Photo blog of installation views from the exhibition Francesco Clemente: Tents at Blain|Southern, Berlin, on view though November 9, 2013.
The press release notes that the show features "three large-scale canvas tents, with every aspect of the exteriors, interiors, walls and roofs painted in intricate detail... Produced in India, Clemente describes these tents as his ‘cave paintings’ which can be sheltered and slept under, or daydreamed and prayed within; these are movable chapels for contemplation of the sacred in a modern age defined by digital speed. Expanding the traditional relationship between art object and viewer, these paintings function by enveloping and surrounding the viewer to evoke an experience of painting that is both seen and physically felt. Standing With Truth (2013) is titled after a poem by the mystic Indian poet Kabir, who wrote ‘I eat with truth, I sleep with truth, I sit with truth, I stand with truth.’ Various disparate states of human action are depicted, in a realm of imagined endeavours that questions the nature or truth of our human condition. There is interplay among anthropomorphic and zoomorphic forms, a fluid exchange between the human and animal, suggesting a primal and intrinsic instinct."
S. Patkin reviews the exhibition Francesco Clemente: Portraits of the 80s at Thomas Ammann Fine Art Gallery, Zurich, on view through September 27, 2013.
Patkin writes: "Many have read Clemente’s work during this period as reacting against the conceptual and minimal art of the 1970s, and credit Clemente as being among one of the most recognized artists involved with revitalizing figurative painting, as well as reintroducing emotional heft to painting and drawing, particularly through his signature focus on the human form and special interest in identity and sexuality. Clemente himself has resisted specific labels, however, and his work seems to speak less to a conceptual rupture or defined statement, than to a potent fusion of a variety of influences... Combining a unique enthusiasm for non-Western symbols and mythology, while steeping himself in studies of Romanticism and the Italian Renaissance, Clemente’s world is one of permeable boundaries – as vivid as it is dreamlike."
McKenzie writes that this "is a unique body of work, for its esoteric and enigmatic use of symbol and visual narrative. They allude to everything from Thomas Carlyle’s Victorian culture... As sage or mediator Clemente here asserts opposites such as the sublime and the ridiculous as a plea to break down artistic and religious hierarchies. In contrast to the muted palette of the 14 large paintings in the Blain Southern exhibition, the colours in the mandala paintings are both richer and deeper, and have the quality of Oriental carpets, or magical gardens."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.