an exhaustive and near-hallucinatory work by the medievalist Louis 
Charbonneau-Lassay— nearly twenty pages are devoted to the many attributes of the swan, "noble bird par 
excellence." The fabled "swan song" sprang from the belief that this animal, solar charioteer of Greek, Norse, 
and Hindu myth, sang a melody of unspeakable beauty at the moment of its death. As with many symbols, 
double meanings proliferate, from Zeus's ravishment of Leda to the steadfast symbol of purity and courage in 
medieval heraldry. In our age, endangered species and their natural habitats are used by advertisers to sell 
everything from computers to gas-guzzling vehicles. 

Animals abound in Francesco Clemente's work. The fact that he is one of the few contemporary 
artists of note for whom animals have been an enduring subject is an example of how distanced air has 
become from traditional sources. From Pliny the Elder to medieval bestiaries to Matisse and Picasso, animals 
have been a ceaseless source of wonder for artists, a kind of ultimate metaphor for the sheer imaginativeness 
and improbability of God's creation. Certainly this awe is not lost on children, and in searching for subject 
matter Clemente had only to look around the studio to find his own children's toys scattered about. In 
Untitled (1974, cat. no. 170), the swan's image of fierce beauty retains its distance from the flotilla of bathtub 
toys that wallpaper the background. 

Simplicity of presentation is part of the charm of Untitled. In forms both noble and whimsical, it is a 
meditation on the persistence of natural beauty, which retains its grace in pure and debased forms. It is also a 
visual homily to the Buddhist adage that "things are symbols of themselves." And it is very much in keeping 
with Clemente's project in the 1970s of constructing an iconology of everyday life — to freeze musing thoughts 
or daydreams into images of permanence. 



R.F. 



169. Harl equ , n Close Up. 1978. Ink and colored pencil on mnc sheets of paper, mounted on linen, >9 ■ 25 inch* (99 7 . 65.4 c m). Sanders Collection, Amsterdam. 



597 



> 



a 



/s 



t 



\j 



%/ 



t 




r 







170. Untitled, 1974. Gouache, ink, and pencil on paper, moun 



ted on linen, 65 x ^4 inches (166 x 189 cm). Collection of Beat Curd. 



Twins arc a recurring motif in Francesco Clementc's work, as they are throughout mythology and history. Like 
all inhabitants of Rome, the artist lived under the city's titular gods, the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, 
whose balance, subsumed by rivalry, ended in destruction. As forms of natural replication, twins have always 
been intriguing to the traditional artist, whose very job description is to create a "double" of the original. Twins 
exist in all aspects of nature, and the presence of similar yet distinct entities heightens the mystery of creation, 
while at the same time introducing the disconcerting notion of nature as a masquerade. In the mineral world, 
twinned crystals form in identical, reversed position in relation to each other. The phenomenon of twin stars 
exists in cosmology, while in astrology the twins of Gemini arc a potent symbol of duality. Polarity is another 
variation of equivalence, whereby invisible attraction is dependent not on resemblance but opposition. 

Twins (1978, cat. no. 171) is an example of the emblematic power of Clemente's early drawings carried 
to a further stage of development. In a strange hieroglyph of orphic enchantment, a human hand forms the 
strings of the lyre shared by the paired figures. Roman signet rings— devices for affixing symbols of ownership 
in wax or clay— pattern the background. Enshrouding and revealing, it is an image that conjures the paradox 
embodied in the concept of twinning, which in Clemente's aesthetic is a metaphor for the condition of 
fragmentation and the yearning for unity. 



R.R 



171. Twins, 1978. Gouache, ink, and colored pencil on four sheers of paper, mounted on linen, 93 , 59 inches (236.2 x 149.9 cm). Sanders Collection, 



Amsterdam 



Among rhe more memorable works Francesco Clemente has made in India are those horn the miniature- 
painting workshops of Jaipur and Orissa. In Francesco Clemente Pinxit (1980-81, cat. no. 172), the artist took 
on a vast and ancient Tradition with a lightness of touch and whimsical detachment. In a contemporary way, 
Clemente availed himself of this tradition and adapted the pictorial aspects most integral to it: the 
architectonic division of the picture plane, a multifarious iconography that can be "read" as well as viewed, And 
a rhythmic grammar of ornament, employed at times with austerity and at rimes with a flourish. 

The gouaches that make up Francesco Clemente Pinxit depict a world in which all things in creation 
are animated, enmeshed in a web of private metaphors. Some are fablelike, involving animals, while others 
depict Bosch-like enterprises from a garden of bizarre delights. Obscure narratives and odd minutiae abound. 
In their finely focused detail, these vertically arranged landscapes might almost be Sienese of the fourteenth 
century were it not for the Mughal settings, which are occasionally intruded upon by contemporary artifacts: a 
kite, a telephone, a soccer field. Transformation is the overarching activity, with one form exchanging itself tor 
another. As Herman Hesse once observed, "India doesn't interpret symbols, it lives them."' 

As a Neapolitan. Clemcnte's love of the extravagant and fanciful comes as second nature. 
Paradoxically this side or his imagination was only fully awakened during his early life in India, where reality 
everywhere took on the semblance of a folktale as told by Italo Calvino. As folktales are largely about destiny, 
traveling from one's home in youth to be tested by the vicissitudes of strange fate was in part Clemente's own 
story when these works were made. The oral tradition of the folktale satisfied his mistrust for what is written 
down (i.e., fixed) and therefore betrayed. Often when making these images, Clemente would not draw but 
rather verbally describe the image to the artisans in the workshop. The sixteenth-century Vastusutra 
Upanishad, possibly the earliest treatise on Hindu painting, informs us that images of Divinity were originally 
revealed to the sages (rishis) in their most subtle aspect: the mantra. In other words, the image derives from 
sound. The aural dimension of knowledge and experience is one that connects in Clemente's mind to painting 
itself: "To paint, to make images in general, is for me a form of listening. I am a believer in the voice of each 
level, the voice of the place in the self. This voice comes before poetry, painting, music." : 



R.F. 



1. Herman Hesse, quorcd in Miguel Serrano, ( (, Jung and Herman Hesse: A Rft I p (New York: Schocken Books, 1%8), p. 14. 

2- I emente, quoted in Donald Kuspic, "Clemente Explores Clemente," Contemporanea (New York) 2, no Oci 1989), p. 4] 




%m . 




above and following five pages: 
172. Twelve gouaches from Francesco Ckmente Pinxit, 1980-81. Gouache on .mtique paper, 8 '/. x 6 inches (22.2 x 15.2 cm) each. 
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, gift of Sydney and Frances Lewis 




f l 



I 




In Rome throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Francesco Clemente avidly read Allen Ginsbergs poetry in 
excellent translations by Fernanda Pivano. In New York City in 1983, he and his wife, Alba, first met the poet 
at a dinner with Henry Geldzahler. The following day, Ginsberg called on the artist at his loft, and within the 
hour the two began their first collaboration, White Shroud (cat. no. 173). Until the poets death fifteen years 
later, Ginsberg regularly sat for portraits by Clemente. and they collaborated on dozens of watercolors, 
catalogues, sketchbooks, and livres d'artiste, most of which have never been published or exhibited. 

Aside from their personal rapport, which was immediate, Clemente and Ginsberg shared a wealth oi' 
common ground, including affinities for Ezra Pound, India, and William Blake. Pound was a model for 
imagistic clarity, and for recasting the classical past in contemporary terms, with ancient gods and myths seen 
not as historical artifacts but as intimations of psychic states that are universal and timeless. In India, both 
Clemente and Ginsberg found dwelling places where those psychic states were viewed as sources oi 
enlightenment and not of conflict or illegitimacy. The illuminated manuscripts of Blake embodied this 
visionary experience, in which the common impulse of poet and painter was ideally wedded on a single page to 
celebrate the glory of the imagination. Indeed, it is the long shadow of Blake that falls across all the Clemente 
and Ginsberg collaborations. 

The relationship of image to text in Clemente's collaborations is parallel rather than derivative. The 
question the artist has been faced with is how to depict (or amplify) the mental space of the poem in a way 
that allows the image to remain true to its psychic ground, which for White Shroud and Black Shroud 
(1984-85, cat. no. 174) is a landscape of dream and death. Death occupies a place in Clemente's work nor 
dissimilar to that of a drone instrument in Indian music; it supplies a background tone, which one need not 
focus on but which is always there. "I am under the impression that every painter or poet who has found his 
voice has very much based his finding on a vivid experience of imagining death," Clemente has said. "I think 
death is part of a great truth that I reel compelled as an artist to paint." 

Ginsberg's "White Shroud" recounts a dream wherein the poet discovers that his mother did not die 
in a mental hospital in 1957 but has been living destitute on the streets of the Bronx. The poem offers i joj fill 
opportunity for reunion and amends, feelings that linger after awakening. True to the dream state, Clemente's 
illustrations depict a fluid underworld of forms — abstracted, biomorphic, and corporeal — in various stages of 
commingling and dissolution. Pages alternate between dynamism and repose. The changing forms of dream 
and afterlife are presented, as they are in Ginsberg's poem, as a world of hungry ghosts, to be dispelled only 
through an awareness of their unreality. 



R.F. 

1. Francesco Clemente. interview by Denise Darncklaw, The Observer Magazint (London) (Feb. 1993). 



411 













173. Double-page spread from White SbroMd, with handwritten text by Allen Ginsberg and illustrations bj Francesco ( ' 
Ink, pencil, and watercolor on paper, 17 /, x 26 /. inches (44.5 x 67.9 cm). Collection of Jean Pigozzi, Switzerl l 






JuloucL 






SaLa 



C&^AflfyttjLX-tikw^ Ju^fc^AUaU^'' 



174. Page from Bl«fc Shroud, with handwritten text by Allen G.nsberg. 1984. and illustration, by Francesco Clemente. 1985. Ink. pencil, and watetcolor on paper, 

10 7 x 13 7. inches (26.7 x 34.9 cm). Collection of Francesco and Alba Clemente, New York. 



In his collaborations with Allen Ginsberg, Francesco Clemente employed a method visually congruent with 
the poet's own sense of open form, an organic structure able to accommodate the contours of the poet's mind: 
his imaginings, sexual daydreams, and visionary impulses. Treating the page as a graph of the moving mind 
was for Ginsberg a realization that came about in part through meditation practice. Later, a more physical 
realization of poetic form occurred through chant, which Ginsberg viewed as an elaboration on the strophic 
measure based upon breath. Clemente independently arrived at many of these same realizations in his own 
work, and largely though the same means. 

When Ginsberg met Ezra Pound in Venice in 1967, the younger poet praised Pound's Cantos for 
their "working model of the mind" and for their "condensed perception [o^ concrete image."' This is 
essentially Ginsberg's method in Images from Mind and Space (1983, cat. no. 175), a notebook of American 
haikus, most of them spontaneous, compiled late one afternoon at Clemente's studio. The haiku form involves 
vivid perceptions concisely deployed, uh.u is known in Buddhism as ordinary mind. In this notebook, 
Ginsberg, like Clemente, was working with a brush, and did so quite adeptly, lending the pages a Zen-like 
aspect of empty space, much in keeping with the immediacy of both poems and images. Collaboration 
between poet and painter was not unlike that of two musicians who bring an entire lifetime of practice to bear 
on a performance that, tor all its preparation, depends entirely upon the communicating spirit of the moment. 
Largely devoid of imagery, Black Shroud (1984-85, cat. no. 174) might be considered a tone poem of sorts in 
which vocal utterance is translated chromatically rather than lmagiscically. 

Clemente's chosen medium for the collaborations with Ginsberg was most often watercolor, thus 
allowing the poet's calligraphy to emerge through the translucency of the pigment. This effect is partly the 
subject of these works, in the same way that transparency is one subject of Pound's last Cantos', the < i 
metaphor for the mind, the whisper of the wind as an answer ro useless speech, or pure light as the image of 
deity (lux einem, the light itself). Images are presented with such realization that one literally sees through 
them. Part of the special bond between poet and painter was a shared sense of the nature of the .mage, based 
on a nonhierarchical acceptance of mental pictures as they arise in the mind, and the physical dimension ol 
thought forms as rooted in the body and its functions. The ease and naturalness of these collaborations 
derived from Ginsberg and Clemente's shared sense of experience (more accurately, feeling), which is the 
emotional held out of which the images emerge. 



R.F. 

1. AUen Ginsberg, quoted in Donald Allen, ed.. Alfcn - 



415 



'khkeJnzAj ^Jfyiafisj tf^J^JWMfc 




175. Double-page spread from Images from Mind and Space, with handwritten text by Allen Ginsberg and illustrations by Francesco Clemente, 1983 
Watercolor on paper, 5 x 15 im hes (14.3 X 39.7 cm). Collection of Fran, esi o and Alba Clemente, New York. 



Early Morning Exercises (1984, cat. no. 176) began as a handwritten folio by John Wieners. While in Boston 
editing his collected poems, I asked the poet to write out a selection of his verse with the idea of presenting 
the manuscripts to Francesco Clemente for illustration. I had serious doubts whether Wieners would comply: 
he kept no copies of his own books, he regularly cleaned house by discarding manuscripts, and only a few days 
previous had referred to his early work as "old faces I don't care to see again." But, at seven o'clock the next 
morning, the poet was seated at a small table in his Beacon Hill apartment assiduously copying out the poems 
in his usual tidy hand, only occasionally succumbing to the impulse to rewrite. The title page, of his own 
devising, described the yoga-like task: "Early Morning Exercises." 

The poet's dedication to his book Ace ofPentacles (1964) reads, "For the Voices." Indeed, the plethora 
of voices contained in his work speaks to the mediumistic origins of his poetry. His lire has been that of the 
classic poete maudit, and the subjects of his poems read like a resume of latter-day Romanticism: urban 
despair, poverty, asylums, homosexual love, narcotics and drug addiction, the fraternity or thieves and loveless 
transients. Wieners is also the epitome of wit in poetry. The reader follows the poet's mind from one 
unexpected line to the next, along a knife edge of nostalgia and sentiment, august declamation, dire humor, 
and stunning beauty. His poems presage a great many of Clemente's motifs, most uncannily a persistent 
return to his own image as a metaphor for identity, a fixed point of continuity in the diversity of experience. In 
Early Morning Exercises, three of the nine poems are about looking at his face in the mirror. Displaced gender 
and a love of transvestism often find him writing poems in the guise of the opposite sex. 

For Early Morning Exercises, Clemente tore apart one of his first Indian sketchbooks, from 1976, and 
freely collaged images and texts onto color reproductions from a facsimile edition of Indian miniatures he had 
purchased in Madras. He then reworked and unified the collages with watercolor and gouache. I recall being 
slightly shocked at the cavalier way the artist treated this sketchbook, although it was a gesture not out of 
keeping with the nonchalant attitude Wieners shows toward his own work. In essence, what Clemente was 
depicting was a state of mind, and that particular sketchbook came closest to the strange delicacy that is this 
poet's territory. The way text and image abut and overlap in Early Morning Exercises is similar to the technique 
of the poet's later writings and to his penchant for recreating his work at public readings through a 
spontaneous interweaving of poems, imagined voices, tourist brochures, advertising copy, pulp novels, and 
whatever else may be at hand. 



R.F. 






TU- 3^AC &L /Xm~ 



Jt Ju*n &««-■ fr~+\ -jr*-**- **"***- ~*~*"+*^ 



176. Page from Early Mornmg Exercises, with handwritten cext by John \\ 



and illustrations bj < lemente, 1984 Ink, pencils 



and metallic paint on papei and punted pape 



r , 17 x 13 mches (43.2 x 33 cm). Collection ol I CM **■ 



419 



Francesco Clemente's watercolor portraits, which he began in 1982, were a project the artist conceived when 
he first moved to New York. He pursued the series in earnest until the end of the decade. His intent was to 
chronicle the society he and his wife suddenly found themselves inhabiting. A cross section of the 
New York/New Wave milieu, it was a world made up of artists, writers, poets, composers, musicians, graffiti 
artists, rappers, deejays, rock stars, club kids, curators, arc dealers, models, etc. They were the aristocracy, and 
he their court painter. During a two-hour sitting, Clemente would lean over a small table within a foot or two 
of the subjects \\icc, utterly remote and absorbed in his work. Portraits are a unique challenge, as the illusion of 
a life must be conveyed, and we may each rightly consider ourselves to be an expert judge of a work since we all 
spend our lives looking at and reading faces. In his notebooks, Leonardo observed that a portrait must be two 
things: an image of man, and of his mind. Through pose, attitude, and gesture, Clemente portrayed his sitters, 
as well as their self-image. 

With the enjoyment of a mystery novel, Clemente read John Ashbery's long poem "Self- Portrait in a 
Convex Mirror" (1975), combining as it does the painter's dual obsessions with anamorphosis and self- 
portraiture. Ashbery's portrait (cat. no. 182) is an homage to that experience. The penetration and fixity of 
Robert Mapplethorpe's gaze is captured, as is his humanity, in what is a study of purity in both perception 
and rendering (cat. no. 180). Clemente's portrait of Jean-Michel Basquiat (cat. no. 179) is a shockingly 
beautiful image of the intelligence and sensitivity of this painter in his youth. The portrait or Keith Haring 
(cat. no. 183) is an image or profound sadness, painted when Haring was already ill. (It is ironic that the two 
youngest artists of this generation, Basquiat and Haring, should have been its first famous casualties.) 
Rammellzee (see cat. no. 177) is an overlooked painter who emerged from graffiti writing but was by no 
means limited to it; much admired by Clemente, he evolved his own hybrid of music, art, and language. The 
portrait of Gita Mehta (cat. no. 184) is one of several the artist has done of an author whose wry and 
perspicacious love of India rivals his own. 

The watercolor portraits are a series suffused with the realization that here was a special time and 
place, with a unique cast of characters in fragile association. As the specter of AIDS and early death encroached 
upon this society, the melancholy that characterizes Clemente's portraits proved an ominous presentiment. 
Only a dozen years later, it is largely a lost world. 



R.F. 




177. Rammellzee 



ca. 1982-87. Watercolor on paper. 14 7. x 20 inch. 16.2 . 50.8 cm 



Collect f Francesco and Uba Clemente, New York 



After several decades of exile, during which he produced rhe multivolumed epic that chronicled the narco- 
empire of our times, William Burroughs returned to America in 1974, warily but gradually accepting the 
public acclaim that his writing brought him. Once resettled in New York, the writer's proximity to painters 
resulted in an important source for companionship and encouraged his own visual inclinations, which had 
always been at the core of his aesthetic. Burroughs liked to quote Bnon Gysin: "Writing is fifty years behind 
painting." By adapting collage technique to the written word, Burroughs used the cutup as a key to 
deciphering "the word virus." as he called the habit of naming, which he believed interferes with direct 
observation. His most comprehensive statement on art, "The Creative Observer," originated in a series of 
conversations conducted with Clemcnte at the time the portrait shown here (cat. no. 178) was made. He told 
the painter, "You make something exist by seeing it. Nothing exists until it is observed. I call it 'creative 

observation. '"' 

The ideas of Burroughs and Clemente have much in common: a fascination with pictographs (in the 
writer's case, Mayan); an acceptance of randomness, especially where technique is concerned; a recognition of 
the visual impact of multiple and shifting frames of time and space; an openness to synchronicity as opposed 
to cause and effect; the active and creative role played by the viewer in completing the work of art; and. 
perhaps most importantly, constructing a channel between dream and reality. In response to a question by 
Clemente. Burroughs replied, "What do artists do? We dream for other people. We dream for other people 
who have no dreams of their own to keep them alive." 



R.F. 



1. William Burroughs, "The Creative Observer, in Painting & Ghmj I Madras and New York: Hanuman Books. 1994), p. 39. 

2. Ib.d.. i 




17.. fmm B-o„«.,, ca. 1982 87. Wu.rco.or on pap., ,, . 20 inch* (36.2 x 50.8 cm). CoUccuon mi A,K, C..r»«n t .. N«w Vork. 




179. Jean-Michel Basquiat, ca. 1982-87. Wacercolor on paper, 14 7. x 20 inches (36.2 x 50.8 cm). Collection of Francesco and Alba Clemente, New York. 




180 



, Robert Mapplethorpe, ca. 1982-87. Watercolor on paper. 14 '/« x 20 inches (36.2 x 50 



.8 cm). Collection of Walter Haas. Zurich and Puerto Vallarta. Mex.co. 



Morton Feldman was a composer of exquisitely nuanced aural landscapes, often extending for several hours. 
In the mid-1980s, he was a regular visitor to Francesco Clemente's atelier, where performances of his music 
were presented on numerous occasions. Portrayed here with thick black hair and his characteristic hulking 
pose (cat. no. 181), Feldman loved to spend hours in the artist's studio, soaking up the atmosphere, 
conversing, and occasionally composing. Like Clemente, Feldman was an avant-gardist who used traditional 
materials. He favored acoustic instruments (piano, viola, French horn, flute), employing them as tenuous 
extensions of touch and breath. He spoke of his music as a search for structure; out of this search, his subjects 
emerged. Through his friendships with Philip Guston and Mark Rothko. Feldman came to conceive of his 
music increasingly in terms of painting, presenting each note as if a distinct and shimmering brushstroke in a 
soft, chromatic held. Conversely, his influence on Clemente emerged in an increased tendency to view painting 
in musical terms of tonality and interval, as in the Funerary Pauitnig> (1987). in which vastness of space is 
marked by percussive incident. 

Feldman revealed the contours of a new space, congruent with the painters own instincts, as Clemente 
has noted: "Western music is measured and relates more to architecture than painting. Eastern music is about 
coincidence between two channels, let's say of rhythm and melody — they go two different ways, then they meet 
somewhere in a beautiful way, an unexpected, happy way. In that sense, yes, some of my work relates to this idea 
of happy coincidence. Morton Feldman's music is interesting in the sense of creating 'place' — a new home or 
locus — a place which has a spirit. It has a legitimacy but without being authoritarian." 1 



R.F. 

] I rancesco Clemente, interview with Lisa Phillips, March 27, 1989 




181. Morton Feldman. ca. 1982-87. Warercolor on pap 



r on paper. 14 x 20 inches (36.2 x 50 8 ■ m Collection of 1 1 uu « and All,, Clemen* . New York. 




182. John Asbbery, ca. 1982-87. Watercolor on paper. 14 '/. x 20 inches (36.2 x 50.8 cm). Collecc.on of Francesco and Alba Clemente, New York. 



183. Keith Hating, ca. 1982-87. Wacercolor on paper. 14 '/. x 20 



inches (36.2 x 50.8 cm). Collection of Francesco and Alba Clemerue. New York. 




