By Anne Leader and Maggie Bell 

Francesco Clemente was born on 23 March ,1952 in Naples. Clemente studied architecture in Rome at the Università degli Studi ‘La Sapienza’ in the early 1970s. He was drawn to avant-garde artists working in Rome and began drawing recollections of childhood dreams. He had his first solo show at Rome’s Galleria Giulia in 1971.  In the 1960s and 70s, Clemente came into contact with artists who were active in the arte povera movement, who strove against the capitalist nature of the art market, and produced works using non-conventional materials.  Despite these relationships, Clemente worked largely with more traditional materials.

In 1973, Clemente traveled to India–the first of many visits.  He became interested in the traditional arts of the county, and eventually established a studio in Madras. 

He divides his time among homes in Madras, New York, and Rome.

Reference: “Clemente, Francesco.“ Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. .

Francesco Clemente in San Francisco holding his self-portrait at Nash Editions, 1991

Symbolon  1977  Ink on paper  6 x 8 3/16 in  15.3 x 20.8 cm

Twins  1978  Ink, gouache, and colored pencil on paper, mounted on linen  93 x 59 in  236.2 x 149.9 cm

Hunger  1980  Gouache on handmade Pondicherry paper, joined with handwoven cotton strips  96 ½ x 93 ½ in  245.1 x 237.5 cm

Allen Ginsberg 1982-1987  Watercolor on paper  14 x 20 in  36.2 x 50.8 cm

Keith Haring 1982-1987  Watercolor on paper  14 x 20 in  36.2 x 50.8 cm

Self-Portrait as St. James  2011  Oil on canvas  48 x 43 in  121.9 x 109.2 cm

Paper Tent at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Kochi, in Kerala, India, 2014

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