Italian artist Francesco Clemente is exhibiting his work in Paris for the first time since 1996. Galerie Templon is presenting a previously unseen series of works that explore the theme of love.
The exhibition features 36 small format paintings and two frescos. In a warm and sensual palette of harmonious colours, women, men, animals and wild geometric shapes intermingle to form a melody that examines the power of love, its meaning, its gender, its sensual explosion. The paintings are rhythmed by Enrique Juncosa’s poems, published in the accompanying catalogue. Now joyful, now tragic, but always enigmatic and erotic, the works will be shown alongside a monumental plaster sculpture entitled simply Love.
Born in Naples in 1952, Francesco Clemente was a leading figure in the Italian Transavantgarde movement, which breathed new life into the international figurative painting scene during the 1980s. An inveterate traveller, he lives and works in New York, traveling regularly to Rome, New Mexico and India.
Working with oil paintings, frescos, water colours, pastels, sculpture and books, Francesco Clemente employs a
broad range of media to explore his favourite themes: spirituality, human identity and sentimental ambivalence. He has an outstanding knack for combining traditional methods of composition – from Renaissance Italian frescos to the romanticism of William Blake – with non-Western myths and symbols, Indian astrology and symbolism, creating a body of work fully engaged in exploring mystery.
Francesco Clemente’s works have been shown at leading international institutions over the past forty years, including the Whitechapel Art Gallery, (London, 1983), National Galerie (Berlin, 1984), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 1985), Royal Academy of Arts (London, 1990) and Centre Pompidou (Paris, 1994). In 1999-2000, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of New York and the Guggenheim Bilbao held a major retrospective of his work, and in 2002-2003 a further retrospective was held at the Naples National Archaeological Museum. More recently, his works have been shown at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence in 2011, Rubin Museum of Art (New York, 2014) and Springs Art Center in Beijing (2016).
This is Francesco Clemente’s fourth solo exhibition at Galerie Daniel Templon, following shows held in 1982, 1991 and 1996.