184. Gita Mehta, 1998. Watercolor on paper, 



• 14 y.x 20 inches (36.2x50.8 



Seldom are the purely plastic qualities of Francesco Clemente's painting as wonderfully concentrated as in the 
series of portraits in oil on wood painted in 1985 (cat. nos. 185-87). A fascination with the quasi-religious 
death cults of late antiquity informs these modern-day Fayum portraits, which blend styles of Naturalism and 
the Icon. Clemente's love of the reductivist and melancholy portraits of Francisco de Zurbaran is likewise 
echoed in these frontal depictions where the sitter is placed tightly and squarely within shallow planar space; 
one may also read the influence of the master of tenebroso painting, Jose de Ribera (like Clemente's ancestors, a 
Spaniard transplanted in Naples). The portraits were painted a la prima, in one go, on a prepared ground of 
variously colored oil paint; the use of wood panel instead of canvas lessened resistance to the brush and lended 
fluidity to the execution. During this period, it was Clemente's preference to capture a likeness on first meeting, 
before vision was dulled by familiarity. The oil panels fix this unrepeatable moment with the heightened 
immediacy of a portrait parlant, a speaking likeness. 



R.F. 




185. Portrait ofLuigi Ontani, 198 



5. Oil on wood. 1! «Mta* Priv*. collec, 




186. Portrait of Fab Five Freddte (Fred Bratbwaite), 1985. Oil on wood. 14 x I I in< Iks ( 38 X 30 cm). Private collection. 




187 



. Portrait of Allen Ginsberg. l^OA on I U 



v n ^65(38x30 cm). Private collect* 



In the early 1980s, the rehabilitation of Andy Warhol's reputation as a painter was due in part to the esteem 
paid him by a new generation of European artists. By 1985, the recognition of Ins eminence by younger 
painters in New York was nearly total. Much to his credit, Warhol used this position to regenerate his own 
inspiration. Contact with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente, and Keith Harmg reawakened his 
engagement with popular imagery and drawing. To young painters, Warhol's example in turn offered a model 
that reconciled the conflicting roles of public persona and private activity. For Clemente, Warhols irony was 
the antidote to the dilemma — which so plagued the Abstract Expressionist generation — of society's co-opting 
of private rebellion, the process through which today's drama of the soul becomes tomorrow's lyrical wallpaper. 
As Clemente noted, "The Abstract Expressionists went through the whole paradigm of turning your back to 
social conformity then going through the whole cycle and finding yourself back where you started. They 
implicated Warhol's nonchalance. They tragically lived what Warhol learned to live comically."' 

In 1983, Bruno Bischohberger organized a series of collaborations between Basquiat, Clemente, and 
Warhol. Each artist began three canvases and one drawing, which in turn — in a variation on the Surrealists 
exquisite corpse — were sent to the next artist's studio tor successive stages of completion (see 
Albas Breakfast, 1984. cat. no. 188). Although all three artists shared an affinity for images rooted in popular 
culture, each approached the commonplace from a different direction. (Clemente's engagement with popular 
imagery often goes unrecognized, in part because many ot his sources are appropriated horn Indian culture.) 
Warhol proved to be the aesthetic mediator in the group, noting in his diaries that Basquiat and Clemente 
"paint each other out."' The real success of these collaborations may have been latent: following this 
experience, Warhol returned to the painted image for the first time in twenty years, and Basquiat and 
Clemente began using silkscreens in their canvases. 



R.F. 



I. Fra mente, interview with Lisa Phillips, March 27, 1989. 

Andy Warhol, [7n ed Pat Hackett(New York U 







188. Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Fran. es. o < lemence, Albas Breakfast, 1984. Gouache on paper, 
jg „ 5g llK |„ s | [a » ollection of Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich. 



Chronology 

Selected Exhibition History 

Selected Bibliography 



Chronology 
Rene Ruard 



1952 

On March 23, Francesco Clemcnte is born in Naples. His mother, Bianca Quarto, is a painter md his rather, Lorenzo, a 

judge. He is an only child. 

The Clemcnte di San Luca family arrived from Spain to Calabria in the fourteenth century with the Aragon, the first 
Spanish rulers of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Like the majority of the ancient aristocracy, by the middle of the 
nineteenth century, the family had lost its lands and embraced professional lire. 

Grows up in an apartment in a seventeenth-century building in the Chiaia section of Naples. There are some good 
paintings on the walls by seventeenth-century Neapolitan painters, including Luca Giordano, Francesco Solimena, 
and Andrea Vaccaro. 

1954-1960 

Travels through Europe each summer with his parents — every museum, every palace and church. In Spain, they visit 
the Prado. Velazquez, of course, makes a great impression on the eight-year-old boy. 

1962 

Extensive childhood readings include Emilio Salgari, then popular for tales of adventure set in the jungles of Hindustan. 

1964 

Has been improvising poems throughout his boyhood and reciting them to his mother. She publishes a collection of 
them, Castclli di Sabbia, against the twelve-year-olds wishes. 




197 4:F,„, * "Bo. KU .fel*,. *.«*, 




lallerial Ktrico.Ro f& ' C ctcd by Meme Perlini 

[Hum from metal plat, she maintains this uncon osition for "so long." Ph bj AntonioSfc. 



1967 

Continuing public school education, en iceoClassico Umberto I incientGrc- 

I .um. philosophy; andancient histor) Meets an upperdassman, ' olletta, whi es him to the writing 

[acques Lacan and the music of Bob Dylan. 

1968 

In tune with the rest of the w 

[eaves to become .1 guerrilla in Colombia, ai idhu, an itinerant beggar, in India ( lemente 

Allen Ginsberg in Fernanda Pivano's translation and listening to Jimi Hendrix. 

Meets Lucio Amelio at his gallery in Naples. They do not gel along. I I by Cj rwombly. 1 Ins is 

v elation. Sees Arte Povera and Michelangelo Pistoletto. A film .it thi by the Hon,,,, artists Jannis 

Kounellis, Eliseo Mattiacci, Pino Pascal, and Luca Patella, produc. itini, bi ings hom< to him thai 

painters, artists, really exist as people and n. «i Heha ^school, 
but the film opens up the real possibility or lil 1 tist. 

1970 

Graduates high school second in 1 

\ [o, es to Rome. An older friend, an architecture student named maldi, has an apa, tment on via 
in the heart of criminal Rome. Clement, stays a short while. Then lives . ith var the, fi lends fa the i 

Enrolls in archirecture school at the University of Rome, the nati 

completes all the course work,! .ginte, the final examinati, ^.pl 

special interest in the architecture of Funk I loyd Wright 

,W- at this time is cosmopolitan. Cinecitta is in full swing. * » ■ ^ "eautiful actres, th, 

daughter ofMariaMontezandJean-PierreA 

a BrLlian fi. ,aker, is part of an im, ^ ican co.ony. The « is politi, al and ,f as 

OnNovemb, 

where Nietszche worked. Written, UrM ' "°>" ' 

First solo exhibition: collages at Galleria Vail, 

n:.,.,,, , ■ 



11 • 



t00 .„,,„, » be caught. Recognizes the poetry ol craftsmanship, but refuses to dra« I las faith in the power of 
asceticism, but embraces addle rion. 

. TaTzan, a performance by Luigi Ontani in the underground parking lor at Vill »e K )n. mi's work in 

performance and photographs anticipates I by a decad, « »ntani has jus, arrived in Ron,- horn Bologna. 

They become friends. 

On. mi introduces him to |oan |onas. With Ontani, Clemente will folU the works of visiting American performers: 

PhilipGlass, Simon. Forti, Steve Paxton, U-m Riley, and I , M , I he, alsosee the Dagar Brothers, the great 

Pakistani singers, and dancers from South India. 

1973 

The ink drawings first produced under the influen< e of psilocybin in the Venezuelan forest now begin to proliferate on 
small pieces or" paper that cover the rW,, two inches deep, ofClemente's via Manara studio in Trastevere in Rome 
c at. nos. 2-8, 168). 

Jack Smith, the American filmmaker and avatar of performance art, is in Rome. Clemente is taken up in Ins entourage. 
This will be ^ education in temperam< 

On a monthly or a triweekly basis, visits Milan, where he connects with Gio Pontis daughte, . 1 is.,, whose home is an 

important meeting place lor the older avant-garde: Mario and Maris.! Merz ,,d Yinccnzo Agnetti, a conceptual artist 
and contributor to Azimuth, Piero Manzonis theoretical magazine. 

Also in Milan, at Franco Toselli's, sees the work of tough American artists: Robert Barry, Robert Mangold, Agnes 
Martin, Lawrence Weiner, etc. Clemente will attend openings and then spend the night on Tosellis couch. 

Back in Rome, Giordano Falzoni, Surrealist painter, Theosophist, and part-time - I V agent, trusts Clemente with his 
just-finished translation into Italian of the teachings ol R P. Kaushik, ^ Indian guru. 

There .s an age-old tradition in India allowing anyone to encounter a transformative experience thai delivers them horn 
the mundane. Those who have these experiences will be sought as removers of ignorance. J. Knshnamurc. Kaushik, 
Nasargadatta. and Ramana Mahansh. have rephrased this experience into the urban language of our time 

( llemente is to carry Falzoni s translation to Delhi and present it personally to Kaushik. 

Stays in India three months, first at the Hotel Crown in Chandi Chowk in Old I >clhi, the infamous hippie station 
Then, moves into Kaushik's ashram in the slums of Old Delhi, into a , ■■ b) -eight foot room, where he stays two 
months Her. < lemente learns to speak English, absorbing the teachings from Kaushik, who speaks with the constant 
stream of seekers who. ome for I..-, advice He keeps a small notebook of ink drawn 

1974 

In April, meets Alba Primiceri, an actress in the bu. It dian cheat n Rom. She is famous. She performs 

nude. He. head is shaved. She has appeared in almost ever) cheatei in Italy Clemente introduces himsell 




l976: Albaand ■ ' ' , . 

Her hail is growing in, and his has juscDeenc 




I hiara left) and Nina Clemcnti assisting Francesco < lemence, cheii father,inth< studio 
The piece they arc painting is eol ens the attisi was working on ai the run. Photo bj Gian Franco Gorgoni. 



The following day, leaves for Afghanistan with Boetti. There, they travel by truck on the old silk road up to Pamir and 
the Hindu Kush on the Chinese border. They reach Feizabad, the meeting point of all the nomadic tribes. Today, it no 
longer exists. In Kabul, they stay in the hostel that Boetti purchased in the 1960s. Boetti has begun to collaborate with 
local craftswomen to produce his embroidered maps. Clemente does not draw in Afghanistan. 

During the autumn, his hair long, curly, and blond, he runs into Alba in Rome. They do not separate again. 

1975 

In January, he and Alba move to a slightly larger and quieter studio on via dei Riari. This is a simple and clean space 
with literally no furniture. They sleep on the floor. Although he has been drawing almost without interruption for three 
years, to the young artist the drawings do not seem impressive enough to compete with the serious art from America 
and the grave weight of Beuys. 

Becomes concerned with format. Distances himself by photographing an eclectic range of obscure objects: small 
details of dress prints and little piles of tea scattered on the floor. These photos are framed and arranged in various 
patterns-cruciforms or parallel strips. This is an important step: a group of works. They are enigmatic and demand or 
beg attention. 

During the spring, in response to the new pieces. Boetti brings to Clementes studio the art dealer Gian Enzo Sperone. 
In his early twenties. Sperone introduced Pop art to Italy and Arte Povera to the rest of the world. 

Agrees to a summer show at Sperone's gallery in the Palazzo del Drago, Rome. 

Boett. also brings Corrado Levi, the distinguished connoisseur and artist. 

On June 26, opening da, the exhibition at Sperone is deserted, except for Leo Castelli. Sarah Charlesworth. Joseph 
Kosuth. and Roy Lichtenstein, who were traveling through Rome at the time. 

By the end of the year, he will have exhibited solo in Brescia. Milan, and Turin, and in a group show in Rome. 

1976 

With the thousand dollars Clemente earns, takes Alba to India. She is pregnant. 

with the monks. These accomodations are free. 

They move to the Ghats of the Ganges in Benares. 

Later, they arrive at the lovely estate of the Theosophical Society on the Adayat River in Madras. 

Rendezvous with Ontani, Fa> Z on„ and Sargentini in Madtas. Satgent.n, proposes an exhibition of the four. 



449 



ks and shows them in a cheap Lodging behind Mylapore Temple. The day of rhe opening, Alba becomes seriously 
11 and is hospitalized for two weeks. 



wor 

i 



1977 

In April, returns to Rome. 

In June, while visiting the Ven.ce Biennale (where he is not showing), sells a work to Paul Maenz. Due to a 
miscalculation in the exchange rate. Maenz makes the check out for three thousand dollars, twice the actual price. 

On August 12, Chiara Clemente is born in Piacenza. 

With the three thousand dollars from Maenz. the Clementes are able to spend a year in Kashmir and Madras. 

It is a good time to leave Italy. The generation gap of the 1960s is still in force with the Italian police. An entire 
generation is made guilty for the behavior of the few. It is unsafe to dress a certain way. To Clemente and Alba, with a 
new baby, India looks good. 

In October, the family is at the Theosophical Society's compound in Madras for an extended stay. The physical location, 
on a beach in the Bay of Bengal, is seductive, and the oldest and largest banyan tree in India (already described as a 
prodigy in the fifteenth century by the Chinese traveler Han Hs») is sheltered by the gardens. Still in residence at the 
society is the man who had taken J. Krishnamurti to England in the 1920s. 

The society's library has one of the great occult collections. It becomes a focus for Clemente. who immerses himself 
in reading everything from Vedic literature and the Tao to Saint John of the Cross and The Cloud of Unknowing. 
Also reads Gregory Bateson's Towards an Ecology of the Mind. 

Older and younger seekers are meeting at a cafe run by an Australian sadhu. 

Clemente is drawing (see cat. no. 7). His English is improving. 

During Christmas week, attends daily lectures by J. Krishnamurti. 

"By 1977. I realized that no matter how much I had tried to fit in, I had to give it up and be on my own. In 1977, 
the degree of fragmentation and bankruptcy of all the ideas and all the people I knew was so high, so tragic for me that I 
didn't really feel bound to anything anymore."" 

Italy is far away. 

1978 

The monsoon is three months late. All wells in Madras become polluted, and the entire family contracts hepatitis. 
Clemente loses half his weight. Alba and Chiara are only mildly affected. 111. he is working, assembling a group of pieces 
for an exhibition at Adrian van Ravenstein's gallery Art & Project in Amsterdam in July. 

Temples sell postcard books that are still made in a very old-fashioned style. Using these idiosyncratic publications as a 




1985: C T. Nachiappan, Chiara Clemente, and Francesco Clemente at the Chidambaram Temple in Tamil Nadu. 

Here, an enormous ruby in the natural shape of" the deity Natara,., is bathed twenty foil, hours a day. 
Notice Chiaraa bangles; she i. totally acclimated to huh, I let first fa *ere in ramil Photo by Alba C I. 




1985: Photographed by Robert Mapplethorpc, here is the fashionable, iconic Francesco Clcmente. If he looks awkward, he is. He is balancing on the top of a ladder. 



prototype, he determines to make a book of the Amsterdam show. The works reproduced are in a variety of styles, the 
most characteristic is still in sign-painting technique. In search of a printer for this volume, meets C. T. Nachiappan 
who is astonished that anyone would want to do something so tacky. They will produce many books together 
over the years. 

1979 

Early in the year, recovering from illness. Clemente is preparing his second exhibition for Art & Project, to open in May. 
This will contain Harlequin Close Up (cat. no. 169). Twins (cat. no. 171), and three other related works. In Harlequin 
Close Up, lets loose with virtuoso drawing for the first time. Has now made work that resembles no one else's, and ever 
more looks like Clemente. There are important formal things happening here, things that will become relevant to other 
artists in a few years-the overlaying of the harlequin, for instance-but that .s in the future. This is new now. All those 
little drawings done over the years are not so little any more. They are a body of work. 

David Salle sees the Art & Project show. He is one of the first New York artists to see this new work. 

In April, shows an artist's book at Em.lio Mazzohs gallery in Modena. Mazzoli has recently presented Sandro Chia and 
Enzo Cucchi in a two-man exhibition. The next show will be Mimmo Paladino. 

During June-July, Clemente, Chia. Cucchi, and Palad.no are shown together at Paul Maenzs gallery in Cologne, in an 
exhibition called Arte Cxjra. 

Clemente. Chia. Cucchi, NicoU de Maria, and Palad.no will be packaged by Achill. Bon.co Oliva as the 

Transavanguardia in the October issue of Flash Art. 

Dur ,ng che summer, in Rome, purchases a roll of photographers seamless paper rhe cype used for background, Using 
Chinese ink, ground on a scone w,ch water, produces abouc e.ghceen very large self poctra.ts (see cac. no, 9. 10). 

,n November, Clemen. Chia, Cucchi, de Mac, and Pa.ad.no are shown cogecbec ..c che PaUzso d, Gtta. Acireale. in 

Sicily, in an exhibition organized by Bonito Oliva. 

,n December. Sperone shows che large se.f-porcra.es in his gallery in Turin. These include l, N. S ,,„.. and Wi* Col, 
Z CM w,» be che nrsc Clemente seen in New York, in a group e.h.b.c.on ac Ann.na Nose, s gallery .n .980. 

In December, the family returns to India. 

-ru U ,m rh,- largest in India, us also one of the groat papermaking 

Painters, Sun. and Moon (cat. no,. 112-14). bach co * inhibitions of stretched canvas. They are also 

. format cbac perm.es him to work on , large scale without -£££££ „ ^^ 0lkllnd , and to 
convemencly foldable and can be easily placed in a small cotton bag H. carry 
his firsc New York exh.b.t.on at Spetone Westwatet Fischer ,n Apr.l. 



453 



In February, spends three weeks at a small seventeenth-century Buddhist temple in Kamakura. Reads Oswald Spengler's 
Decline of the West. 

In March, works on about twenty plates in etching and drypoint at Crown Point Press in Oakland. This important artists' 
print shop is owned by Kathan Brown, who is Tom Marioni's companion. The plates are published in small editions. 

In April, stays with Alba and Chiara in a small apartment attached to Sperone Westwater Fischer on Greene 
Street. At the opening of his solo exhibition, meets Donald Baechler, Edit deAk. Eric Fischl, David Salle, 
and Julian Schnabel. 

Francesco Pellizzi. editor of the journal Res, buys Two Painters. He and Clemente become lifelong friends. 

Anthony d'Offay buys The Pondkherry Pastels. A London dealer in early avant-garde art, he asks Clemente to show 
with him. Don and Mira Rubell buy Inside/Outside (1980, cat. no. 115). 

During May-June, participates in a group show with other Italians at the Kunsthalle Basel, curated by Jean-Chnstophe 
Ammann. Meets Bruno Bischofberger, who buys Self-Portrait as a Garden. A dealer of Jean Tinguely and Andy Warhol, 
Bischofberger asks to represent Clementes work. 

During May, in Rome, prepares for his first Venice Biennale. Having decided to paint a large fresco, seeks out someone 
to assist him and meets Claud.o d. Giambatt.sta. a young and skilled conservator. They devise a light, portable fiberglass 
support for frescoes. Coi sentimenti insegna alle emoziont (cat. no. 150) is in three panels. 

In June, the Biennale is a revelation to Clemente. An international generation of painters is brought together: the 
Americans Salle and Schnabel. the Germans Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz (both of whose work he sees here for 
the first time), and a veritable manifesto of artists from Italy. He realizes that he now has accomplices. 

At the tiny Camuffo gallery in Venice, simultaneous with the Biennale, Clemente, Chia, and Cucch. have a show 
entitled I tre C (The Three C's). 

During the summer, at the via dei R.an studio, paints a dozen small self-portraits from reflections in a seven-metal 
Tibetan ritual mirror. These are his first oil paintings (see cat. nos. 11-16). 

Later in the summer, in di Giambatt.sta's garden in Rome's Pasoliniesque suburb of Mandnone, paints three large frescoes, 
including Pnapea (cat. no. 149). a self-portrait in a necktie surrounded by putti derived from Raphael and Bronzmo. 

In September, participates in an exhibition with Chia and Cucch., at Sperone Westwater Fischer in New York. 
It includes the three frescoes, which display a far-flung range of visual sources and will go far in determining how 
Clementes work will be perceived. A feature article by Kay Larson in the Village Voice is entitled "Bad Boys at Large: 
Three C's take on New York." 

1981 

In January, stays in Jaipur. Alba is pregnant. At the dilapidated Jaipur Museum, had become fascinated by the technique 
of Mughal miniatures. Had located a small atelier of miniature painters on the top floor of a cavernous s.x-story 




1984: Clockw.sc from cop left: the legs of Francesco Clemenre, Andy Warhol, and jean-M.chel ^^^^ ^ J J^pZ by Pellizzi 

They are at Francesco Pell.zz. s house and it appears as if they are standing on , C arl Andre. 



• this land ilipper for years. Photo by 1 



buHding. Working f rom his drawings-with each of fifteen boys, aged eight to twelve, specializing in a differ 
pattern-he completes a suite of twenty-four miniatures, Francesco Clemen* M (1980-81 cat. no. 172). 

In February, ArLforum publishes "Chameleon in a State of Grace,' an essay on Clemente by deA, Publisher of the avant- 
g rde Journal Ar,Me, deAk ,s one of the mo, brilliant intellects in New York. She explores the cultural waywardness 
of Clemente and h,s work. Ac this time, Artforum, under Ingnd Sischy, its editor-in-chief, is ac the height of its restige 

and the article places Clemente at the forefront of the young Italians. 

Steve Maas, owner of the Mudd Club, gives Keith Hanng the club's fourth floor to use as an ad hoc art gallery. Hanng 
invite, the graffiti writers Fab Five Freddy (Frederick Brathwaite) and Futura 2000 (Lenny McGurr) to be guest 
curators. Their exhibition, Beyond Words, proves to be a major cultural event. 

On April 9, Clemente attends Beyond Words opening. Meets Jean-Michel Basquiat (exhibiting under the name Samo), 
Futura 2000, Haring, and Kenny Scharf. Basquiat exhibits Flats Fix (collection of Francesco Clemente). 

