Peter Blum is pleased to announce a rare and important group of work by Francesco Clemente. The pieces, which date from 1980 through 1990, have never been exhibited before in the United States.
In fact, Clemente, perhaps the most important member of the generation of Italian artists who came to prominence in the early 1980s, has never shown a retrospective selection of work, either in a gallery or museum setting in New York. The exhibition at Peter Blum marks the first such survey. The rare works, mostly from the early years, to be shown include an outstanding selection of oils, frescoes, watercolors, pastels - encompassing all techniques which the artist has explored over the last fifteen years. Among other pieces are two exceptional oils from 1980, one a Self-portrait, and a large scale fresco completed in 1981 of a dream-inspired interior. The watercolors, from 1982, and pastels, 1981-1989, are glimpses into a world of sensuality and mythological transformations.
Francesco Clemente, born in 1952 in Naples, had his first gallery exhibition in New York in 1980. He has had major one-man shows internationally, including museum exhibitions at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, 1983; the Kunsthalle, Basel and the National Galerie, Berlin; the Museum Folkwang, Essen and the Stedelijk, Amsterdam in 1984/85; as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, 1987; the Philadelphia Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, in 1990.
Based since 1982 in New York, Clemente also spends time in India, which has been a significant inspiration in his work. Commenting on the presence of multiple cultural, ethnic and religious influences in the work, Henry Geldzahler has noted Clemente's-
"strange take on the traditions he is so attracted to, be they ancient, renaissance, metaphysical, expressionist, Hindu, or contemporary. Clemente can likewise delve at will - with great agility and wit - into the complex systems of alchemy, astrology, the cabala, the tarot, and mythology. At the base of his art stands the poetry that is his true subject."
For further information and photographs, please contact Peter Blum or Betsy Archey. The gallery is located at 99 Wooster Street at Spring Street. Hours are Tuesday - Friday 10-6, Saturday 11-6 and Monday by appointment.