Francesco Clemente: Inspired by India

September 5, 2014 – February 2, 2015

The first museum exhibition devoted to the Indian influences in Clemente’s work and how they relate to the artistic practices and traditions of various regions in India features approximately 20 works, including paintings from the last 30 years, and four new, larger than life-size sculptures created especially for the exhibition. In contrast to leading conceptual art practices of the 1970s, Clemente refocused attention on representation, narrative, and the figure, and explored traditional, artisanal materials and modes of working.

Since his first trip to India in the 1970s, Francesco Clemente immersed himself in the country’s rich cultures as well as the everyday life and artistic practices of local people. Transforming ancient symbols, myths, and ideas, he has created a personal visual language of dreamlike landscapes, animals, and human figures drawn from recollections of his travels. Themes of sexuality, mythology, and spirituality, along with imaginary narratives of violence, intrigue, fragmentation, love, separation, and jealousy are seen throughout his oeuvre.

Curated by Beth Citron

Image credit: Francesco Clemente (b. 1952); The Four Corners, 1985; gouache on twelve sheets of handmade Pondicherry paper joined with handwoven cotton strips; Private Collection


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The premier museum of Himalayan art in the Western world, located in New York City’s vibrant Chelsea neighborhood.

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