In April, again in the little apartment on Greene Street, paints a series of twenty frescoes, approximately 79 x 59 inches 
each, a selection of young artists, musicians, philosophers, mattresses, and Taylor Mead. Each is an individual allegorical 
portrait of a New York personality. DeAk, Jimmy De Sana, Fab Five Freddy, Schnabel, Terrence Sellers, Duncan Smith, 
etc.: each is pictured with an enigmatic attribute. Rene Ricard is represented nude, life size, balanced on a large egg, 
holding a smaller one in each hand. The cast of characters is curated by Diego Cortez, to whom Clemente had been 
introduced by Boetti in the early 1970s, when Cortez was still a Conceptual artist. 

New York is in the surge of hip-hop culture, with a constant series of events in a city seemingly without a racial divide. 
The sudden accessibility of black culture was simpatico to the young artist, who quickly made friends outside the art 
world, in the nightly spectacle of the clubs. "Africa is closer to the Mediterranean than New York."' 

On May 2, opening of second solo show at Sperone Westwater Fischer. It includes frescoes and the twenty-four 
miniatures, Francesco Clemente Pinxit, which are shown in a custom-built wooden cabinet. The miniatures, remaining 
intact as a group, are purchased by Sydney and Frances Lewis for the Virginia Museum or Fine Arts, Richmond. 
The opening was another event in the scene, a stop somewhere between the Roxy and the Mudd Club, with the same 
crowd. The wanderer was beginning to find a home. 

In Harlem, attends an all-city jam of rap stars with deAk. They run into Fab Five Freddy. A not breaks out. 

Throughout the year, Clemente \s tutored in Sanskrit at Columbia University. 

In June, Angela Westwater finds him and Alba, who are reluctant to leave New York, a large loft in Tr.beca, where they 
stay a month. Taking advantage of the space, stretches a canvas roughly 13 feet wide. Paints a "self-portrait in New 
York" of a blind man with a cane on a tightrope stretched between two tall buildings. In the background is a view of 
the gravestones in the cemetery that is one of the first things a visitor sees coming from the airport. Using a wax 
medium, explores the possibilities of small paintings on Freder.x ready-stretched canvases, one of which. Titire, he 
gives to Ricard, who carries it around town everywhere he goes for two weeks. Most of these paintings are discarded. 
The big one is cut into scraps. 



457 



Walking down Broadway, sees a vacant corner loft. He walks in off the street. A girl there gives him the realtor's 
home number. 

On July 15, Nina Clemente is born in Piacenza, Italy, using the Le Boyer method of nonviolent birth. He cuts his 
daughter's umbilical cord. 

In August, visits Bischofberger in Appenzell. Bischofberger convinces Clemente to call the realtor in New York 
from a car phone. He buys the Broadway loft with money advanced by Bischofberger for the paintings that will be in 
his next show. 

On September 19, opening of first show with Bischofberger in Zurich. The enamel painting Arme Clemente 
(cat. no. 38) is included. 

On September 21. moves into studio on Broadway. During his first night in the raw loft, dreams he is naked on the 
New York streets in a downpour of human excrement. Unused to working from oneiric influences, will later paint 
Perseverance (1982, cat. no. 20) directly from this dream. In it, he holds a model of the Pantheon in a rain of shit. 

Before buying a stove or a bathtub, buys a Mynah bird. Names the bird Rama. With the children, Alba arrives in New 
York to an empty loft. 

In December, meets Warhol. 

1982 

In January. Warhol paints a three-panel portrait of Clemente wearing a suit and tie. Clemente exchanges three 
geometrically shaped canvases with stitched-in padding for the portrait. These have never been exhibited. 

In February, Warhol's Interview publishes an interview with Clemente. DeAk is the interlocutor. The photograph 
accompanying the article is by Robert Mapplethorpe. Clemente's appearance is striking. He patronizes the Astor Place 
barbershop, where for $5 they machine-clip his hair and beard, leaving a short stubble. This "three-day growth" will be 
extensively copied by fashionable men. 

Dunng Apnl-june, the Solomon R. Guggenhe.m Museum presents a sutvey show of young Itahan painters, curated by 
Diane Waldman. To his consternation, Clemente is not included. 

Meets Henry Geldzahler, the Comm.ssionet of Cultural Affiuts for the City of New York under Mayor Ed Koch. 
Former Curator of Twennenth-Centuty Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Geldzahlet is a close friend of 
David Hockney and Warhol. 

Through Geldzahler, meets Raymond Foye. who will become his acetone in the world of living poets. 

Completes The Fourteen Stations (1981-82. cat. nos. 154-65). a cycle of twelve large pa.nting, "To me these paintings 
look as ,f they wete made in a dark church in Naples; but to a friend in Italy they may look as if they wete made in the 
winter light of New York." 4 




t^juXk |**w. dUnZiMsv \w^ax^&*im&*> 



I^Uud^ Mw&**AJ 



1989: From borrom lefr one of th 



e rwin» (Andrea or P.erro Clemente). Nina Clemenre. Melia Marden (with glasses); direct!, above Marden; Aurora Pellizzi; right foreground, ,n pro 
Keith Hanng; and in right background, looking our Teres., Scharf Photo by Allen Ginsberg. 



file 




1990: The face. Fr.ncc.co Clcmcncc, chc hands, N,na Clemcnce. Photo by Paul I 



In September, at the Broadway loft, is introduced to the composer Morton Feldman by Pelh z2 , 

With the portra.rofNel, Garret, a s.ster of the pamtersjedd and Dana Garret, begins what wiU become a massive series 

of watercolor portraits. 

On October 2, open.ng of Schnabel exh.b.t.on at the Mary Boone Gallery, New York. It includes The Raft 
a monumental plate painting. Clemente posed for the face of the lonely figure on rhe raft. 

On October 15, on site at the Martm-Groptus-Bau, Berlin, fimshes My House (cat. no. 1) for the Zei*eis< exhibition. 
This is his largest painting to date. 

1983 

On January 7, Francesco Clemente: The Fourteen Stations opens at Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. 

On January 8, Francesco Clemente: The Midnight Sun opens at Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London. D'Offay sells the 
twelve canvases of The Fourteen Stations to Charles Saatchi under the condition that they remain together as a group. 

In March, Foye and Geldzahler introduce Clemente to Ginsberg in New York. The following day, he and Ginsberg 
begin a collaboration of poems and watercolors called White Shroud (cat. no. 173). Many more collaborations 
will follow. 

In white chalk on black paper, executes the drawing for the cover of Primitive Cool, Mick Jagger's second solo album. 

Foye brings William Burroughs by while Clemente is working on lithographs for an edition of Alberto Savinio's 
The Departure of the Argonaut at Petersburg Press on Lafayette Street. Clemente immediately takes out his block of 
paper and executes a portrait of Burroughs. 

Goes out to a Brooklyn garbage dump with artist Jim Long. They find broken bits of rusted machinery, which he will 
bring back to the studio and paint on in fresco. These pieces appeal to other artists. One is acquired by Helen Marden 
and another by Schnabel. 

On April 24, the cover of the Sunday New York Times Magazine is a photograph of Clemente in his studio 
The accompanying article by John Russell is entitled "The New European Painters." 

During the summer, waiting for a green card and unable to leave the country accepts a position teaching fresco painting 
at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, where he replaces George Schneeman. Is visited dure by 
Alex and Ada Katz. (Katz arranges to do a large portrait of Clemente and Alba when they are back m the c,ty the first 
of many portraits.) Rammellzee also visits from New York. He lectures on "Gothic Futurism and Iconoclast Panzensm." 
The effect on Clemente's students is predictable. 

A friend from M.Ian. Mabi Tosi, sends a mass of scenic backdrops from old Covenr Garden production, of Sergey 



461 



Diaghilev ballets, some by Alexandre Beno.s. In Skowhegan, beg.ns to paint on them: Purgatory, Unborn, Son 
(cat. nos. 39, 40, 42), among others. 

In September, paints a large fresco. Mice. Rue. and Due, in Julian and Jacqueline Schnabel's newly bu.lt loft on 
20th Street in New York. 

In October, the Clementes rent a small house with a garden on Chamiers Road in Madras. 

Collaborating with the craftsmen who make large figures for temple processions, executes two suites of papier mache 
sculptures: a set of sixty figures each four feet tall with nine holes perforating each one in correspondence with the nine 
Offices of the bod, and a set of twenty-one figures the same height, each one standing on a papier mache egg, meant to 
lean precariously against a wall. 

In the garden of Prema Srin.vasans house is an indigo pit for traditional block printing on cotton. Here, Clemente 
makes The Indigo Room (1983-84, cat. no. 167). 

Srinivasan and Lindy Dufferm. the Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava. take h,m to lunch with J. Krishnamurti, whose 
lectures he has attended through the years. 

1984 

Jean-Christophe Ammann and PelUzzi visit. They and the Clementes. traveling by tram, go to the great Siva temples of 
outhern nd,a. It is harvest time a time of festival and reugious celebration: Pongal. They see the Ramana Maharishi 
ashram, the Great Temple of Chidambaram, and the early Chola bronzes in Tanjore. 

On March 16. a show of pastels opens at the Nanonalgalene. Berlin. He remains in India. 

During May-June at the Kunsthal.e Base,. Ammann mounts a show of all the work produced that winter in India 

Clemente attends the opening. 

During the summer in New York, at Bischofberger's instigation, Clemente, Basouia, and Warhol collaborate on 
seventeen paintings; Basquiat and Clemente pamt two. collaborate on 

Bas^tand Clemente, -gHbors, become Cose friends during this period, which w,„ be looked back on nostalgically 
("C no. 135) using pigments ground from slaT ' ndn ° nC ' " * ****** CU — ^ «> 



W^Zt™l7r S ' Feld ^f PreMnt " Umberof --^with P re m i er LofcoV ri 
Aki Takah ash £££.— ^ ^ "^ "*» h '"^ «— * «* -icians as 



piano 
ions 




1 99 1 I Ik- two laughing people on the left are Rene Ricard and Francesco Clemenw The three serious poi n, from left to right, are Michael McClure, 
Allen Ginsberg, and Andrei Vbznesenaky. The location is the Clemente backyard, Hiis historicaJ photo is by Camilla McGrach 




1993: Andrea (left) and Pictro Clemente. On the beautiful Amalfi coast. Photo by Same D'Orazio. 



Marcus gives piano lessons to the reluctant Chiara. 



In November, shows The Indigo Room, Celtic Betttarv rW. n Jf 



1985 



In February, with Warhol and Interview's advertising director Pa.ee Powell ™, f 

Apollo on U* Street and wastes tlm e in Harlem aflhours ^ ? ^^ " ^ "*» « "" 

In March e*h,b,ts Simultaneously in three galler.es: Sperone Wesrwater, Leo Ostein, and Mar, Boone. Russel, in the 

masc r p d Hugh es slamming rhem as bogus. For rhe first time, shows eighteen small o,,s on wood, plans of 

friends, including Lu tg i Ontani (car. no. ,85). Fab F m Fr M) (cat. no. ,86). A,k„ G i nsht r g (cat. no. ,87). Wenfy 
Wh.tcLu,. and S uzanne Malouk (Basou.at s ex-girlfriend); they enter Thomas Ammanns collection as a group 
Ammann and his sister Doris become his fnends and the foremost collectors of his work. 

In May. the Palladium opens. Steve Rubell and Ian Schtage, former owners of Studio 54. hire the Japanese architect 
Arata Isozak, to design an enormous club in the old Academy of Music on 14th Street. They commission Geldzahlcr to 
select a group of young painters to decorate the interior. Basqu.at. Hanng, and Scharf participate. Clemente paints a 
fresco on a landing of rhe stairs leading to the mam dance floor. Rubell goes on record saying, "The rock stars of the '80s 
are the painters." 

During the summer. Alba and the children are in Italy. He remains in New York. 

In September, back on Chamiers Road in Madras with family. Foye arrives. On first seeing India, he wants to take the 
next plane out, but the New York flight is canceled. He stays on and takes the responsibility of tutoring Chiara, who is 
now eight and whose schooling has been interrupted by constant travels. 

D'Offay and his son Tim visit. Clemente takes them to meet Pandimalai Swami, a siddha: a miracle man who 
materializes objects and urinates rose water. 

Always fascinated by the idiosyncratic presentation of Indian book design, particularly rhe 3-\-4-inch devotional books 
sold at temple gates, Clemente and Foye conceive of a series by contemporary poets to be published in this format. 
The result is the Hanuman imprimatur, printed in India by Nachiappan. This series will eventually comprise fifty titles, 
beginning with the Boston poet John Wieners. Hanuman is the Hindu monkey -god, friend of Rama: "He is associated 
with bravery, healing, and dedicated friendship." 

In November, the monsoon floods them out of Chamiers Road. Foye rescues 109 watercolors from destruction. 
Although Clemente painted 109 works, the set is called CVIH (cat. no. 1 19). These will be acquired by Dieter Koepplin 
for the Offentliche Kunstsammlung Basel, Kupferstichkabmett. 

On December 24, Christmas Eve, in southern Italy, as the family is playing a card game, Beuys appears at the door. 
During this visit, Beuys proposes an exchange of work, enquiring if Clemente's studio floor "can support a lot of weight." 
Beuys dies February 17, 1986, and the exchange never occurs. 



465 



1986 

In March, returns to New York. Chiara and Nina are enrolled in the United Nations School. 

.:::: ::;::;::~ -* " pb *" J - - -^ ■*■ - — n ™ **■ «-• ^ — * — 

Alba and the children summer in Italy. 

^HH 7? T W " ^ Da " aS MUSCUm ° (An - THC — "*" *** «* *• —V e*h,b lt ,on 

Du„ ng July . A with Maurice Pa y ne, he executes 108 monoprints. Th.s is the nu m be r of beads in t he Hindu 

tosat, The word D. E . A . T .h. .appears in these prints. The entire set.es is a reworking of one plate. 

w,th h„ hand. He teels this photogtaph makes him look hatsh and utban: "a New Yorker." 

In December; with Alba and Bruno and Yovo B.schoiberger, visits the mortuary chambers in the Va.lev of the K 
Egypt: "Strongest v.sual .mpact since Velazquez at age eight." > "** '" 

1987 

In March, rents a small notch-lit studio on the tenth floor of the Chelsea Hotel. 

Alba pregnant. 

!£itr£r£E" t w 7r ^ M ™ ° f * —* «-— 



Ken up. 






• : : 








1 99 J Francesco Clemente and Jaye Dav.dson. star of Neil Jordan's The Crying Game. 
a. , modern-day Jon Hall and Maria Montez in Clemences Broadwa, loft. Photo b, San* D'Orazio 




1997: Francesco Clement* double-portrait fresco of Ettore Sottsass (left) and himself in Yoyo and Bruno B.schofberger's bathroom in Zurich, 

The room was designed by Sottsass, who took this photograph 



Chuck Close paint* Francesco I. and, in 1988, Francesco U. 

In August, in a lighrhouse owned by Pellizzi in Aiwn*..™ t , . 

In September, Alba settles into an apartment above the Broadway studio, on the sixth floor. 

On November 23, at Beth Israel Hospital in New York. Pietro and Andrea C.emente. twins, are born. Mapplerhorpe 
and Ettore Sortsass are named godfathers, with Powell and Barbara Radice as godmothers. 

In late December, at the Chelsea Hotel, paints a score of large, horizontal tempera works on unprimed linen. Entitled 
funerary Painting, (see cat. no. 52), these evoke memories of the Valley of the Kings. "In every tradition, between the 
25th of December and the 5th of January the armies of the dead s 



I arrive. 



1988 

Continues through the year to work on the Funerary Paintings exclusively. 

The family summers in Southampton, Long Island, m a big house found for them by Geldzahler, a five-minute walk 
away from his own house. Alba will stay in Southampton with the children throughout the winter. 

In June, with Prince Michael of Greece and his daughter Alessandra. visits Damascus, Palmyra, and Aleppo. 
Cenotaphs of figures holding overflowing cups that he sees in Palmyra will appear later in his work. 

In June, shows seven paintings in the Italian pavilion of the Venice Biennale. These mystical works associated with the 
Funerary Paintings are derived from occult sources: magic squares and numerology. For example, Earth. Paradigm, Honey 
and Gold, and Signature (car. nos. 93, 96-98). These paintings contain figures surrounded by the outlines of vases, 
reminiscent of ancient burial urns. 

On August 12, Hanng and Kenny and Teresa Scharf are present at Chiara's birthday parry in Southampton. A phone 
call informs them that their friend Basquiat has just been found dead in his studio on Great Jones Street. 

During June-December, in Southampton, completes sixty-four pastels, many of urns with flowers growing in them. 
These pastels also begin to focus on female genitalia. For example, Flower, Clouds, I Hear. Unus omnes, and Silence 
(cat. nos. 44-48). A book of the pastels will be published by Bruno Bischofberger with an accompaniment of poems by- 
Robert Creeley This inaugurates the publication of Clemente's books in collaboration with American poets. 

469 



Clemente will spend rhe next ten years working almost exclusively on images derived from female anatomy. 
In October, the Dia Art Foundation shows the Funerary Paintings at its 22nd Street location. 

In November. Helen Marden. a close friend, finds a house suitable for the Clemente family in Greenwich Village. It was 
once the home of Bob Dylan. Work on the place is completed in the fall (the architect is Richard Gluckman). and they 
move in in time for Thanksgiving dinner with Foye, Ginsberg, and Haring. 

During the summer, at the Broadway studio, paints The Gold Paintings. Inspired by Indian roadside altars, these include 
The Dark in Me, Speak Not of Byzantium, and Februarian Sky (cat. nos. 49-51). 

Bischofberger publishes The Gold Paintings as a collaboration with poems by Gregory Corso. 

1989 

During January-February, tours Orissa. in India, alone. Visits Bhubaneshwar, Pun, and Konarak. At each place, makes 
a book. These tall narrow books, twice as tall as they are wide, introduce the double square into his work. The Orissa 
books— The Red Book, The White Book, and The Black Book (cat. nos. 129-31)— are concerned with the female form 
and sexuality. The Black Book shows couples (and triples). 

Attached to the Jagannath temple in Pun are villages of miniature painters. Utilizing the possibilities of these craftsmen, 
Clemente executes Story of My Country, ninety-nine miniatures in the folklonc Orissa style (see Story of My Country I, 
cat. no. 127). 

On March 9, Mapplethorpe dies in Boston. 

On July 8, a show of five small oil paintings. The Vowels, organized by Geldzahler, opens at the Dia Art Foundation's 
location in Bridgehampton, Long Island. 

During the summer, Alba and the family return to her hometown in southern Italy. She and Clemente are visited here 
by Haring. Together they go to Naples, where Philip TaafTe has a house. 

In conjunction with a show of pastels at the Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, d'Offay publishes a book with eleven 
accompanying poems by Ricard. 

1990 

On February 16, Haring dies of AIDS, at thirty-one, in New York. Haring had been very close to the two older Clemente 
children, Chiara and Nina. For Nina's seventh birthday, he made an elaborate book called Ninas Book of Little Things. 
In his will, he leaves the two girls works by himself and Basquiat. 

During the spring, Clemente and Alba are taken to see vogueing performances in the New York clubs. Vogueing is an 
extreme form of competitive dance performed by gay crews called "houses"; the moves are based on the exaggerated poses 
of fashion models. They meet Karl of the House of Extravaganza, who becomes a friend. Under this influence, completes 
seven monumental black paintings with interlocking female profiles. Where the mouths connect is a pink triangular 
semaphore. Although innocuous in description, these paintings contain a potent sexual charge, for example, Black Muse 




1997: Faithful fri 



,end Bill Katz and Francesco Clemcn« scale the heights in Truchas, Neu Mexico, Photo b, Hudson Wrigh, 




1993: Portrait of Francesco and Alba Clementc by Bruce Weber. 



Twice (cat. no. 109). From the central pink shape will evolve the rest of the years work, as well as some paintings of the 
following year. These mostly cenmfugal compositions, done in matte water-based paint on unpnmed linen, include 

Contemplation, Oblation, Seed, Foot, Necessity, Friendship, another Foot, Meditation, and Broken Hearts (cat. nos. 100-7). 

In June, accompanies the family back to Albas hometown in southern Italy. 

Dunngjuly-August, alone in Madras. Aga.n with the sign painters, produces two sets of three works each in the large, 
billboard format. These gouaches recall paintings like The Two Painters. Wanting to do work based on the five senses. 
he achieves three (cat. nos. 121-23). Also paints Contemplation; Sound, Point; and Birth (cat. nos. 124-26). 

Bruno and Yoyo Bischofberger visit, and they all have their fortunes told by the palm-readers of Tanjore. 

On October 20, Francesco Clemente: Three Worlds, a large show of works on paper, curated by Ann Percy, opens at the 
Philadelphia Museum of Art. "The three worlds are: inside, outside, and beyond; Italy, India, and New York." The 
Indian art scholar Stella Kramnsch contributes to the catalogue. This is a personal coup for Clemente. who has always 
admired her writing. 

1991 

On January 1, 1 A.M., in the house in Greenwich Village, a crowd of friends ring in the New Year: Johnny Dynell, 
Deborah Harry, Lauren Hutton, Alex and Ada Katz, Michael and Marina of Greece, Maripol, Earl and Camilla 
McGrath, Gita and Sonny Mehta, John Reinholt, Ricard, Marina Schiano, Chi Chi Valenti, Daniel Wolf, etc. 

The Greenwich Village house will provide Alba with a wonderful place to receive people. She begins having friends 
come on Sundays. This will continue throughout the decade. 

In March, paints Symmetry (cat. no. 68) at Port Antonio, Jamaica, a forgotten resort of the 1940s. The Book of the Sea is 
a group of extraordinarily big watercolors on paper (see cat. nos. 67-70). With the tropical air and its 100-percent 
humidity, he is able to work wet on wet on the prohibitively extensive surfaces without fear of drying. 

During September-November, exhibits a series of canvases entitled Testa Coda at Gagosian Gallery, New York. 
Koepplin writes an introduction for the accompanying catalogue and Michael McClure contributes an essay and 
interview with Clemente. 

During September-October, Norman Rosenthal presents the Philadelphia show Francesco Clemente: Three Worlds at 
the Royal Academy of Arts, London. Bill Katz assists in hanging the works. This inaugurates Katzs participation in the 
design of Clemente's installations. 

In November, in Moscow. A.dan Salakova opens che first pnvate gallery ,n the newly Iterated Sov.et Umon w,th an 
exh.bmon of Clemente works, including Necessity. The arnst visits Boris Pasternak's house with An dre, Voznesensky. 
who contributes a text for the exhibition catalogue. Accompanying him on this trip are Powell and Gus Van Sant from 
Portland, Oregon. 

1992 . D 

In February, makes more paintings for The Book of the Sea, including The King and the Corpse (cat. no. 70). ,n Benares. 



473 



In a small room on the Ghats of the Ganges, paints The Evening Raga in watercolor. 

While in Delhi is introduced by the writer Naveen Patnaik to Jyotindra Jain, scholarly curator of the Folk Art Museum 
in Delhi and advocate for the living artists of rural India. Clementc is delighted and surprised to find that Jain is familiar 
with his work. 

In March, meets Alba and children in Negril, Jamaica. They drive to Port Antonio. He paints more pages for The Book 
of the Sea. 

During the summer, in Long Island City, casts Sum, Moon, Mercury (cat. no. 117). and Saturn (cat. no. 118) from papier 
mache into brass, copper, tin, and lead, respectively. Also casts Mothers of Letters (cat. no. 128) in solid iron. 

1993 

During the spring, after returning from Mexico City and still influenced by a visit to Diego Riveras studio, begins what 
will become a comprehensive series of large female heads in pastel on paper. Among the New York Muses are Fabiola, 
Akure. and Lysa, (cat. nos. 30-32). When completed and framed, this set, leaned against the wall, will surround 
the studio. 

In March, shows sculpture at the Anthony d'Offay Gallery. From there, goes to Port Antonio, where he paints Tree 
(cat. no. 69) for The Book of the Sea. 

In April, in New York, begins extensive work on what will be the Black Paintings. These will incorporate new techniques 
such as silk-screening and the use of metallic paint. 

Spends the year preparing for an exhibition at the Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo. 

On June 9, Thomas Ammann dies, at forty-three, in Zurich. "Sometimes, to sit in front of a painting can be like sitting 
in front of a fire. You don't need to speak about it, you just sit there and keep yourself warm and we have been doing that 
together.'" 1 

On August 5, arriving with the monsoon at Pushkar Lake, Rajasthan, the site of the only Brahma temple in India, 
Clemente watches the empty lake fill with water. More work on the large watercolors comprising The Book of the Sea, 
including Fountain (cat. no. 67). Passes the time with a sadhu who lives on the banks of the lake. 

During September- December, in New York, executes three separate groups of paintings simultaneously: 

Mother of Hope is thirteen square paintings in black-and-white tempera on ocher-prepared canvases. After many years 
of celebrating the fecundity and sexuality of women, he treats women as threatening, even as hags, in such paintings as 
In Silence, Mandala, and Mother of Hope (cat. nos. 139-41). Though the series is ent.tled Mother of Hope, these are 
paintings of warfare. The eponymous painting even depicts tanks and helicopters across its surface, imagery taken from 
Afghani carpets, woven during the Soviet occupation of the 1980s, that Clemente collects. 

Purgatorio is five large-scale temperas on old theatrical backdrops (see cat. no. 63). These paintings are finely drawn 
and vaporous. 




1997: From left to right: Francesco. Pietro. Nin.i, and Andrea Clemenre sirring shivah for Allen Ginsberg at Naropa headquarters in Manhattan The rectangular shape behind Fr.i, 
is the coffin covered with a ceremonial drape. Directly behind the coffin, over the altar, is a painting by the late Trungpa Rimpoche. Ginsberg's guru. Photo by Shawn Mortensen. 




1995: Francesco Clcmente in a moment "I attainmenl at Kali Temple, Mount Abu. Rajastan. 



Meditation is twelve Urge horizontal works painted in enamel and silk-screened on gessoed canvases (see 
cat. nos. 136-38). These depict scenes from Clemente's theater of the mind, complete with proscenium curtains and 
audience. This voyeuristic set-up is a formula he has occasionally returned to throughout his career. 

1994 

During January, in Rome, visits Boetti, who has been diagnosed with cancer. 

In February, at the ancient bronze foundries of Tanjore. India, casts the five separate pieces of The King and the Corpse 
(cat. no. 120) in five different metals. As is Clemente's custom, the title, taken from a book by Heinrich Zimmerbut, 

bears only a glancing reference to the actual inspiration for the work, which in this « as. is about making love to | 

with its folkloric Hindu connotations of Shakti. 

On April 24, Boetti dies in Rome. 

After a week ,n Tanjore. returns to little studto behind Nachiappan, print shop in Madras. The slight malaise .1.,, had 
inconvenienced htm in New York now assails him with force. He (eels constantly dizzy an J "seasick." Panicking, he 
checks into the Madras Holiday Inn-TV. air-conditioning. Watches the Wintet Olympic, and draws .08 works «. ,nk 
on paper. These wtll eventually become the stud.es for the pastels Ex [Aril Chemwau (see cat. nos. 72-75). 

In March, abruptly curta.ls trip to India to seek medical attention in New York. After a full work-up of tests, the doctors can 
find noth.ng wrong with him and P rescr,be a powerful drug, Xanax, that knocks him out but does not help. Discards p.Us. 

During the spr.ng, Geldzahler is terminally ,11 in New York. Clemente draws several pastel portra.ts of h.m. 

During Inly 2-9, hav.ng dr.ven to Colorado from New Mex.co. attends a tribute to Ginsberg at Naropa Institute, 
Boulder Meets Gelek Rtmpoche, T.betan incarnate Lama, teacher ofTibetan Buddhism. At Gelek Rimpoche, request 
Clemente join, G.nsberg and Philip Glass on the board of jewel Heart, a foundation devoted to the cont.nuat.on of 
Tibetan Buddhism. 

On August 12. a retrospect,, suggested by Kenichi K.nokun,, opens ... Sezon Museum 0. Art, Tokyo, with a 
catalogue text by Tatsum, Sh.noda, as well as text and .nterv.ew by Geldzahler. With Anthony d OH.,. Clement, goes 
to Kyoto to visit Tim d'Offay. who lives there. 

On August 16, Geldzahler dies in New York. 

On August 22. under the adv.ee of a fr.end. seeks treatment with .. reflexologist and healer named ****£ 
ML Spends three days undergomg phys.ca, therapy and a.erary mstruct.o, Health proves over tl.c lollow.ng year. 

During September-October, shows P^torio painting, and other works ar Gagos.ahs uptown gallery in New York. 
Exhibit.on .s accompan.ed by a book of six poems by Creeley. 

r:^c.t^r w t-r^rr^rjr^ 

. rext by Harry Mathews, with whom he had previously colUborated on the book S.^r ta. . 1988. 



477 



In November, works on Ex Libris Chenonceau pastels in New York. 

1995 

In January, beg.ns Mother of Paintings (cat. no. 142), a mural-s.ze tempera on backdrop. He will paint on it 
intermittently throughout the following year. (Clemente frequently reuses titles. Mother of Paintings and Meditation, for 
instance, are titles used more than once.) 

In March, finishes the last of Ex Libris Chenonceau pastels in his new studio in New Mexico. 

On March 27, mother dies in Rome. Flies to Naples for the funeral. 

In May, with Krens, visits construction site of the new Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. 

During June-September, at the Venice Biennale, in a little room, shows seven small paintings in tempera, including Seed, 
Friendship, and Meditation. 

Is in Venice before the opening of the Biennale. With Alba, takes their sons, Andrea and Pietro, on a tour. They visit 
Giulio Romano's Palazzo del Te in Mantua, where Francesco sees the Sala dei Gigante for the first time. In Siena, 
revisits the Palazzo Pubblico and Simone Martini's fresco of the Guidoriccio di Fogliano, a favorite. In Ferrara, the 
Palazzo Schifanoia is frescoed by Francesco del Cossa and Ercole di Roberti in a three-tiered allegory of time and the 
seasons, of special interest to Clemente as the model for The Cantos by Ezra Pound. 

Ginsberg visits the Clementes in southern Italy. The poet makes little ink sketches of the landscape and titles them 
Deva Loka ("land of the Gods" in Sanskrit). Ginsberg stays ten days and then accompanies the family by train (the 
Palatino) to Paris and from there to Chenonceau, France. 

On June 25, an exhibition of pastels opens at the Chateau de Chenonceau. On the spot, Allen writes his "Pastel 
Sentences" (see pp. 152, 154, 156, 158), a caption for each of the 108 pastels. 

On June 26, in the town of Sache, near Chenonceau, Mary Rower, Alexander Calder's daughter, opens Calder's studio 
and home to the Clementes and Ginsberg. 

Arrives in Bombay. The monsoon gets there the following day. Travels north to Mount Abu, sacred to the Jain religion. 
The monsoon follows him there and breaks at his arrival. Always traveling north, drives to Jodhpur, where the 
monsoon, three days later, floods the hotel. With nowhere dry to sleep, flies out of India. The trip, however, results in 
Fifty-one Days on Mount Abu (see cat. nos. 76-81). 

On August 20, a large exhibition of Clementes work, organized by the painter Silja Rantanen, opens at the Helsingin 
Taidehalli as part of the Helsinki Festival. 

1996 

During January- February, in New York, executes six very large pastels, nude self-portraits. With these works in shades 
of gray, begins a prolonged investigation of grisaille techniques (see cat. nos. 33-36). 



In March, with Alba and the children, Clemente is on spring break in Port Antonio. Paints The Book of the Arrow. 
a suite of thirty-nine watercolors. 

On March 29, visits his show at the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills. 

During April, in New York, begins a series of large heads of poets in charcoal and gray pastel: Ginsberg. McClure. 
Bernard Picasso, Rjcard. 

Dunng April-July, painting aga.n on old bailee and opera backdrops using tempera, executes the seventeen painting, 
that will hang in the gallery devoted to h,s work when the Guggenheim Museum B.lbao opens in October 1997. 
Some of these paintings are enormous, but energ.zed by the scale, Clemente executes them without assistance ,n 
rhree months. The group, entitled La Stanza dMa Maar, reinvestigates imagery begun in January 1 395 w.th 
Mother of Paintings. 

In May, Alfonso Cuaron. d.rector of the film A Little Princess, visits the stud.o and asks Clemente if he will provide the 
actual paintings to be used in Cuaron's film based on Dickens's Great Expectations, rewritten as the story of a young 
painter. He enthusiastically accepts. 
Dunng July, in New Mex.co. executes The Ffe** of the Gate and works on drawings for Great Expectations. 

Dunng August, m New York, draws portratts of the cast members of Great Equation, Anne Bancroft, Robert De 
Niro, Gwyneth Paltrow. Paints the portrait of Paltrow that wdl become the poster tor the move. 

c k Orober The Book of tfee Arrow watercolors are shown at the Stidtische Galerie Aire. Theater, 

^X^^^^^^^-''-'''^"-' "" 

d.scover the extens.ve use of grisaille frescoes in then decoration. 

school of painting in black-and-white. 

n • o h Decembet in Kerala, India, still with the family and tutor, travels with Raman Schlemmer to the 

^£^*^ + ^™*^**—* 

On Christmas Eve, as usual, the family has a small party at home in New York. 

1997 , w ■ ,,-nrh centurv corridor frescoed in anamorphic perspective. 

Atop Rome's Span.sh Steps, behind Trinita de, Mont,, ,s a s,xteent h- t ury corn ^ ^ ^ ^ 

When looked at from one precise point, the wall conta.ns the ,mage of a tree. Bu a PP ^ 

se en from the oppos.te side. In January, in New York, P a,nr,ng on a -«-^* J _ ^ ^ 
suggests pastel, Clemente makes s,x large-scale anamorph.c P a,nt,ngs„nclud,ng ^ Sw,,„ a 

!„ » rh e Andv Warhol Museum, P.ttsburgh. realizes that not a 
In March, while preparing for an exhibition of portraits at the Andy W 



479 



smg ,e portrait of Alba has been ,ncl u aed ,n the show. On a large, double-square canvas, paints a monumental portra.r 

of Alba reel, g in evening cloches. h,s largest porcra.t to date (cat. no. 37). Th.s begins a aerie, of womens portra.ts 

in the same grand format. 

On April 4. Glass calls at 10 A.M. to say that Ginsberg has had a stroke. At Ginsbergs 13th Street apartment, sits with 
Alba George and Anna Condo. Foye. Robert Frank. Lichrenstem, Larry Rtvers. Ohver Re.s. and Part, Smith. At 5 P.M.. 
Gelek Rrmpoche and two monks arnvc to perform rites. Clemente and Alba leave at midnight. At 1:30 A.M., 
Ginsberg is dead. 

On Apr,! 12. an exhibition of e.ghty portraits, curated by Mark Francs, opens at the Andy Warhol Museum. Greeley 
and Wieners read their poetry. 

In May. with Powell, flies to Toronto, where he spends one day acting the role of a hypnot.st in Van Sants film Good 
Will Hunting. 

During July, in New Mexico, begins work on four mural-sized canvases of very coarse texture. One of these derives its 
imagery from Sassetta's painting of Saint Anthony and Saint Jerome hugging before a cave, which Ginsberg had hanging 
as a postcard on his refrigerator. As of 1999. these pa.nt.ngs are still being worked on. 

Spends the summer in New Mexico. 

During September, in New York, paints eleven small squarish grisaille self-portraits in oil (see cat. no. 33). 

On November 20, Francesco Clemente: Indian Watercolors, an exhibition of one of the books of The Morning Ragas, 
organized by Holly Day, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, opens at the Metropolitan 
Museum of Art. Another exhibition of Indian art. King of the World: A Mughal Manuscript from the Royal Library, 
Windsor Castle, is also on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

1998 

In February, Nachiappan. Clemente's friend and printer of his books for twenty years, has decided to become a 
Hindu monk. They travel together to Nachiappans ancestral home in Chettinadu country, where he has been 
asked to become the abbot of a monastery. Since he has dissolved all earthly ties, Hanuman Books are now 
effectively terminated. 

During April, in New York, using the large double-square format on coarse linen, through this year and into the next, 
paints monumental reclining portraits of Ellen Gallagher, Fran Lebowitz, Helen Marden. Gita Mehta, Ton. Morrison. 
Diane von Furstenberg. and Gloria von Thurn und Taxis. Also receives four commissions for portraits in this format. 

During the summer, stays in New York and paints twelve anamorphic self-portraits (see cat. nos. 34. 35). The 
distortions accentuate the appearance of age. He has been concerned with aging for a while now. and these works are an 
attempt at reconciling himself, reluctantly, to the inevitable. 

On September 19, having driven from New York with S.meral Achenbach— art.st, Sufi, and occasional assistant- 
attends the opening of Francesco Clemente: Indian Watercolors at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. On the afternoon of 



the night Clemente is scheduled to lecture at the museum, he and Simeral are pulled over by traffic police, who find a 
joint of marijuana. Simeral is thrown in jail. After a short delay, they resume their drive to New Mexico. 

In October, Susan Cianciolo publishes The Run Seven book at Alleged Press. For this, Clemente draws in charcoal on 
three pages torn from R. D. Laing's The Politics of Experience, a book that was important to him in his youth. 

In October, hosts a fund-raiser for Jewel Heart at his New York studio. Glass performs on the piano Feldman had 
installed in the loft. "I prefer religions one is born into rather than religions one converts to. One is born a Hindu or .1 
Jew; one converts to Buddhism, to Christianity or Islam." 

During November, in New York, Chandraleika, radical Madrasi choreographer, tells Clemente that the colors of India 
are "black, white, and red." He is bemused by this, since Diana Vreeland has already told us that "pink is the navy blue ol 
India." Paints three works entitled Black, White, and Red. A table designed by a famous architect is depicted in each. 
One of these, Black, White, and Red (cat. no. 145), pictures a cardboard table by Frank Gehry. 

1999 

During January, in New York, works on three square paintings in red and green including Skull and Scissors and 

Butterflies (cat. nos. 147, 148). Has returned to a "more explicitly tantric palette." 
During March, in Port Antonio, paints eight more pages of The Book of the Sea. 

During May-September, exhibition of watercolors and pastels, curated by Danilo Eccher. is shown at the Ciller ,, 
d'Arte Moderna, Bologna. Many old friends attend the opening, including Paola Betti. Diego Espos.to. Lu.g. Ontani, 
and Remo Salvador!. Clemente and Bill Katz installed the exhibition. 

Drives through northern Latium and lower Tuscany alone. Visits Etruscan tombs in Tarquinia. 

In June, visits show of paintings, pastels, and tapestries at the Anthony d'Offay Gallery. London. The tapestr.es were 
woven in Guadalajara under the direction of Robert Evren. Some of the anamorphoses are shown. 

David Hockney draws his portrait in graphite heightened with white. 

In Paris, at the hotel La Louisiane. paints twenty-one small square watercolors reprising the imagery in the red and 
green square paintings. 

In Milan, presents contractor with drawing for a mosaic comm.ss.on. The festive .magery contains a boat carrying an 
orange tree, clouds becoming hands holding pomegranates, and snakes hold.ng diamond ring,. Oversees prinring of Ufe 
h Paradise by Powerhouse Books. A select.on of portraits, the book has a te« by Vmcent Katz. 

In New York, works on a book for Aperture with photos of Clemente in his stud,o by Luca Bab.m and text by Rene Ricard. 

In the mid* of preparations for his Guggenhe.m retrospects to the consternanon of the museums staff, fl.es to Egypt 
with the twins and Nina. Visits Luxor by train. 



481 



During July, wh.le in southern Italy with his sons and daughter, revisits the tomb of the diver in Paestum, Its mural, one 
of the masterpieces of Greco-Etruscan painting, has had singular importance to him from early on and has been a 
tutelary painting for his own work. 



Unatmbuted quotations arc from Francesco Clemcnte's conversations with the author in 1999. 

1. Francesco Clemente. "Apricots and Pomegranates." in Lynne Cooke and Andre Magn.r. Worlds Envisioned: Alighiero e Bocttt and FftUrU Bruly Bouabre. 

exh. cat (New York: D.a Center for the Arts. 1995). p. 60. 
2 Rainei Crone and Georgia Marsh. Clemente: An Interview with Francesco Clemente (New York: Vintage Books, 1987). p. 26. 

3. Clemente. untided essay, in ]ean-Mtchel Basqutat Portraits, exh. cat (Zurich: Edition Galene Bruno Bischofbergcr. 1996). unpaginated. 

4. Clemente. qutocd in Edit deAk. "Francesco Clemente," Interview (New York) 12, no. 4 (April 1982). p. 70. 

5. Clemente. eulogy for Thomas Ammann. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. New York, November 18, 1993. 



Selected Exhibition History 

Compiled by Melanie Marino 



Exhibition entries contain information about related catalogues 
and artist's books, and are followed by related articles and reviews. 
For further information about artist's books cited in this section, 
see "Artist's Books" m the bibliography. 



Solo Exhibitions 



1971 



Gallena Valle Gmlia, Rome, solo exhibition, Dec. 

1974 

Gallena Atea, Florence, solo exhibition, dates unknown. 

1975 

Massimo Minnini, Brescia. Italy, solo exhibition, dates unknown. 

Franco Toselli, Milan, solo exhibition, Feb. 

Gian Enzo Sperone, Turin, solo exhibition, opened Feb. 28. 

Gian Enzo Sperone, Rome, solo exhibition, opened June 26. 

1976 

Lucrezia de Domizio, Pescara, Italy, solo exhibition, opened 

April 21. 

Gian Enzo Sperone, Rome, solo exhibition, opened Dec. 17. 

1977 

Paola Betti, Milan, solo exhibition, dates unknown. 



1978 

Centre d'Art Contemporain, Geneva, Gratis, opened Feb. 

Artist's book. 

Galerie Paul Maenz, Cologne, Francesco Clemente P.M.F.C, 
May 3-16. 

Art & Project, Amsterdam, Undae Clemente Flamma Pulsae. 
July 3-28. Artist's book. 

1979 

Gallena d'Arte Contemporanea Emilio Mazzoli, Modena, 
Italy, Vetta. dates unknown. Artist's book with text by Achille 
Bonito Oliva. 

Giuhana de Crescenzo, Rome, solo exhibition, May. 
— Lamberelli, Roberto. "Francesco Clemente, de Crescenzo/ 
Roma." Flash Art (Milan), nos. 90-91 (June-July 1979), p. 60 
(in Italian). 

Art & Project, Amsterdam, Emblemi e colpi della ptttura di for tuna. 
May 2-27. Catalogue. 

Lucio Amelio, Naples, solo exhibition, opened Oct. 27. 

Lisson Gallery, London, solo exhibition, Nov. 20-Dec. 21. 

Gian Enzo Sperone. Turin, Non Scopa. Dec. Artist's book. 
— Linker, Kate. "Obsessed— and Repelled— by the Past." 
Artnews (New York) 80, no. 5 (May 1981), p. 76. 



1980 

Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Francesco Clemente, 
dates unknown. Catalogue with text by Germano Celant. 

Sperone Westwater Fischer, New York, solo exhibition, April 2-19. 
— Rickey, Carrie. "Taste Test." The Village Voice (New York), 
May 15, 1980, p. 83. 

Galerie Paul Maenz, Cologne, Francesco Clemente, Oct. 16-Nov. 8. 
Catalogue. 

Gian Enzo Sperone, Rome, and Mario Diacono, Rome, solo 
exhibition, opened Nov. 22. 

Art & Project, Amsterdam, Neu> Works, Dec. 11, 1980-Jan. 10, 
1981. Catalogue. 

1981 

Sperone Westwater Fischer, New York, solo exhibition, 
May 2-June 6. 

— Blau, Douglas. "Francesco Clemente, Sperone Westwater 
Fischer." Flash Art (Milan), international edition, no. 104 
(Oct.-Nov. 1981), p. 54. 

— Kramer, Hilton. "Expressionism from Italy Arrives." The 
New York Times, June 5, 1981, p. C19. 

— Lolis, Merope." Francesco Clemente." Arts Magazine 
(New York) 56, no. 1 (Sept. 1981), p. 23. 

Art & Project, Amsterdam, Frescoes, Aug. 

University Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley, 
Francesco Clem one /Matrix 46, Aug.-Oct. Traveled to The Art 
Museum and Galleries, California State University, Long Beach. 
Centric I: Francesco Clemente, Oct.-Dec; Wadsworth Atheneum, 
Hartford. Connecticut. Furnace Clemente/ Matrix 70, Feb. 20- 
April 18, 1982. Brochure with text by Mark Rosenthal. 

— Lewallen, Constance. "Matrix: Clemente, Eno, Hagemeyer." 
University Art Museum Berkeley, July- Aug. 1981, p. 2. 

— Wilson. William. "Clemente: The Uses of Naivete." Los Angeles 
Times, Nov. 2, 1981, part 6, pp. 1-5. 

Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, Francesco Clemente Pinxit, 
Sept. 2-Oct. 10. Artists book. 

— Feaver, William. "Peacocks at a Private View." The Observer 
(London), Sept. 13, 1981. 

—"London Calendar." Burlington Magazine (London) 123, no. 944 

(Nov. 1981), p. 708. 

— Von Gehren, Georg."Bericht aus London." Das Kunstwerk 

(Stuttgart) 34 (Oct. 1981), pp. 53-54. 

Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich, Francesco Clemente: New 
Works, Sept. 19-Oct. 10. Catalogue with text by Rainer Crone. 
— Gassert, Siegmar."Unverfrorener Bildervagabund." Basler 
Zeitung (Basel), no. 231 (Oct. 1981), p. 45. 

1982 

Galerie Daniel Templon, Pans, solo exhibition, June 5-July 16. 

— Liebmann, Lisa. "Francesco Clemente, Daniel Templon. 
Artforum (New York) 21, no. 3 (Nov. 1982), p. 83. 

-Moore. John M. "The Return of the Emot.ve." Connaissance des 
Arts (Pans), no. 26 (March 1982). pp. 54-61. 



Galerie Paul Maenz, Cologne, Francesco Clemente: II viaggiatore 
napoktano, Nov. 26-Dec. 23. Arrists book with texts by Rainer 
Crone and Paul M > 

Galerie Bruno Bischorbergcr, Zurich, Francesco Clemente: 
Watercolours, Dec. 4, 1982-Jan. 22. 1983. Artist's book with text 
by Rainer Crone. 

1983 

Akira Ikeda Gallery, Tokyo. Paintings, Sept. 5-30. Catalog 
Francesco Clemente: Paintings. 

Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. Francesco I li menti I be 
Fourteen Stations, Jan. 7-Feb. 20. Traveled to Gromnger Museum, 
Gromngen, The Netherlands, April I May 8j Badisi hei 

Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, ( inni.nK, May 24 July ^; Galerie d'Art 
Contemporain des Musees de Nice. July 14 Aug. Jlj Mod. in.. 

Museet, Stockholm. Sept, L7-Oct. JO. Catalogue with foreword by 
Nicholas Serota and texts by Mark h.uu is and I [enrj < ieldzahlei 

— Farber. Jules B."Holland Focus: 2 High ' 1 from [talj 
hirenuiriun.il Herald Tribune, May 7-8, 1983, p. 7. 

— Feaver, William. "Quuk and Slow." the I )bservet 1 1 ondon), 
Jan. 30, 1983, Review/ Arts, 

—Fisher, [i lemente, Whitechapel An I lallery, 

London." Flash Art (Milan), international edition, no. 1 1 J 
(summer 1983), pp. 66-67. 

— Gooding, Mel. "Francesco Clemente, Whitechapel and 
Anthony d'Offay." Art* Review (London), Jan, i L983,pp LO LI. 
— Haider, Johannes/Francesco < :iemente, Erich Reiling, 
Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe." Das Kunstwerk (Stuttgart) 36 
Jan. 1984), pp. 168-69. 

—Shone, Richard. "London: Francesco Clemente." Burlin 
Magazine (London) i 15, no. 959 (March 198 
—Taylor, John Russell fearing Passion to Tatters." TJ>< 
(London), Jan. 11, 1983. 

Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, Francesco Clemenl 
Midnight Sun,Jan.8-Feb.22. 

—Feaver, William. "Quick and Slow." The Observer (I ond 

Jan. 30, 1983. Review/Arts. 

—Gooding, Mel. "Francesco Clemente, White* hapel tnd 

Anthony d'Offay." Arts Review (London), Jan. 21, L983, pp. 10-11. 

— Shone, Richard. "London: Fran. ... I len ''•" 

Magazine (London) 125. no. 959 (March L983), p I 

—Taylor, John Russell. " Hearing Passion toTa I "'"" 

(London). Jan. 11. 1983. 

A Space, Toronto, Francesco Clemente Drawings, Feb. 14-26. 

Sperone Westwater. New York. April 2-May 10. and Mary Boone 
Gallery, New York, April 2- JO, I ' ""-• 

— Cannell, Michael. "Francesco Clemente." Art 
(New York) 57, no. 10 (June 1983), p. 4. 

—Cohen, Ronny. I Ti lemente, Mary Boone, Sperone 

Westwater." Artnewi (New York) 82, no. 6 (summer 1983). 

pp. 189-91. 

-Kusp.t, Donald B. "Francesco Clemente at Mary Boone and 

Sperone Westwater." Art in America (New York) 71, no. 10 

(Nov. 1983), p. 227. 

—Larson, Kay. "Freezing Expressionism." New York Magfi 

April 25, 1983, pp. 95-96. 

-Lawson, Thomas «m (New 

York) 21, no. 10 (June 1983), pp. 75-76. 



485 



Kunsthaile Basel, White Shroud, May 13-June 24. Catalogue. 
— Vath-Hinz, Henriette/'Mystik in schwarz und weifi." 
Wolkenkratzcr Art journal (Frankfurt), no. 3 (June-Aug.), 
pp. 70-74. 

1984 

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Currents: 

Francesco Clemente, January. Brochure with text by Elisabeth 

Sussman. 

— Temm, Christine. "The ICAs Barely Installations." The Boston 

Globe, Jan. 26, 1984, pp. 47-48. 

Nationalgalene, Berlin. Francesco Clemente, Pastctle 1973-1983, 
March 16-May 13. Traveled to Museum Folkwang, Essen, 
Germany, June 15-Aug. 19; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 
Sept. 27-Nov. 18; Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Nov. 28- 
Dec. 30; Kunsthaile Tubingen, Tubingen, Germany, Jan. 12- 
Feb. 24, 1985. Catalogue edited by Rainer Crone with texts by 
Crone, Zdenek Felix, Lucius Gnsebach, and Joseph Leo Koerner. 
— Ohff. Heinz. "Francesco Clemente." Das Kunstwerk (Stuttgart) 37 
(Aug. 1984), pp. 64,77. 

—Thomson, Richard. "Clemente in Edinburgh, Tubingen and 
Belfast." Burlington Magazine (London) 127, no. 983 (Feb. 1985), 
pp. 112-15. 

Kunsthaile Basel, Francesco Clemente. May 13-June 24. 
— Idone, Carol. "Francesco Clemente, Barbara Kruger. Jenny 
Holzer." Flash Art (Milan), international edition, no. 119 
(Nov. 1984), p. 46. 

Akira Ikeda Gallery. Tokyo, New Paintings, July 23- Aug. 25. 
Catalogue, Francesco Clemente: New Paintings. 

Arts Council Gallery, Belfast, Francesco Clemente m Belfast, 
Nov. 1-24. Catalogue with interview by Giancarlo Politi. 
— Beaumont, Mary Rose. "Francesco Clemente. Arts Council 
Gallery, Belfast." Arts Review (London), Nov. 9, 1984, p. 560. 
— Shone, Richard. "Clemente in Edinburgh, Tubingen and 
Belfast." Burlington Magazine (London) 127, no. 983 (Feb. 1985). 
p. 115. 

Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hannover, Francesco Clemente: Bilder 
und Skulpturen, Dec. 7. 1984-Jan. 20. 1985. Catalogue with text 
by Carl Haenlein. 

1985 

Sperone Westwater, New York, March 30- April 23, Leo Castelli 

Gallery, New York, March 30- April 23, and Mary Boone Gallery, 

New York, March 30-April 20, solo exhibition. 

— Cone, Michele. "Francesco Clemente, Castelli, Sperone 

Westwater, Boone." Flash Art (Milan), international edition, 

no. 123 (summer 1985), p. 55. 

— Garcia-Herraiz, Enrique. "Francesco Clemente en dos galerias 

de SoHo." Goya (Madrid), no. 186 (May-June 1985). p. 385. 

— Gardner, Paul. "Gargoyles, Goddesses, and Faces in the Crowd." 

Artnews (New York) 85. no. 3 (March 1985), pp. 52-59. 

— Heartney, Eleanor. "Francesco Clemente, Sperone Westwater. 

Castelli Greene Street, Mary Boone." Artnews (New York) 84, no. 7 

(Sept. 1985), p. 132. 

— Hughes, Robert. "Symbolist with Roller Skates." Time (New 

York), April 22. 1985, p. 68. 

— McEvilley, Thomas. "Francesco Clemente, Mary Boone Gallery, 

Leo Castelli Gallery, Sperone Westwater Gallery." Artjorum 

(New York) 24, no. 2 (Oct. 1985), p. 123. 



The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Francesco Clemente 
Prints 1981-1985, May 14-June 9. Catalogue with introduction by 
Henry Geldzahler and interview by Danny Berger. 

Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich, Francesco Clemente: New 
Rmitm^s.June 8-July 7. 

—"Bischofberger, Zurich: Francesco Clemente." Basler Zeitung 
(Basel),June27,1985.p. 35. 

Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Basel, II vtaggiatore napoletano. 
73 Zeichnungen von 1971-1978, July 13-Sept. 15. 
— "Gegenwartskunst in der Gegenwartskunst." Neue Zurcher 
Zeitung (Zurich), Aug. 7, 1985, p. 31. 

John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida, 
Francesco Clemente, Oct. 9-Dec. 8. Traveled to Walker Art Center. 
Minneapolis, Jan. 11-March 2, 1986; Dallas Museum of Art, 
March 30-May 18, 1986; University Art Museum, University of 
California, Berkeley, June 9-Sept. 21, 1986; Albright-Knox Art 
Gallery, Buffalo, New York, Nov. 14. 1986-Jan. 4, 1987; The 
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Feb. 8-March 29, 
1987. Catalogue with texts by Michael Auping and Francesco 
Pellizzi in collaboration with Jean-Christophe Ammann. 

— Freudenheim, Susan. "Berkeley, California: Francesco 
Clemente." Burlington Magazine (London) 128, no. 999 
(June 1986), p. 458. 

— Marcus, Stanley E."The Wat and the Peace of Francesco 
Clemente." Artweek (San Jose, California), April 26, 1986, p. 1. 

— Riddle, Mason. "Francesco Clemente, Walker Art Center." 
New Art Examiner (Chicago), no. 13 (June 1986), p. 57. 

1986 

Akira Ikeda Gallery, Tokyo, Watercolors.july 7-31. Catalogue, 
Women and Men. 

Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, Recenf Paintings, Sept. 4-30. 

— Janusczak, Waldemar. "Jumping the Mystic Wall." The Guardian 

(London), Sept. 10, 1986. 

—Kent, Sarah."Spirit World." Time Out (London), Sept. 10, 1986. 

—Taylor, John Russell. "Francesco Clemente, Anthony d'Offay." 

The Times (London). Sept. 16, 1986. 

—Watson, Gray. "Francesco Clemente, Anthony d'Offay." Flash Art 

(Milan), international edition, no. 131 (Dec. 1986-Jan. 1987), p. 93. 

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Departure of the 
Argonaut, Nov. 6, 1986-Feb. 10, 1987. 
— Bleecher, Stephanie. "The Departure of the Argonaut." 
Arts Murine (New York) 60, no. 10 (summer 1986), p. 114. 

— Henry, Gernt."The Departure of the Argonaut— A Departure 
for Clemente." The Print Collector's Newsletter (New York) 17, no. 3 
( July-Aug. 1986), pp. 87-89. 

— Spector, Buzz. "The Departure of the Argonaut." Artforum 
(New York) 25, no. 6 (Feb. 1987), p. 114. 

Sperone Westwater, New York, Francesco Clemente, Nov. 22, 1986- 
Jan. 6, 1987. Artist's book, Two Garlands. 
— Jones, Alan. "Francesco Clemente." Flash Art (Milan), 
international edition, no. 133 (April 1987), p. 81. 

— Kuspit, Donald. "Francesco Clemente, Sperone Westwater." 
Artforum (New York) 25, no. 8 (April 1987), p. 125. 

1987 

Fundacion Caja de Pensiones, Madrid, Francesco Clemente 

Affreschr. Ptnturas alfresco, April 7-May 17. Catalogue with texts 



by Diego Cortez, Rainer Crone, and Henry Geldzahler. 
— Albertazzi, Liliana. "Francesco Clemente." Artefactum 
(Antwerp) 4, no. 21 (Nov. 1987 -Jan. 1988), pp. 6-9, 60-61, 65 
(in French with summary in English). 

Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Basel, Francesco Clemente 
Zeichnungen und Aquarelle. 1971-1986, May 2-July 5. Traveled to 
Groninger Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands, Sept. 9- 
Oct. 10; Ulmer Museum, Ulm, Germany, Nov. 8-Dec. 6; Musee 
de la Ville de Nice, Jan. -Feb. 1988; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, 
March 15-April 24, 1988; Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, 
June 22-July 24, 1988; Musee Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, 
Lausanne, Switzerland, Sept. 1-Oct. 16, 1988; Galerie mi 
Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria, Dec. 1988-Jan. 1989. Artist's 
book, Francesco Clemente CVIII: Watercolours Adayar 1985, with 
introduction by Dieter Koepplin. 

— Dienst, Rolf-Giinter. "Francesco Clemente, Museum Fur 
Gegenwartskunst, Basel." Das Kunstwerk (Stuttgart) 40 
(Sept. 1987), pp. 134-35. 

— Koepplin, Dieter. "Francesco Clemente: Aquarelle aus Indien." 
Du (Zurich), no. 5 (May 1987), pp. 76-79. 

— Kuspit, Donald. "Francesco Clemente." Artforum (New York) 
26, no. 3 (Nov. 1987). pp. 149-50. 

— Schenker, Chnstoph. "Francesco Clemente, Museum fur 
Gegenwartskunst, Basel." Flash Art (Milan), international edition, 
no. 136 (Oct. 1987), pp. 117-18. 

Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich, Zcichnungeni Verschicdent 

Werkc aus denjahren 1977- 1979/ Works on Paper 1977-1979. 
June 13-Sept. 5. 

Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich, Neue Werke: Funerary 
Paintings, Sept. 12-Oct. 10. 

The Art Institute of Chicago, The Argentano Paintings, 
Oct. 6-Dec. 6. 

1988 

Milwaukee Art Museum. Francesco Clemente: The Graphic Work, 
Jan. 21-March 27. Traveled to The Saint Louis Art Museum. 
April 15-June 5; Museo Italoamericano, San Francisco, July 14- 
Sept. 11. 

Cabinet des Estampes, Geneva, Le Depart des Argonautes et autres 
estampes, Feb. 18- April 3. Catalogue. 

Mario Diacono Gallery. Boston, solo exhibition. April 15- 

May 14. 

— Bonetti, David. "Francesco Clemente at the Mario Diacono 

Gallery." The Boston Phoenix, May 6, 1988, p. 14. 

Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Francesco Clemente: 
Fourteen Stations of the Cross, April 23-June 19. 

Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona, La Partenza del Argonauta, 
June 16-Aug. 28. 

Dia Art Foundation, New York, Funerary Paintings, Oct. 7. 
1988-June 18, 1989. Artist's book. 

-Chua. Lawrence-Francesco Clemente." Flash Art (Milan). 
international edition, no. 144 (Jan. -Feb. 1989). pp. 110-11. 
— Decter, Joshua. "Francesco Clemente. Funerary Paintings. 
Arts Magazine (New York) 63, no. 5 (Jan. 1989). pp. 105-06. 



— Pellizzi, Francesco. "Charon's Boat." Artforum (New York) 27. 
no. 3 (Nov. 1988), pp. 112-17. 

Galerie Paul Maenz, Cologne, I ranccsco Clemente: Major New 
Work, Nov. 11 -Dec. 23. 

— Magnani, Gregono." Francesco Clemente, Paul Maenz, 
Cologne." Flash Art (Milan), international edition, no. 145 

(March-April 1989), p. L19 

1989 

Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich, Francesco Clemente: 
Tin- Cold Paintings, Jan. 4-31. Artist's book with poem by 
Gregory Corso. 

Galerie Yvon Lambert, Pans. Francesco Clemente: Pastels, 
May 20-June 30. 

Anthony d'Offay Gallery. London, Francesco Clemente. Story of 
My Country: Paintings, Sculptures, Fre tries, Pastels, 

Miniatures. May 23-June 21. Artists book, Sixteen Pastels, with 
poems by Rene Ricard 

— Buck, Louisa. "A Nomad's Postcards Home." The Weekend 
Guardian (London), June 10-11. 1989. 

—Burn, Guy "Prints." Arts Review (London), [une L6, 1989, 
pp. 462-63. 

— Carpenter, Merlin. "Francesco Clemente, Anthonj d ( >ffaj 
Artscribe (London), no. 77 (Sepi Oci 1989), pp. 73-74. 

— Feaver, William. "A Quiver of Quick Arrows." The Observer 
(London), June 4, 1989. 

Dia Art Foundation, Bridgehampton. New York, The Vi 

(aeio u): Paintings by Francesco Clemente, July 8-Oct. 9. Catalogue 

with text by Henry Geldzahler. 

—Smith, Roberta. "On Long bland: Vienna, Vide... and Visions 

of Nature." The New York Times. Aug. 4. 198" 

Fundacion Cultural Televisa. Centre Cultural 
Contemporaneo, Guadalajara, Mexico I 
Tapices Rcalizados en el Taller Mexicano de Gobelinos (Guadalajara, 
Jalisco, Mexico), Oi I L989 I eb l^>90. Catalogue with texi 
Raymond Foye, Henry Geldzahler, and Sylvia N.ivarettc. 

1990 

Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, Francesco Clemente: Pa 

May 19-June 15. 

Vrej Baghoomian Gallery, New 1 Ten Had 

Mothers, May 26-June 2 J. 

Sperone Westwater, New York, Francesco Clemente, Oct. 20-Nov. 10. 

— Denson, G.Roger. "Franc Ite: On I olorof 

Desire." Flash Art (Milan), international edition, no. 156 

(Jan.-Feb. 1991). p. 124. 

— Heartney, Eleanoi Francesco! I, water. 

Arfneiv* (New York) 90, no. 1 (Jan. 1991), pp. 143 44 

— Kalina, Richard/Francesco Clement, Westwater." 

Art in America (New York) 79, no. i (Match L991), pp. 136-37. 

Philadelphia Museum of Art. Francesco Clemente: Three Worlds, 
Oct. 20-Dec. 23. Traveled to Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, 
Connecticut. |un. 27-March 17. 1991; San Francisco Mus. 
Modern Art, April Il-June2. L991;RoyalA 
London, Sept. 20-Oct. 27, 1991. Catalogue with texts by 
Raymond Foye, Stella Kramr.sch. Ann Percy, and Ettore S 



487 



— Burn, Guy. " Prints." Art s Review (London), Oct. 18, 1991, p. 513. 
—Francis, Mark. "Philadelphia. Museum of Art, and Hartford, 
Wadsworth Atheneum, Francesco Clemente: Three Worlds." 
Burlington Magazine (London) 133, no. 1055 (Feb. 1991), p. 148. 
—Jenkins, Steven. "An Immortal Approaches Forty: Francesco 
Clemente at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art." Artweek 
(San Jose, California), May 16, 1991, p. 20. 

—Larson, Kay. "On the Line." New York Magazine, Nov. 19, 1990, 
pp. 117-18. 

— Mahoney, Robert. "Francesco Clemente: Three Worlds." 

Flash Art (Milan), international edition, no. 155 (Nov.-Dec. 1990), 
p. 170. 

— NefF, Eileen. "Francesco Clemente, Philadelphia Museum of 
Art." Artjorum (New York) 29, no. 6 (Feb. 1991), pp. 130-31. 

— Nome, Jane. "Francesco Clemente, Royal Academy." Arts 
Review (London), Oct. 4, 1991, pp. 499-500. 

— Spears, Dorothy. "Francesco Clemente." Arts Magazine 
(New York) 65, no. 6 (Feb. 1991), p. 88. 

— Zimmer, William. "One Man's Vision Combines Three 
Worlds." The New York Times, Feb. 10, 1991, section 12, p. 16. 

1991 

Kunsthalle Basel, Francesco Clemente: The Black Book, Jan. 27- 

March 17. Artist's book. 

— Arici, Laura. "Gottliche Umarmung: Francesco Clemente - 

Ausstellung in der Kunsthalle Basel." Newe Zurcher Zeitung 

(Zurich), Feb. 5, 1991. 

— Schiess, Robert. "Robert Filliou — Francesco Clemente." 

Basellandschaftliche Zeitung (Basel), Jan. 28, 1991. 

— Wagner, Thomas. "Transavantgardia: Francesco Clemente in 
Basel." Frankfurter Allgememe Zeitung (Frankfurt), March 9, 
1991, p. 29. 

Perry Rubenstein, New York, Francesco Clemente; Early Self- 
Portratts, March 26-April 19. 

Galerie Beyeler, Basel, Francesco Clemente, June 7-Sept. 27. 
Catalogue with text by Urs Albrecht. 

Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt. Francesco Clemente: 
Bestiunwm, July 6. 1991-Jan. 30, 1992. Catalogue with text by 
Jean-Chnstophe Ammann. 

Gagosian Gallery, New York, Francesco Clemente: Testa Coda, 
Sept. 28-Nov. 16. Traveled to Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, 
Basel, Dec. 8, 1991 -March 2, 1992; Kunstverein, Ulm, Germany, 
March 15-April 20, 1992. Artist's book with introduction by 
Dieter Koepplin and text and interview by Michael McClure. 

— Decter, Joshua. "Francesco Clemente's Testa Coda" Ar(> 
Magazine (New York) 66, no. 4 (Dec. 1991), pp. 80-81. 

— Heartney, Eleanor. "Francesco Clemente, Gagosian." Artnews 
(New York) 90. no. 9 (Nov. 1991), p. 133. 

— Koepplin, Dieter. "Clemente Back to Front." Flash Art (Milan), 
international edition, no. 162 (Jan. -Feb. 1992), p. 147. 

— Kuspit, Donald. "Francesco Clemente, Gagosian Gallery." 
Artjorum (New York) 30. no. 5 (Jan. 1992), p. 98. 

— Mahoney, Robert. "Francesco Clemente, Gagosian." Flash Art 
(Milan), international edition, no. 162 (Jan. -Feb. 1992), p. 129. 

Galerie Daniel Templon, Pans, Francesco Clemente: Oeuvres 
Recentes, Oct. 30-Nov. 30. 

First Gallery, Moscow, Francesco Clemente, Nov. 2-Dec. 2. Two 
artist's books, Ment.il'nvi Umon/Tlte Water's Skeleton, Francesco 



Clemente: Sixteen Watercolours and Francesco Clemente: Nine 
Drawings/ Andrei Voznesensky: Five Poems, with foreword and 
poems by Andrei Voznesensky. 

1992 

Perry Rubenstein, New York, Francesco Clemente, Jan. 

— Heartney, Eleanor. "Francesco Clemente at Perry Rubenstein.' 

Art m America (New York) 80, no. 1 (Jan. 1992), p. 120. 

Leccese Spruth Gallery, Cologne, Francesco Clemente: Works on 
Paper 1979-1983, Feb.-April 4. 

Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich, War Usury Pestilence Death, 
June 11-Sept. 5. 

Gagosian Gallery, New York, Francesco Clemente: Watercolors, 
Sept. 19-Nov. 17. Artists book, Francesco Clemente: Evening Raga 
and Paradiso, edited by Raymond Foye with discussion by 
Clemente, Allen Ginsberg, and Peter Orlovsky. 
— Cotter, Holland. "Francesco Clemente." The New York Times, 
Oct. 23, 1992, p. C28. 

Galerie Michael Haas, Berlin, Francesco Clemente: Gemalde. 
Aquarelle. Pastelle, Dec. 5, 1992-Jan. 30, 1993. Catalogue. 

— Lan, Werner. "Kurswechsel ohne Knicke." Tagessptegel (Berlin), 
Jan. 5. 1993. 

— "Mit und ohne Drachen: Neues von Clemente." Die Welt 
(Bonn), Jan. 23, 1993, p. G7. 

1993 

Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, Francesco Clemente: Paintings, 
Sculptures and Works on Paper from India, March 11- April 30. 
Catalogue with text by Dieter Koepplin. 
— Graham-Dixon, Andrew. "Flirting with Hippie Chic." The 
Independent (London), April 20, 1993. 

— Kent, Sarah. "Sarah Kent on Francesco Clemente." Time Out 
(London), March 17, 1993. 

— Renton, Andrew. "Francesco Clemente: Unrelaxed Cosmology 
of Floating Symbols." Flash Art (Milan), international edition, 
no. 171 (summer 1993), p. 110. 

Gagosian Gallery, New York, Francesco Clemente: The Black 
Paintings, Nov. 16, 1993-Jan. 8, 1994. Artist's book. Life & Death, 
with poems by Robert Creeley. 

— Bonami, Francesco. "Francesco Clemente." Flash Art (Milan), 
international edition, no. 175 (March-April 1994), p. 101. 

— Bourdon, David. "Francesco Clemente at Gagosian." Art m 
America (New York) 82, no. 6 (June 1994) p. 99. 

— Kino, Carol. "Francesco Clemente, Gagosian." Artnews 
(New York) 93, no. 4 (April 1994), pp. 159-60. 

1994 

Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich, Tree of Life, Feb. 19- 
April 30. 

— Trepp, Judith. "Francesco Clemente, Bruno Bischofberger." 
Artnews (New York) 93, no. 5 (May 1994), p. 168. 

Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo, Francesco Clemente: Two Horizons, 
Aug. 12-Oct. 16. Catalogue with interview by Henry Geldzahler 
and text by Tatsumi Shinoda. 

Gagosian Gallery, New York, Francesco Clemente: Purgatorio, 
Sept. 10-Oct. 15. Artist's book, Tl)ere, edited by Raymond Foye 
with poems by Robert Creeley. 



Musee National d'Art Modeme, Centre Georges Pompidou, 
Paris. Early Morning Exercises: Oeuvres sur papier 1971-1994, 
Oct. 26, 1994-Jan. 16, 1995. Catalogue with preface by Beatrice 
Salmon and texts by Harry Mathews and Ettore Sottsass. 
— "Drawings on Exhibit." Drawing (New York) 16, no. 3 
(Sept.-Oct. 1994), p. 63. 

1995 

Museum fur Modeme Kunst, Frankfurt, Mothers of Hope, 
Jan. 27-May 15. Artist's book with introduction by 
Jean-Chnstophe Ammann. 

— Auffermann, Verena."Ein Votum fur die Malerei." Frankfurter 

Rundschau (Frankfurt), Feb. 4, 1995. 

— Gropp, Rose-Maria. "Erzahler lm Raum." Frankfurter Allgemcmc 

Zextung (Frankfurt), Feb. 21, 1995. 

Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, Francesco Clemente: Frescoes and 
Pastels. 1970-1995, Feb. 22-March 31. 
— Searle, Adrian. "Francesco Clemente, Anthony d'Offay." 
Time Out (London), March 8, 1995. 

Galerie Rigassi, Bern, Francesco Clemente, May 3-June 10. 
Catalogue. 

Jablonka Galerie, Cologne, Francesco Clemente, May 19-July 15. 
Artist's book, Francesco Clemente/ Peter Handke, with poems by 
Peter Handke. 

— Goodrow, Gerard A. "Francesco Clemente." Artnews (New 
York) 94, no. 7 (Sept. 1995), p. 154. 

Chateau de Chenonceau, France (organized by Galerie Bruno 
Bischofberger, Zurich), Ex Libris Chenonceau, June 25-Nov. 5. 
Artist's book. 

— Dordeit, Olivier. "Francesco Clemente au Chateau de 
Chenonceau: Astete ou estete?" Parcours (Paris) 1, no. 3 
(summer 1995), pp. 48-49. 

— Pythoud, Laurence. "Francesco Clemente Pastels." L'Oeil 
(Pans), no. 474 (Sept. 1995), p. 98. 

— Suchere, Eric. "Clemente joue la Seduction." Beaux Arts 
Magazine (Paris), no. 137 (Sept. 1995), p. 112. 

Helsingin Taidehalli, Francesco Clemente (part of Helsinki 
Festival), Aug. 20-Oct. 1. Catalogue with foreword by Silja 
Rantanen, text by Tatsumi Shinoda, and interview by Barbaralee 
Diamonstein. 

— Hannula, Mika."Hienovaraisen liikkeen ensisijaisuus." 
Tauie (Helsinki) 35, no. 3 (1995), pp. 32-33. 

— Hannula, Mika. "Desire: ja haviavan herkka kosketus." 
Taide (Helsinki) 35, no. 6 (1995). pp. 12-14. 

Peter Blum, New York, Francesco Clemente: Works from 1980 to 
1990, Nov. 10, 1995-Jan. 20, 1996. 

— Haanley, Bruce. "Francesco Clemente." Artforum (New York) 34, 
no. 8 (April 1996), p. 101. 

— Mac Adam, Alfred. "Francesco Clemente." Artnews (New 
York) 95. no. 3 (March 1996), p. 1 12. 

— Russell, John."Francesco Clemente's Provocations." 
International Herald Tribune, Dec. 30. 1995, p. 6. 

1996 

Galerie Daniel Templon, Pans, Francesco Clemente, Feb. 17- 

March 20. 



Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, California, Francesco Clemente: 
New Works, March 23-April 27. 

Stadtische Galerie Altes Theater, Ravensburg, Germany, 
Francesco Clemente: The Rook of the Arrow, Aquarelle, Sept. 8- 
Oct. 27. Catalogue edited by Tilman Osterworld and Thomas 
Knubben with texts by Dieter Koepplin and Osterworld. 

Galerie Bruno Bischorberger, Zurich, Francesco Clemente: Paintings 
of the Gate, Sept.9-Oct. 19. 

1997 

Galerie Jerome de Noirmont, Paris, Francesco Clemente; Tht 

Paintings of the Gate, April 2-May 51. ( atalogue with rcxt by 

Demosthenes Davvetas. 

— Attias, Laurie. "Francesco Clemente, Jerome do Noirmont, 

Paris." Artnews (New York) 96, no. 6 (June 1997), p. 1 )6 

— "Clemente, dualite." Connaissanct des Arts (Paris), no. 539 
(May 1997), p. 30. 

The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. I rancesco ( L»icntc: 
Portraits, April 12-Aug. 51 

— Shearing, Graham. W.u hoi Show Makes Portraits N 
Tribune Review (Greensburg, Pennsylvania), April 20, 1987, p. E6. 

Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, Fifty One Dayi on MourU Abu, 
April 24-May 31. Artist's book with text by Clemente. 

— Lucie-Smith, Edward. "Critic's Diary." Art Review (London) 49 
(June 1997), pp. 26-29. 

Gagosian Gallery, New York. Froncejec Clemente; Anamorphosis, 
May 1-June 14. Artists book edited by Raymond Foye with 
poems by Robert Creeley. 

—Carrier, David."New York: Spring Exhibitions." BuWittf 
Magazine (London) 139, no. 1 1 33 (Aug. 1997), pp. 570 
—Wei. Lilly. "Francesco ( lementc ai < iagosian." Arf in Am 
(New York) 85, no. 11 (Nov. 1997), p. 126. 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 

Indian Watercolors, Nov. 20, 1997-Feb. 8, 1998. Traveled to 

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, May 3 1 -Aug. 2, 

1998: Indianapolis Museum of Art, Sept. 19, 1998 Jan. 5. L999 

Brochure. 

—Cotter, Holland. "Many Shows and Many [ndias.' I be New 

York Times, Dec. 26, 1997, pp. E43, E45. 

— Seeman Robinson, Joan. "Francesco Clemente, [ndknapofc 

Museum of Art." Artforum (New York) 37, no. 4 (Dec. 1998), 

p. 1 34. 

1999 

Anthony d'Offay Gallery. London, Francesco Clemente: Pain 
Wardrobe, April 29-June 16. 

Gallena d'Arte Moderna, Bologna, Francesco Clemente: Operc su 
carta. May 29-Sept. 12. Catalogue with d.s.uss.on by CI. 
Danilo Eccher, and Francesco Pellizzi. 

Jablonka Galerie, Cologne, Francesco Clemente: Broken Women. 
Ne«ePdJfc/ft\June4-July 31. 



489 



Group Exhibitions 

1973 

Museum of the Philadelphia Civic Center, Philadelphia, 

Italy Two— Art Around 70, Nov. 2-Dec. 16. Catalogue with texts 

by Furio Colombo and Alberto Boatto and Filiberto Menna. 

1974 

Studenteski Center, Belgrade, group exhibition, dates unknown. 

1975 

Galleria Diagramma, Milan, Campo Died, dates unknown. 

Galleria I'Attico, Rome, 24 ore su 24, Jan. 

— Bonita Ohva, Achille. "Spazio a Tempo Pieno." Casabclla 
(M.Ian) 41, no. 407 (Nov. 1975), pp. 32-35. 

— Bonita Oliva, Achille. "24 ore su 24." Studio International 
(London), no. 190 (Sept.-Oct. 1975), pp. 154-55. 
—Cora, Bruno. "24 ore su 24." Data (Milan), no. 15 
(spring 1975), pp. 2-5. 

Parco Ibirapuera, Sao Paulo, XIII Biendl de Sao Paulo, Oct. 17- 
Dec. 15. Catalogue. 

1976 

Gallerie Communale d'Arte Moderna and Sala del Ridotto del 
Teatro Regio, Parma, Italy, Foto tr Idea, April-May. Catalogue. 

Gian Enzo Sperone, Rome, Francesco Clemente, Mario Merz, Vettor 
Pisani, opened April 14. 

1977 

Studio Cannaviello, Rome, Drawings /Transparency, dates 
unknown. Catalogue with text by Achille Bonito Oliva. 

Gian Enzo Sperone, Rome, Wednesday 16 Feb. 1977, Feb. 16. 

Palais de Tokyo and Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Pans, 
Xe Biennale de Paris, Sept. 17-Nov. 1. Catalogue. 
— L. L. P."La Biennale di Pangi— Problema." Domus (Milan), 
no. 576 (Nov. 1977), pp. 50-53 (in Italian and French). 

1978 

Galleria la Salita, Rome, Pas de deux, opened May 16. 

1979 

Galerie Paul Maenz. Cologne, Arte Cifra, June 21 -July 21. 
Catalogue with text by Wolfgang Max Faust. 

Kunstaustellungen Gutenbergstrasse, Stuttgart, Europa '79, 
Sept. 30-Oct. 26. Catalogue. 

— Pohlen, Annelie. "Europa 79: 2. Kunstvorstellung in Stuttgart." 
Flash Art/Heute Kunst (Milan), nos. 94-95 (Jan.-Feb. 1980), 
pp. 70-71. 

Galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris, Pangi: O Cara, Oct. 20-Nov. 24. 

Palazzo di Citta, Acireale, Italy, Opere Fatte ad Arte, Nov. 
Catalogue with text by Achille Bonito Oliva. 

Castello Colonna, Genazzano, Italy, he Stanze, Nov. 30, 1979- 
Feb. 29. 1980. Catalogue with texts by Achille Bonito Oliva and 
Mario Merz. 



Ferrari, Corinna.'Te Stanze del Castello." Domus (Milan), 

no. 604 (March 1980), p. 55 (in Italian and English). 

1980 

Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, Die enthauptete Hand — 
100 Zeichnungen aus ltalien: Chia, Clemente. Cucchi, Paladino, 
Jan. 20-Feb. 28. Traveled to Stadtische Galerie Schloss 
Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany, March 9-Apnl 6; Groninger 
Museum, Gromngen, The Netherlands, June 6-July 6. Catalogue 
with texts by Achille Bonito Oliva, Wolfgang Max Faust, and 
Margarethe Jochimsen. 

Francesco Masnata, Genoa, Italy, Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, 
Enzo Cucchi, Nicola De Maria. Mimmo Paladino. March. 

Mannheimer Kunstverein, Mannheim, Egonavigatio: Sandro Chia, 
Francesco Clemente. Nicola De Maria. Mimmo Paladino, March 30- 
April 27. Catalogue with texts by Jean-Chnstophe Ammann, 
Achille Bonito Oliva, Germano Celant, Wolfgang Max Faust, and 
Margarethe Jochimsen. 

Kunsthalle Basel, Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi. 
Nicola De Maria. Luigi Ontam, Mimmo Paladino. Ernesto Tatafiore, 
May 11 -June 22. Traveled to Museum Folkwang, Essen, 
Germany, Oct. 17-Nov. 30; Stedelijk Museum. Amsterdam, 
Dec. 12, 1980-Jan. 13, 1981. Catalogue with texts by Jean- 
Christophe Ammann, Achille Bonito Oliva, and Germano Celant. 
— Ammann, Jean-Christophe."Espansivo-Eccessivo." Domu* 
(Milan), no. 593 (April 1979), p. 45. 

— Franzke, Andreas. "7 Junge Kiinstler aus ltalien." Pantheon 
(Munich) 39, no. 1 ( Jan.-March 1981), pp. 7-8. 

— Payant, Rene. "From Landuage to Landuage: En suivant 
quelques oeuvres peintes italiennes." Parachute (Montreal), no. 23 
(summer 1981), pp. 27-33 (summary in English). 

Venice, XXXIX Biennale di Venezta: L'artc negh anm settanta/ 
Aperto '80, June 1-Sept. 28. Catalogue with texts by Achille Bonito 
Oliva, Michael Compton, Martin Kunz, and Harald Szeeman. 

— Celant, Germano."Biennale '80: Sonni e Risvegh/Venice: 
Sleep and Sparks." Domus (Milan), no. 608 ( July-Aug. 1980), 
pp. 48-55 (in Italian and English). 

— Gendel, Milton. "Ebb and Flood Tide in Venice." Artnews 
(New York) 79, no. 7 (Sept. 1980). pp. 118-20. 

— Pincus-Witten, Robert. "Entries: If Even in Fractions." Arts 
Magazine (New York) 55, no. 1 (Sept. 1980), pp. 116-19. 

Sperone Westwater Fischer, New York, Sandro Chia, Francesco 
Clemente and Enzo Cucchi, Sept. 20-Oct. 4. 

— Larson, Kay."Bad Boys at Large! The Three C's Take on New 
York." The Village Voice (New York), Sept. 17, 1980, pp. 35, 37. 
— Lawson, Thomas. "Chia, Clemente and Cucchi, Sperone 
Westwater Fischer." Flash Art (Milan), international edition, 

no. 100 (Nov. 1980), p. 43. 

— Nadelmann, Cynthia. "Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, 

Enzo Cucchi." Artnews (New York) 79, no. 10 (Dec. 1980). p. 193. 

— Rickey, Carrie. "Francesco Clemente, Sperone Westwater 
Fischer Gallery." Artjorum (New York) 19, no. 4 (Dec. 1980), 
pp. 70-71. 

Galerie Rudolph Zwirner, Cologne, Neuerwerbungen. Oct. 

Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris, La transavantgarde Ualienne: Sandro 
Chia, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi, Nicola De Maria. Mimmo 
Paladino, Dec. 6. 1980-Jan. 8, 1981. 



Gallena la Salita, Rome, "i! ritratto," opened Dec. 17. 

Annina Nosei Gallery, New York, Drawings and Works on Paper, 
Dec. 20, 1980-June 17, 1981. 

— Casademont, Joan. "Drawings and Paintings on Paper, Annina 
Nosei Gallery." Artforum (New York) 19, no. 8 (April 1981), 
pp. 65-66. 

1981 

Rheinhallen der Kolner Messe, Cologne, Westkunst, May 30- 
Aug. 16. Catalogue with texts by Marcel Baumgartner, Laszlo 
Glozer, and Kasper Konig. 

— Ammann, Jean-Christophe." Westkunst in Cologne." Flash Art 
(Milan), international edition, no. 104 (Oct. -Nov. 1981), p. 51. 
— Armstrong, Richard. "Heute, Westkunst." Artforum (New 
York) 20, no. 1 (Sept. 1981), pp. 83-86. 

— Feaver, William. "Talismans and Trophies: Vintage Modernist 
at 'Westkunst.'" Arrneivs (New York) 80, no. 7 (Sept. 1981). 

pp. 132-35. 

— Marmer, Nancy. "Isms on the Rhine." Art m America (New 
York) 69, no. 9 (Nov. 1981), pp. 1 12-23. 

Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, 
Pans, VIdentiU Ualienne: Art en Itahe depuis 1959. June 25-Sept. 7. 
Catalogue with introduction by Germano Celant. 

— Ammann, Jean-Christophe. "Identite Italienne: Una scleta per 
Parigi." Domus (Milan), no. 621 (Oct. 1981), p. 57. 

— Bonito Oliva, Achille. "Cosi Celant tutti." Domus (Milan), 
no. 621 (Oct. 1981), pp. 58, 62. 

— Gruterich, Marlis."Italienische Identitat oder reiche arme 
Kunst." Kunstbulletm (Bern), no. 2 (Feb. 1982), pp. 2-9. 

Sperone Westwater Fischer, New York, Sandro Chia, France* 
Clemente, Enzo Cucchi, Carlo Mariam, Malcolm Morley, David Salle, 
juhan Schnabel, Sept. 19-Oct. 17. 

Crown Point Gallery, Oakland, California, Italians and American 
Italians: Etchings, Sept. 20-Oct. 30. Brochure with text by 
Kathan Brown. 

Galerie Paul Maenz, Cologne, Die Erotik der netten Kunst. Oct. 17- 
Nov. 11. Catalogue with texts by Jean-Christophe Ammann, 
Germano Celant, Wolfgang Max Faust, and A. Wildermuth. 

Gallena d'Arte Contemporanea Emilio Mazzoli, Modena, Italy, 
Tesoro, Nov. Catalogue with text by Achille Bonito Oliva. 

Albnght-Knox Art Gallery, CEPA Gallery, and Hallwalls, Buffalo, 
New York, Figures: Forms and Expressions. Nov. 20, 1981 -Jan. 3, 
1982. Catalogue with texts by Robert Collignon, William Curr.e, 
Roger Denson, Biff Henrich, Charlotta Kotik, and Susan Krane. 

The Squibb Gallery, Princeton, New Jersey, Aspects of Post - 
Modernism, Dec. 7, 1981-Jan. 10, 1982. Catalogue with text by 
Sam Hunter. 

1982 

Gallena Civica del Commune di Modena, Modena, Italy, 
Transavanguardia: Italia/ America, March 21 -May 2. Catalogue 
with text by Achille Bonito Oliva. 

Aurehan Wall, Rome, Avanguardm Tnw^vanguardia 68. 
April-July. Catalogue with text by Achille Bonito Oliva. 



— Clarke, John R."Up Against the Wall, Transavanguardi il 
igazine (New York) 57. no. 4 (Dec. 1982), pp. 76-81. 
— Cocucciom. Enrico Avantgardt Transavantgarde (Mui i 
Aureliane/Roma)." I la^h An (Milan), nucrn.inon.il edition. 
no. 109 (Nov. 1982). pp. 70-71. 

Marlborough Gallery, New York, The Pressure to Point, June 4- 

July 9. Catalogue with texts by Diego Cortez and David P. 

Robinson 

— Russell, John. "Marlborough Offers Samplet ol 1~ Paintings." 

The New York Time*, June 11. 1982, p. ("26. 

— Stlverthorne, Jeanne I he Pressure to Paint, Marlborough 

Gallery." Artforum (New York) 1 1, no. 2 (Oct. L982), pp. 6 

Museum Fridencianum, Kassel. Germany, Documenta '. Jun.- L9 
Sept. 28. Catalogue (2 vols.) with texts bj Saskia Bos, ( lermano 
Celant, Rudi Fuchs, Johannes Gachnang, Walter Nikkels, 
Gerhard Storck, and Coosje van Bruggen. 
— Ammann, Jean-Christophe Documents Realitj and I ' 
Flash Art (Milan), international edition, no. 109 (Nov. 1982), 
pp. 37-39. 

— r-rackman, Noel, and Ruth Kauffman I >0( umentS The 
Dialogue and a Few Asides." Arts Magazine (N. no. 2 
(Oct. 1982), pp. 91-97. 

—Owens, Craig." Bay reuth '82." Art in America (New York) 70, 
no. 8 (Sept. 1982), pp. 131-38, 191. 

— Politi. Giancarlo. "Document.! 
international edition, no. 109 (Nov. 1982), pp. M 

— Russell, John. "A Palace of Pleasure fbt Art." the New 

. July 11, 1982, section 2. pp. 1-11. 

Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, fur Painters I ' 
Kie/er. Salle, Schnabel, June 23-July 25. 
— Einzig, H."Chia, Clemente, Kiefer, Salle, Si hnabel." Arts 
Review (London), July 16, 1982, p. 573. 

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New Work on Po; 
Jonathan Borofsky. Francesco Clemente, Mario Mere. A. R. P« 
ope Penone, |uly 28-Sept. 21. ( atalogue with text by 
Bernice Rose. 

— Linker, Kate. "New Work on Paper 2." Artforum (New York) 21, 
no. 3 (Nov. 1982), pp. 76-77. 

— Russell, John. "Drawings. Reticent and Bold, at the Mo 
The New York Times July 30, 1982, p. ( 

—Smith, Roberta. "Drawing Fire." 1 1 ice (New York), 

Aug. 17, 1982, p. 74. 

Groninger Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands, and 
Kunsthalle Wilhelmshaven. Wilhelmshaven, < iermany, kunst 
nu/ku>nt unseret zeit, Sept. 4-Oct. 10. Catalogue with 
introduction by Antje von Graevenitz. 

Martin-Grop.us-Bau, Berlin, Zeitgeist, Oct. 1 

198?. Catalogue with foreword by Christosjoachimides and texts 

by Karl-He.nz Bohrer, Paul Feyerabend. Hilton Krs 

— Faust, Wolfgang Max. "The Appearance of the , 
Artforum (New York) 21, no. 5 (Jan. 1983), pp. 86-93. 
-Rose, Barbara. "In Berlin. The Spirit of the Time 
Vogue (New York) 173, no. 2 (Feb. 1983). pp. 296-301, 349. 
-Russell, John. "A Big Berlin Show that Misses the Marl 
New York Times, Dec. 5, 1982, p. 33. 

—Simon, Joan. "Report from Berlin: Zeitgeist. The Times 

and the Place." Art in America (New York) 71. no. 3 (March 1983), 

pp. 33, 35, 37. 



491 



The Parnsh Art Museum, Southampton, New York, How to 
Draw/What to Draw. Works on Paper by Five Contemporary Artists, 
Nov. 14, 1982-Jan. 3. 1983. 

— Harrison, Helen A. "Showing How and What to Draw." The 
New York Times, Dec. 5, 1982, Long Island Weekly Section, p. 36. 

1983 

Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, New Paintings and Watercolours, 
Jan. 8-Feb. 22. 

Fundacion Caja de Pensiones, Madrid, Italia: La Transavanguardia, 
Feb. 1 -March 5. Catalogue with texts by Achille Bonito Oliva 
and V. Cambalia. 

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Prints from Blocks: 
Gauguin to Now, March 6-May 15. Catalogue with text by Riva 
Castleman. 

— "Museum and Dealer Catalogues, Museum of Modern Art." 
The Print Collector's Newsletter (New York) 14, no. 2 (May- 
June 1983), pp. 68-69. 

Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, Concetto-Imago: Generationswechsel in 
Italien, March 18-May 1. Catalogue with texts by Zdenek Felix 
and Margarethejochimsen. 

Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany, Sandro Chia, Francesco 
Clemente, Enzo Cucchr. Bilder, April 29-July 3. Catalogue with 
texts by Wolfgang Max Faust and Ulrich Weisner and interviews 
with the artists by Heiner Bastian. 

— Friedrichs, Yvonne. "Angeruhrt vom Geheimnis: Chia, 
Clemente, Cucchi in Bielefeld." Dm (Zurich), no. 4 (April 1983), 
pp. 80-81. 

— Winter, Peter. "Chia, Clemente, Cucchi, Kunsthalle Bielefeld." 
Das Kunstwerk (Stuttgart) 36 (summer 1983), pp. 156-57. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Recent European 
Painting. May 20-Sept. 4. 

Galerie Beyeler, Basel, New Work on Paper: Drawings, Watercolors, 
Collages, June-Oct. 

The Parnsh Art Museum, Southampton, New York, The Painterly 
Figure, July 24-Sept. 4. Catalogue with text by Klaus Kertess. 

Tate Gallery, London, New Art, Sept. 14-Oct. 23. Catalogue with 
text by Michael Compton. 

— Beaumont, Mary Rose. "New Art, Tate Gallery." Arts Review 
(London), Sept. 30, 1983, pp. 534-35. 

The Boibnno Gallery, Stockholm, Def Italtenska Avantgardet, 
Sept. 17-Oct. 16. Catalogue with text by Cecelia Stam. 

Galerie Beyeler, Basel Art Fair, Basel, Expressionist Painting Beyond 
Picasso, Oct.- Dec. Catalogue with text by Siegfried Gohr. 

Ateneumin Taidemuseo, Helsinki, Ars '83 Helsinki, Oct. 14- 
Dec. 11. Catalogue with texts by Yrjana Levanto, Barbara J. 
London, Mats B.J. O. Mallander, Pauli Paaermaa, Leena Peltola, 
and Matti Ranki. 

— Madoff, Steven Henry. "Ars 83 Helsinki." Artnews (New 
York) 83, no. 1 (Jan. 1984), pp. 120-26. 

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, The First 
Show: Painting and Sculpture from Eight Collections, 1940-1980, 



Nov. 20, 1983-Feb. 19, 1984. Catalogue with texts by Julia 
Brown, Pontus Hulten, Bridget Johnson, and Susan C. Larsen. 

Mary Boone Gallery, New York, Paintings, Dec. 3-31. 

1984 

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., The Folding Image, 
March 4-Sept. 3. Catalogue with foreword by Michael Komanecky 
and texts by Janet W Adams, Virginia Fabbn, and Komanecky. 

Akira Ikeda Gallery, Nagoya, Painting Now: Basquiat, Chia, 
Clemente, Cucchi, Salome, Schnabel, March 5-31. Catalogue with 
foreword by Kazuaki Mitsuiki and text by Nobuyuki Hiromoto. 

Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, Modern Expressionists: German, 
Italian, and American Painters, March 10- April 7. Catalogue. 

Musee d'Art Contemporain, Montreal, Via New York, May 8- 
June 24. Catalogue with texts by Phillip Evans-Clark, France 
Gascon, Andre Menard, and Robert Pincus-Witten. 

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, An International Survey 
of Recent Painting and Sculpture, May 17- Aug. 19. Catalogue with 
text by Kynaston McShine. 

Mary Boone Gallery, New York, Drawings, June 2-30. 

BlumHelman Gallery, New York, Francesco Clemente, Bryan Hunt, 
David Salle, June 6-July 27. 

— Robinson, John. "Francesco Clemente/Bryan Hunt/David 
Salle." Arts Magazine 59, no. 1 (Sept. 1984), p. 34. 

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Human Condition: 

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Biennial III, June 28- Aug. 26. 

Catalogue. 

— Levy, Mark. "Confronting the Human Condition." Arfweefe 

(San Jose, California), Aug. 11, 1984, p. 1. 

The Chicago Public Library Cultural Center (organized by 
Chicago Council on Fine Arts and The Renaissance Society at 
the University of Chicago), Contemporary Italian Masters, June 30- 
Sept. 8. Catalogue with texts by Henry Geldzahler and Judith 
Russi Kirshner. 

Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, Beuys, Clemente, Gilbert & 
George, Kiefer, Long, July 31-Aug. 24. 

The Guinness Hop Store, Dublin, ROSC '84: The Poetry of Vision, 
Aug. 24-Nov. 17. Catalogue with texts by Rosemarie Mulcahy, 
Patrick J. Murphy, William Packer, Michael Scott, Ronald Tallon, 
and Dorothy Walker. 

Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich, Collaborations: Basquiat, 
Clemente, Warhol, Sept. 15-Oct. 13. 

— Wechsler, Max. "Collaborations, Galerie Bruno Bischofberger." 
Artforum (New York) 23, no. 5 (Feb. 1985). p. 99 

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Images and Impressions: Painters 
Who Print, Sept. 23-Nov. 25. Traveled to Institute of 
Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 
March 15- April 28, 1985. Catalogue with text on Clemente by 
Rainer Crone. 

— Larson, Philip. "New Expressionism." The Print Collector's 
Newsletter (New York) 15, no. 6 ( Jan.-Feb. 1985), pp. 199-200. 



Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian 
Institution, Washington, D.C.. Content: A Contemporary I 
1974-1984, Oct. 4, 1984-Jan. 6, 1985. Catalogue with foreword 
by Abram Lerner and texts by Howard Fox and Miranda 
McClintic. 

1985 

Kunsthalle Tubingen, Tubingen, Germany, 7000 Eichen, 
March 2-Apnl 14. Traveled to Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Bielefeld, 
Germany, June 2- Aug. 11. Catalogue with texts by G. Adriani, 
Heiner Bastian, and U. Weisner. 

Grande Halle du Pare de la Villette, Pans, La NouveUe Biennale de 
Pans, March 21-May 21. Catalogue with texts by Achille Bonito 
Ohva, Georges Boudaille, Alanna Heiss, et al. 

Castello Colonna, Genazzano, Italy, Nuove Trame deU'Arte, 
June 21 -Oct. 31. Catalogue. 

— Clarke, John R. "Circuses and Bread: Achille Bonito Oliva's 
Nuove Trame deU'Arte at Genazzano." Arts Magazine (New 
York) 60, no. 2 (Oct. 1985), pp. 34-39. 

Kunsthalle Basel, Von Twombly bis Clemente: Ausgewahlte Werke 
einer Pnvatsammlung/Selected Works from a Private Collection, 
July 14-Sept. 15. Catalogue with texts by Jean-Chnstophe 
Ammann and Roman Hollenstein. 

Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, Unique Books, Sept. 5-Oct. 2. 

The Museum of Modern Art, New York. India and the 
Contemporary Artist, Oct. 16, 1985-Jan. 21, 1986. 

Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, The Carnegie 
International, Nov. 9, 1985-Jan. 5, 1986. Catalogue with texts by 
Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Hal Foster, Rudi Fuchs, et al. 
—van der Marck, Jan. "The Triennial Revisited." Arf m America 
(New York) 74, no. 5 (May 1986), pp. 49-55. 

Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska, New Art of Italy, Nov. 22, 
1985-Jan. 21, 1986. Traveled to Dade County Center for the Fine 
Arts, Miami, Feb. 1-March 23, 1986; The Contemporary Arts 
Center, Cincinnati, April 4-May 23, 1986. Catalogue with text by 
Holliday T. Day. 

— Benson, Timothy. "Cincinnati: The New Art of Italy." Burlington 
Magazine (London) 128, no. 996 (March 1986), p. 242. 

Castello di Rivoli, Turin. Overture, opened Dec. 13. Catalogue 
with text by Rudi Fuchs. 

1986 

Whitechapel Art Gallery. London, In Tandem. March 27-May 25. 
Catalogue with text by Lynne Cooke. 

Stadtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich. Beuys zu Ehren, 
July 16-Nov. 2. Catalogue with texts by Johannes Cladders, 
Bernd Kluser, Armin Zweite, et al. 

Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Europa/ Amerika, Sept. 6-Nov. 30. 
Catalogue with texts by Rainer Crone. Johannes Gachnang, 
Siegfried Gohr, et al. 

Galene Bruno B.schofberger. Zurich, Clemente, Salle, Schnabel: 
Three Large Paintings, Sept. 23-Nov. 15. 



Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia Collect Arf Since 
1940, Sept. 28-Nov. 30. Catalogue with introduction by 
M.irk Rosenthal. 

1987 

Palais des Beaux-Arts, Charleroi, Belgium, I / \iWiwm- an 

Quotidien, Feb. 7-April 5. 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, Avant Garde in 
the Eighties, April 23-July 12. Catalogue with text by Howard Fox. 

Minnesota Museum of American Art, Saint Paul, 
The International Exhibition to End World Hunger, Sept. 1 3 I -,■ 
Traveled to Sonia Henie-Neils Onstad Foundation, hfovikodden, 
Norway, Dec. 8, 1987-Jan. 20, 1988; Gotcborgs Konstmuseum, 
Goteborg, Sweden, Feb. 27-April 4, 1988; Kolnischer 
Kunstverein, Cologne. April 21-May 29, 1988; Music del Km 
Africains et Oceaniens, Paris, June 10 Jul) 20, 1988; Barbican Art 
Gallery, London, Aug. 4-Oct. 2, 1988. 

Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia Univei 
New York, Dec. 4, 1987-Jan. 30, 1988, Leo Cm. II. Gallery, 
New York, Dec. 5-22, and Ileana Sonnabend Gallery, New York. 
Dec. 2-22. Similia/D'tssimilia: Modes o) Abstraction in Painti 
Sculpture and Photography Today. Catalogue with introduction by 
Rainer Crone and text on Clemente by Linda Norden. 

1988 

Galeria Eude, Barcelona, Paladino — Cucchi — Clemente, Jan. 

Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Canada. The Impossible Self, 
April 10-July 10. Catalogue with artists' statements 

Museo d'Arte Contemporanea. Prato, Italy, I uropa I )ggi 
Now. Arte contemporanea nell'Europa occidentale, June 25 < >ct. 20. 
Catalogue with texts by Carlo Bcrrelli, Achille Bonito ( >liva, 
Bruno Cora. Gillo Dorfles, and Helmut Draxler. 

Venice, XLlll Biennale di Venezia: U Luogo degli Artisti/Aperto '88, 
June 26-Sept. 25. Catalogue with introduction by Giovanni 
Carandentc and texts by Guide Ballo, Achille Bonito Oliva, 
Pier Luigi Tazzi, et al. 

Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, The Carnegie International, 
Nov. 5, 1988-Jan. 22, 1989. Catalogue with foreword by 
Phillip M.Johnson and texts by John Caldwell, Vicky A.Clark, 
Lynne Cooke, Milena Kalinovska, and Thomas McF.v.lley. 

The Museum of Modern Art, New York. For 25 Years: Crown 
Press. Nov. 20. 1988-March 8, 1989. Catalogue with text by Riva 
Castleman. 

1989 

Royal Academy of Arts, London, Italian Art in the Twentieth 
Century,)^. 14-Apr.l 9. Catalogue with texts by Paolo Bald... 
Carlo Bertelh, Germano Celant, et al. 

Rhe.nhallen der Kolner Messe, Cologne, Bilderstreit, April 8- 
July 2. Catalogue with texts by Hans Belting, Michael Compton, 
Rene Denizot, et al. 

-Beyer, Luc.e.'B.lderstre.t, Rheinhallen Fair Center, Cologne. 
Flash Art (M.Ian), international edition, no. 147 (summer 1989), 
p. 154. 



493 



Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, 
Paris, Magtctens de la Terre, May 18-Aug. 14. Catalogue with texts 
by Homi Bhabha, Mark Francis, Pierre Gaudibert, et al. 

— Heartney, Eleanor. "The Whole Earth Show, Part II." Art in 
America (New York) 77, no. 7 (July 1989), pp. 91-96. 

— McEvilley, Thomas. "Marginalia: Thomas McEvilley on 

The Global Issue." Artforum (New York) 28, no. 7 (March 1990), 
pp. 19-21. 

Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, Vienna, Wiener Diwan — Sigmund 
Freud — heute, May 29-July 16. Catalogue edited by Thomas 
Zaunschirm with texts by Matthias Boeckl. 

Fundacion Cultural Televisa, Centro Cultural Arte 
Contemporaneo, Guadalajara, Mexico, Paul Klee, Francesco 
Clemente, Papunya Tula,}uly 5-Oct. 

1990 

Franklin Furnace Archives, New York, Contemporary Illustrated 
Books: Word and Image, 1 967- 1988, Jan. 12- Feb. 28. Traveled to 
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, 
April 5-June 3; University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, 
Feb. 8-April 7, 1991. 

Massimo Audiello Gallery, New York, Disturb Me, March 17- 
April 7. 

Galerie Belher, Paris, Renaissance du polyptiaue chez les artistes 
contemporain*, June 14-July 20. Catalogue. 

Nippon Convention Center, Makuhari Messe Exhibition Hall 
International, Tokyo, Pharmakon '90, July 28-Aug. 20. Catalogue 
with foreword by Kikuko Amagasaki and texts by Jan Avgikos, 
Achille Bonito Oliva, and Motoaki Shinohara. 

1991 

Brooke Alexander Editions, New York, Poets /Painters: 
Collaborations, March 13-30. 

Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, Artists' Sketchbooks, 
March 20-April 5. Catalogue with text by Guy Davenport. 

Studio d'Arte Cannaviello, Milan, Clemente, Paladino, Gli Anm '70, 
May 1-June 5. Catalogue. 

Louver Gallery. New York, Clemente, Dorner, Iglesias, Mol, 
Sarmento, June 1— July 5. 

Kunstmuseum Basel, Sept. 1-Dec. 8, and Berowergut, Riehen, 
Switzerland, Sept. 1-Oct. 20, Zeichnungen des 20. jahrhunderts: 
Karl August Burckh.irdt Kocchlm-Fonds. Catalogue with foreword by 
Dieter Koepplin. 

Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Basel, Emmanuel Hoffmann-Stiftung 
1980-1990, Sept. 13-Nov. 25. Catalogue with foreword by Vera 
Oeri-Hoftman and texts by Jean-Christophe Ammann, Coosje 
van Bruggen, Dieter Koepplin, et al. 

Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, 
Philadelphia, Devil on the Stairs: Looking Back to the Eighties, 
Oct. 4, 1991 -Jan. 5, 1992. Traveled to Newport Harbor Art 
Museum, Newport Beach, California, April 16-June 21, 1992. 
Catalogue with texts by Peter Schjeldahl and Robert Storr. 



Stedehjk Museum, Amsterdam, Wanderlteder, Dec. 7, 1991- 
Feb. 9, 1992. Catalogue with texts by Wim Beeren, Sir Isaiah 
Berlin, H.J. A. Hofland, Heiner Miiller, and Cees Nooteboom. 

1992 

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Allegories oj Modernism: 
Contemporary Drawing, Feb. 16-May 5. Catalogue with texts by 
Emily Kies Folpe and Bernice Rose. 

Musee d*Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain de la Ville de Nice, 
Le portrait dans I'art contemporain, July 3-Sept. 27. 

Kunsthal Rotterdam, Warhol — Ktefer — Clemente: Werken 
op papier, Nov. 1, 1992-Jan. 3, 1993. Catalogue with texts by 
Ruud Schenk. 

Claudia Gian Ferrari Arte Contemporanea, Milan, 
Transavanguardia: Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi, 
Nicola De Maria, Mimmo Paladino, Nov. 26, 1992-Jan. 23, 
1993. Catalogue. 

1993 

Sperone Westwater, New York, The Spirit oj Drawing, 
May 1-June 12. 

Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York, 1982-83, Ten Years After, 
May 8-Aug. 6. 

Museumsquartier Messepalast and Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, 
Der Zerbrochene Spiegel, May 26-July 25. Traveled to 
Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Oct. 14, 1993-Jan. 2, 1994. Catalogue 
with introduction by Kasper Konig and Hans-Ulnch Obrist. 

Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Drawing the Line Against 
AIDS, June 8-13. Catalogue with texts by John Cheim, Diego 
Cortez, Carmen Gimenez, and Klaus Kertess. 

Salzburger Festspiele and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, 
Utopia: Arte haliana 1950-1993, July 24-Aug. 31. 

National Portrait Gallery, London, The Portrait Now, Nov. 19, 
1993-Feb. 6, 1994. 

1994 

Marlborough Gallery, New York, Metamorphosis: Surrealism to 
Organic Abstraction 1925-1993, Jan. 12-March 5. 

Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York, The Ossuary, Feb. 19- 
March 19. 

Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, Painting, Drawing and Sculpture, 
March 2-April 8. 

Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, Malfiguren: 
Francesco Clemente, Jorg Immendorf, Per Kirkeby, Malcolm Morley, 
Hermann Nnsch. Cy Twombly,]u\y 7-Sept. 18. Catalogue with 
texts by Achille Bonito Oliva, Otto Breicha, Rainer Fuchs, 
Lorand Hegyi, and Edwin Lachnit. 

Castel Trento, Trento, Italy, L'incanto e la transcendenza, July 10- 
Aug. 28. Catalogue with texts by Achille Bonito Oliva, Danilo 
Eccher, Ermanno Olmi, and Crispino Valenziano. 



1995 

Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Szenenwechsel, 
Jan. 27-May 14. 

Venice, XLVl Biennale dt Venezia: ldcntita e alterttd, June 11- 
Sepr. 4. Catalogue with texts by Maunzio Bettini, Marc 
Fumaroli, Cathrin Pichler, et al. 

— Couturier, Elizabeth. "Biennale: Les jeux sont faits." Beaux Arts 
Magazine (Pans), no. 135 (June 1995), pp. 68-73. 

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, Muses: Transformation de {'image 
feminine dans I'art contemporain, Sept. 26-Nov. 18. Catalogue with 
texts by Alan Jones, Sydney Picasso, Peter Schjeldahl, Caroline 
Smulders, Elizabeth Stuart, and Barbara Wally. 

1996 

Sperone Westwater, New York, Francesco Clemenle, Julian Scbnabel, 
Cy Twombly: Tinee Large Scale Works, Jan. 13-Feb. 17. 

Claudia Gian Ferrari Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Nudo e Crudo 
corpo senstbile/ corpo visibile, Jan. 25-March 16. Catalogue with 
texts by Manlio Brusatin and Claudia Gian Ferrari. 

Museum Fridericianum, Kassel, Collaborations: Warhol, Basquiat. 
Clemente, Feb. 4-May 5. Traveled to Museum Villa Stuck, 
Munich, July 25-Sept. 29; Castello di Rivoli, Turin. 
Oct. 17, 1996-Jan. 19, 1997. Catalogue with foreword by 
Tilman Osterwold and texts by Trevor Fairbrother, Mark 
Francis, Keith Haring, et al. 

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artspace, and Ivan Dougherty 
Gallery, Sydney, Tenth Biennial of Sydney: Jura ssic Technologies, 
Revenant, July 27-Sept. 22. Catalogue with introduction by Lynne 
Cooke and texts by Leslie Camhi. Jonathan Crary, Sarat Maharaj, 
and Elisabeth Sussman. 

1997 

Peter Blum, New York, Drawing the Line and Crossing It, 

Jan. -March. 

Claudia Gian Ferrari Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Metamorphosis: 
11 tempo delta mutazione, Jan. 16-March 1. 

Gallena d'Arte Moderna, Bologna, Matenali Anomah, Feb. 28- 
May 4. 

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, On the Edge: 
Contemporary Art from the Werner and Elaine Dannheiset Collection, 
Sept. 20, 1997 -Jan. 20, 1998. Catalogue with introduction by 
Kirk Varnedoe and text by Robert Storr. 

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, The Guggenheim Museums and the 
Art of This Century, Oct. 19, 1997 -June 1, 1998. 

Gallena d'Arte Moderna. Bologna, Arte Italians: Ultimi 
auarant'anni, Pittura Icomca, Nov. 28, 1997-March 8. 1998. 

1998 

Museum Wurth, Kunzelsau, Germany. Transavanguardia, 

Feb. 26-June 1. Catalogue. 

Culturgest, Lisbon, Anos 80/The Eighties, May 12-Aug. 31. 
Catalogue with texts by Dan Cameron, Maria Corral, Jose Gil, 
and Alexandre Melo. 



495 



Bibliography 



"Artist's Books" and "Interviews and Statements" are arranged 
chronologically. "Articles and Essays" is arranged alphabetically. 
For information about exhibition catalogues and exhibition reviews, 
see the exhibition history. 



Artist's Books 

Castelli di sabbia. Naples: L'Arte Tipografica, 1964. 

Pierre Menard. Rome: Edizioni GAP, 1973. 

6 Folografie. Brescia, Italy: Banco, 1974. 

Grafts. Geneva: Centre d'Art Contemporain, 1978. 

Vndae clemente flamina pulsae. Amsterdam: Art & Project, 1978. 

Edition of 800. 
Vetta. Modena, Italy: Emilio Mazzoli, 1979. Edition 

of 1,000. 
Non Scopa. Turin: Gian Enzo Sperone, 1979. 
Chi pingefigura, si non pud esser lei non la pud porre. Basel: 

Kunsthalle Basel, 1980. 
Francesco Clemente Pmxit. London: Anthony d'Offay; Rome: Gian 

Enzo Sperone, 1981. Edition of 500. 
II viaggiatore napoletano, ed. Paul Maenz. Cologne: Gerd de Vries, 

1982. 
Francesco Clemente: Watercolours. Zurich: Edition Bruno 

Bischofberger, 1982. Edition of 1,000. 
White Shroud. 1983. With poem by Allen Ginsberg. Unique book. 
Images from Mind and Space. 1983. With poem by Allen Ginsberg. 

Unique book. 
Black Shroud. 1985. With poem by Allen Ginsberg. Unique book. 
Early Morning Exercises. 1985. With poems by John Wieners. 

Unique book. 



The Departure of the Argonaut. New York: Petersburg Press, 1986. 

With text by Alberto Savinio (trans. George Scrivani). 

Edition of 200. 
Francesco Clemente: The Pondtcherry Pastels. London: Anthony 

d'Offay, 1986. Edition of 1,000. 
Francesco Clemente: Two Garlands. New York: Sperone 

Westwater, 1986. 
India. Pasadena, California: Twelvetrees Press, 1986. 

Edition of 3,050. 
Francesco Clemente CVIII: Watercolours Adayar 1985. Basel: 

Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, 1987. 
Singular Pleasures. New York: Grenfell Press, 1988. With text by 

Harry Mathews. Edition of 350. 
Funerary Paintings. New York: Dia Art Foundation, 1988. 
It. Zurich: Edition Bruno Bischofberger, 1989. With poems by 

Robert Creeley. Edition of 2,500. 
Sixteen Pastels. London: Anthony d'Offay Gallery, 1989. With 

poems by Rene Ricard. Edition of 1,000. 
The Gold Paintings. Zurich: Edition Bruno Bischofberger, 1990. 

With poem by Gregory Corso. Edition of 1,000. 
Testa Coda. New York: Gagosian Gallery, 1991. 
Mcntal'nyi limon/The Water's Skeleton, Francesco Clemente: Sixteen 

Watercolours and Francesco Clemente: Nine Drawings/ 

Andrei Voznesensky: Five Poems. Zurich: Edition Bruno 

Bischofberger, 1991. With poems by Andrei Voznesensky. 

Edition of 1,110. 
Francesco Clemente: The Black Book. Basel: Kunsthalle Basel, 1991. 
Francesco Clemente: Evening Raga and Paradiso. New York: Gagosian 

Gallery and Rizzoli, 1992. 
Cathay. New York: Limited Editions Club, 1992. With poems by 

Ezra Pound after Li Po. Edition of 350. 



Life & Death. New York: Grenfell Press. 1993. With poems by 

Robert Creeley. Edition of 70. 
There. New York: Gagosian Gallery, 1994. With poems by Robert 

Creeley. Edition of 1,000. 
Ex Libris Madras. Madras: Kalakshetra Press, 1994. 

Edition of 2,000. 
Francesco Clemente/ 'Peter Handke. Cologne: Jablonka Galerie, 1995. 

With poems by Peter Handke. Edition of 1,000. 
Ex Libris Chenonceau. Madras: Kalakshetra Press, 1995. 

Edition of 2,000. 
Mothers of Hope: Francesco Clemente. Madras: Kalakshetra Press, 

1995. Edition of 1,100. 
Anamorphosis. New York: Gagosian Gallery, 1997. With poems by 

Robert Creeley. 
Fifty One Days on Mount Abu. London: Anthony d'Offay 

Gallery, 1997. 



Interviews and Statements 

"Prezentazione: Francesco Clemente." Domus (Milan), no. 577 

(Dec. 1977), pp. 52-54 (in Italian, French, and English). 
Ammann, J. C, Paul Groot, Pieter Heynen, and Jan Zumbrink. 

"Un altre arte." Museumjournaal (Amsterdam) 25, no. 7 

(Dec. 1980), pp. 288-301. 
Zaya."Conversacion con Francesco Clemente: Sustancia de lo 

imaginano." Guadahmar (Madrid), no. 56 (1981), pp. 14-15. 
White, Robin. "Francesco Clemente." Vtew (Oakland) 3, no. 6 

(Nov. 1981), pp. 2-27. 
Berger, Danny. "Francesco Clemente at the Metropolitan: An 

Interview." The Print Collector's Newsletter (New York) 13, 

no. 1 (March-April 1982), pp. 11-13. 
deAk, Edit. "Francesco Clemente." Interview (New York) 12, no. 4 

(April 1982), pp. 16-21. 
Bastian, Heiner."Samtale med Francesco Clemente." Louisiana 

Revy (Humlebaek) 23, no. 3 (June 1983) pp. 40-44. 
Clemente, Francesco. Statement in Achille Bonito Oliva. Dialoghi 

d'artista: Incontrt con I'arte contemporanea 1970-84. Milan: 

Electa, 1984 (in Italian and English). 
Politi, Giancarlo. "Francesco Clemente." Flash Art (Milan). 

international edition, no. 117 (April-May 1984), pp. 12-21. 
Courtney, Cathy. Interview with Clemente. Arf Monthly 

(London), no. 100 (Oct. 1986), pp. 39-40. 
Clemente, Francesco. Statement in Kynaston McShine, et al. 

Andy Warhol: A Retrospective (exh. cat.). New York: The 

Museum of Modern Art, 1987. 
Crone. Rainer, and Georgia Marsh. An Interview with Francesco 

Clemente. New York: Vintage Books, 1987. 
Marsh, Georgia. "Francesco Clemente: Faire quelque chose a 

partir de rien." Arf Press (Paris), no. 113 (April 1987), 

pp. 4-10. 
Philipps, Lisa. "Clemente: Les chemins de la sagesse." Beaux Arts 

Magazine (Pans), no. 69 (June 1989). pp. 90-95. 
Kent, Sarah. "Turtles All the Way: Francesco Clemente 

Interviewed by Sarah Kent." Artscribe (London), no. 77 

(Sept.-Oct. 1989), pp. 54-59. 
"Manners Entice: A Discussion between Alex Katz and 

Francesco Clemente." Parkett (Zurich), no. 21 (Sept. 1989), 

pp. 48-56. 
Kuspit, Donald. "Clemente Explores Clemente." Contemporanea 

(New York) 2, no. 7 (October 1989), pp. 36-43. 
Geldzahler, Henry. "Francesco Clemente." Interview (New 

York) 21, no. 11 (Nov. 1991), pp. 54-56. 



Burroughs, William S.'The Creative Observer: Conversation 

with Francesco Clemente." FUJ> Arf (Milan), internarion.il 

edition, no. 127 (Oct. 1993), pp. 36-38. 
Clemente, Francesco. Untitled essay In ]ean Micfeel Basquiat 

Portraits (cxh. cat.). Zurich: Edition Bruno Bischofberger, 

1996. 
."The City and the Painter." In Alex Katz (cxh. cat.). 

Cologne: Jablonka Galerie. 1997. 
Sischy, Ingrid.'h.." Interview (New York) 27, no. 7 (July 1997), 

pp. 74-81. 



Articles and Essays 

Ammann, Jean-Chnstophe. "Espansn ,. eccessivo I kservazioni 
sulla giovane arte italiana." Domus (Milan), no. 593 
(April 1979). pp. 45, VI. VII (in Italian, Dutch, and 

English). 

."Was die siebziger Jahre von den sechzigern 

unterscheidet: Der Wcg in die achtziger Jahre." KtiMtforum 

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."Francesco Clemente." Domus (Milan), no. 61 3 

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."La pazienza del vincitore Segn< I 

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Bourdon, David. Battling the Masters." Geo (New York) 4, no. 8 

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Bozzi, Elisabeth. "Francesco Clemente: En parcourant les 

mondes, il s'est trouve lui-memc." New Art International 

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Capetillo, Marta.'A Life with Art." Casa Vogue ( Milan I, no. 261 

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497 



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Crone, Rainer. "Clemente and His Pictorial Symbolism." Parkett 

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Curtis, Cathy. "Straddling Grace and Decadence: Francesco 

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."The Critic Sees through the Cabbage Patch." Artforum 

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Dubrow, Norman. "Clemente's Farji degh Amid" Drawing 

(New York) 7, no. 5 ( Jan.-Feb. 1986), p. 105. 
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1989, p. 67. 
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Avantgarde?" Kunstforum International (Cologne), no. 39 

(March 1980), pp. 161-71. 
Feaver, William. "Dispirit of the Times." Artnews (New York) 82, 

no. 2 (Feb. 1983), pp. 80-83. 
Garcia, Aurora. "Vanguardia, retaguardia, transvanguardia." 

Lapiz (Madrid), no. 3 (Feb. 1983), pp. 54-57. 
Geldzahler, Henry. "On Tape: Henry Geldzahler, Commissioner 

of New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs." 

Express (New York), no. 2 (spring 1982), pp. 4-5. 
Groot, Paul. "Alchemy and the Rediscovery of the Human 

Figure." Flash Art (Milan), international edition, no. 126 

(Feb.-March 1986), pp. 42-43. 
."Die achtziger Jahre: Von pathologischer Anatomic 

digitalen Arbeiten und Neo-Duchampiana."Jukreinng: 

Jahrbuch fur Moderne Kunst (Munich), no. 39 (1992), 

pp. 192-205. 
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Artscribe (London), no. 50 (Jan.-Feb. 1985), pp. 44-47. 
Hjort, Oystein.'Firhaendigt med histonen: Kort forbemaerkning 

til tre ung italienske malere." Louisiana -Re vy (Humlebaek) 23, 

no. 3 (June 1983), pp. 32-35. 
Hughes, Robert. "Raw Talk, but Cooked Painting." Time 

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Jodidio, Philip. "Rigeur et declin." Connaissance des Arts (Paris), 

no. 406 (Dec. 1985), pp. 112-19. 
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Kramer, Hilton. "Expressionism Returns to Painting." The New 

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Kuspit, Donald. "The Only Immortal." Artforum (New York) 28, 

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Magazine, June 1, 1981, pp. 56-58. 
."Their Brilliant Careers." New York Magazine, Oct 24, 

1988, pp. 150-52. 
Lawson, Thomas. "Last Exit: Painting." Artforum (New York) 20, 

no. 2 (Oct. 1981), pp. 40-47. 
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Martin, Henry. "The Italian Art Scene: Dynamic, Argumentative 

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Ottmann, Klaus. "Painting in an Age of Anxiety." Flash Art 

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Pelhzzi, Francesco. "Images of the Material and the Manner of 

Taste: Reflexions (from F. C.)." Parkett (Zurich), no. 9 

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Pernoud, Emmanuel. "Mythologies contemporaines." Nouve!!e5 de 

I'estampe (Paris), no. 122 (April-June 1992), pp. 63-69. 
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(New York) 56, no. 1 (Sept. 1981), pp. 72-78. 
."Entrees: Diaretics: Entreaties: Bowing (Wowing) Out." 

Arts Magazine (New York) 59, no. 8 (April 1985), pp. 78-83. 
Phillips, Deborah C."No Island Is an Island: New York Discovers 

the Europeans." Artnews (New York) 81, no. 8 (Oct. 1982), 

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Times Magazine, April 24, 1983, pp. 28-33. 36, 40-41, 71-73. 
Schjeldahl, Peter. "Treachery on the High Cs." The Village Voice 
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Venturi, Luca."Nuovi Artisti." Data: Practice and Theory of Art 

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(New York) 63. no. 8 (April 1989). pp. 49-54. 



499 



Index of Reproductions 



Catalogue numbers appear in bold. 



Abbracao, 1983, 58 

Akure, from New York Muses, 1993, 31 

Alba, 1997, 37 

Alba & Francesco, 1982, 26 

Albas Breakfast, 1984, in collaboration with Andy Warhol 

and Jean-Michel Basquiat, 188 
Antma, from Fifty -one Days on Mount Abu, 1995, 78 
Arme Clemenle, 1981.38 

Bestianum, 1989, 85 
Beshanum, 1989, 86 
Bestianum, 1989, 87 
Besttanum, 1989, 88 
Bestianum, 1989, 89 
Bestianum, 1989, 90 
Bestianum, 1989, 91 

Bestianum, 1989, 92 

Birtfe, 1990, 126 

The Black Book, 1989, 131 

Black Muse Twice, 1990, 109 

Black Shroud, 1984-85, with handwritten text by 
Allen Ginsberg, 174 

Black, White, and Red, 1998, 145 

Breathing, 1984, 66 

Broken Hearts, 1990. 108 

Circle, 1998, 146 
Cireuito, 1980. 53 
Clouds, 1988, 45 



Coi sentimenti msegna alle emozioni, 1980, 150 
Constellation, 1990, 95 
Contemplation, 1990, 124 
Contemplation, 1991, 100 
CVIII, 1985, 119 

Tfce Dark in Me, 1988, 49 
Distance, 1982, 27 

Earl)* Morning Exercises, 1984, with handwritten 

text by John Wieners, 176 
Earth, 1988, 93 
Everybody's Child, 1990, 94 
Everything I Know, 1983, 54 

Tabiola, from New York Muses, 1993, 30 

Februanan Sky, 1988, 51 

Five Senses, 1990, 121 

Five Senses, 1990, 122 

Five Senses, 1990, 123 

Flower, 1988, 44 

Food, from Fifty-one Days on Mount Abu, 1995, 77 

Foot, 1990, 103 

Foot, 1990, 106 

Fortune and Virtue, 1980, 19 

Fountain, from Twe Book of the Sea, 1993, 67 

The Four Corners, 1985, 116 

The Fourteen Stations I, 1981-82, 154 

The Fourteen Stations II, 1981-82, 155 

The Fourteen Stations III 1981-82, 156 

The Fourteen Stations IV, 1981-82, 157 

The Fourteen Stations V, 1981-82. 158 



The Fourteen Stations VI, 1981-82, 159 
The Fourteen Stations VII, 1981-82, 160 
The Fourteen Stations VIII, 1981-82, 161 
The Fourteen Stations IX, 1981, 162 
The Fourteen Stations X, 1981-82. 163 
The Fourteen Stations XI, 1981-82. 164 
The Fourteen Stations XII, 1981-82, 165 
Francesco Clemente Pinxit, 1980-81, 172 
Friendship, 1991, 105 
Funerary Painting, 1987, 52 

General Animal, 1984, 64 
Gita Mehta, 1998, 184 
Grisaille Self -Portrait. 1997, 33 
Grisaille Self -Portrait, 1998. 34 
Gr.5U.lle Self -Portrait. 1998, 35 

Harlequin Close Up, 1978, 169 
Heart, 1996, 83 
Honey and Gold, 1988, 97 
Honey, Silver, Blood, 1986, 152 

I, 1982, 23 

I Hear, 1988, 46 

Images from Mind and Space, 1983, with handwritten 

text by Allen Ginsberg, 175 
In Silence. 1993, 139 
The Indigo Room, 1983-84, 167 
Inside/Outside, 1980. 115 
Interior Landscape, 1980, 56 
Io, 1978, 8 

Jean-Michel Basquiat, ca. 1982-87, 179 
John Ashbery, ca. 1982-87, 182 

Keith Hanng, ca. 1982-87, 183 

The King and the Corpse, from The Book of the Sea, 

1992. 70 
The King and the Corpse, 1994. 120 
Kiss, 1983. 60 

Laugh, 1982. 25 

Loop, 1993. 71 

Lysa, from New York Muses, 1993, 32 

Mandala, 1993, 140 

Map of What Is Effortless, 1978, 110 

Maternal, 1986, 151 

Meaning of Sacrifice, 1989, 153 

Meditation, 1991, 107 

Meditation: Fwnture, 1993, 137 

Meditation: Helvetius and Tracy, 1993, 138 

Meditation: Trigonometrie, 1993, 136 

Memory, 1996, 84 

Mercury, 1992, 117 

Moon, 1980,114 

Morning, 1982, 24 

Morton Feldman, ca. 1982-87, 181 

Mother of Hope, 1993. 141 

Mother of Paintings, 1995, 142 

Mothers of Utters, 1992,128 

Multitude. 1983.41 

Muse, from Fifty-one Days on Mount Abu, 1995. 79 

My House, 1982, 1 



Name, 1983, 62 

Mwo, 1983, 57 

Necessity, 1991. 104 

Non ti ricordi, 1982, 59 

Nose, hom Ex Libns Chenonceau, L994 -95j 75 

Oblation, 1990,99 
Oblation, 1990-91. 101 

Pagan Self -Portrait, 1980, 17 

Paradigm, 1988. 96 

Perseverance, 1982, 20 

The Pondicherry Pastels, L979 80, 111 

Porta Coeli, 1983,133 

Portrait of Allen Ginsberg, 1985, 187 

Portrait of lab I ive Freddie (Fred Brathwaite), 1985, 186 

Portrait ofLuigi Ontani, 1985. 185 

Priapea, 1980, 149 

Purgatory, 198?. 39 

Rama, 1982. 28 

Rammellzee, ca. 1982-87. 177 

TI)eRedBoofe, 1989, 129 

Robert Mapplethorpe, ca. 1982-87. 180 

Saturn, 1992. 118 

Scissors and Butterflies, 1999, 148 

Seal, from Fifty-one Day* on Mount Abu, 1995, 76 

Secret, 1983,61 

Seed, 1991, 102 

Sel/.Portrait, 1980,11 

Self-Portrait, 1.980, 12 

Sel/.Portrait, 1980, 13 

Self-Portrait, 1980, 14 

Self -Portrait, 1980, 15 

Self-Portrait, 1982, 166 

Self-Portrait, 1983, 22 

Self -Portrait. The First, 1979,9 

Self-Portrait with a Hole in the Head, 1981, 18 

Self-Portrait with Bird, 1980. 16 

Self Portrait with Black Gloves, 1996, 36 

Self-Portrait with Tears, 1983, 21 

Self-Portrait without a Broom. 1979, 10 

Semen, 1983-84, 134 

She, from Ex Libns Chenonceau, 1994-95, 72 

She and She, 1982, 55 

Signature, 1988, 98 

Silence, 1988,48 

Silence, from Fifty-one Days on Mount Abu, 1995,81 

Skin, 1996, 82 

The Skull, 1997. 144 

Skull. 1999. 147 

Sky, 1984, 135 

Sky, from fcx Librij ' benonceau, L994 95, 73 

Son, 1983, 42 

Sound. Point, 1990, 125 

Speak Not of Byzantium, 1988, 50 

Story, from Ex Librii Chenonceau, 1994-95, 74 

Story of My Country 1, 1990, 127 

Saitcase, 1984-85,65 

Sun, 1980,113 

The Swan, 1997, 143 

Symbolon, Venice, 1977, 7 

Symmetry, from TTjc Book o/f»e Sea, 1991, 68 



501 



Tree, from Fifty-one Days on Mount Abu, 1995. 80 

i ,om The Book of the Sea, 1993, 69 
Trophy. 1990, 132 

Tutto, from II viaggiatore napoletano, Rome, 1971, 4 
Twins, 1978, 171 
Two Painters, 1980,112 

Unborn, 1983, 40 

Untitled, 1974, 170 

Untitled, 1983, 63 

UntifW, from /I viaggiatore napoletano, Rome, 1971, 3 

Untitled, from II vitiggiutore mipoletano, Rome, 1971, 5 

tariffed Qoseph beyus), 1974, 6 

Umus ownej, 1988, 47 

Uomo che nonfa nulla, from 11 viaggiatore napoletano, 

Rome, 1971, 2 
UsaryofLove, 1986.43 

Waiting, 1982, 29 

Whether the Holes in the Body Are Nine or Ten, 1977, 168 

The White Book, 1989, 130 

White Shroud, 1983, with handwritten text by Allen 

Ginsberg, 173 
William Burroughs, ca. 1982-87, 178 



Photo Credits 

Many color transparencies were provided by Thomas Ammann 
Fine Art, Zurich; Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich; Anthony 
d'Offay Gallery, London; Gagosian Gallery, New York; and Sperone 
\\ cstwater, New York. Unless otherwise noted, black-and-white 
photographs are courtesy Francesco Clemente. In addition, the 
following credits are specified: Frontispiece, p. 452: © Estate of 
Robert Mapplethorpe. Used with permission; cat. no. 1: RB/Art; 
cat. nos. 2-8, 168: Martin Buehler; cat. nos. 9, 24, 27 . 44-48, 54, 
58-59,95, 104, 136-38. 140. 150, 188: Roland Reiter. Zurich; 
cat no. 14: Paul Maenz. Cologne; cat. nos. 16, 53. 76-81. 167: 
Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd. ; cat. nos. 19, 23, 26, 41. 50. 55. 64, 
66: courtesy Alesco AG. Zurich; cat. nos. 21. 39, 93: Zindman/ 
Fremont; cat. nos. 22. 111. 128: David Heald; cat. nos. 29, 57, 74, 
120, 129-31, 147. 148. 173. 184: Ellen Labenski; cat. nos. 30, 
33-35. 72. 73. 75, 82-84, 146: Beth Phillips; cat. nos. 31. 32. 37: 
Nic Tenwiggenhorn; cat. no. 42: © Albnght-Knox Art Gallery. 
Buffalo. New York; cat. nos. 49. 51: Phillips/Schwab; cat. no. 52, 
85-91. 94. 96-99, 101. 103, 105-7, 109, 121-23. 126, 174-83: 
Dorothy Zeldman; cat. no. 1 12: Steven Sloman; cat. no. 115: 
Naomi Fisher; cat. no. 135: courtesy Sperone Westwater; cat. nos. 
144, 145: Tom Powel; cat. no. 149: J. Lirtkemann; cat. no. 152: Martci 
Gasull. Barcelona; cat. no. 170: R. + B. Reiter. Zurich; p. 460: 
courtesy Bill Katz. 




Francesco Clemente, May 1993. Photo by Sante D'Orazio.