Considered one of the figurative painters most representative of the Italian Transvanguard, Francesco Clemente was born in Naples where he lived his infancy and his adolescence. During his baccalaureate studies he showed a special interest for Latin, Greek, Philosophy and Italian literature, all of which would go on to help him in his poetic facet.
Between eight and twelve years of age, with his family, he went around all the great museums of Europe. Velazquez, Twombly and Beuys were some of the idols of the young Francesco.
He began to dedicate himself to painting, but self taught. At 18, he began architecture studies in Rome, but he was soon to abandon them for his two great passions: painting and drawing.
Having given his first exhibition of collage in the Valle Giulia Gallery in Rome, in 1971, he began a long journey which was to take him all around the world, India, Tibet and New York being the stop-offs which most influenced him culturally and notably in a great number of his pieces. His work is rich, complex and varied; his portrait of the human being, expressive. Francesco Clemente assimilated the culture of each place where he lived, which stimulated and diversified his style.
In 1979 he got close to the Italian Transvanguard whose essential characteristics could be summed up as a reaction against the artists of Povera Art, also disconnecting himself from the languages of the past, without respecting any concrete affiliation.
In 1980 he held his first solo exhibition in New York where he fixed his residence in 1982, converting himself quickly into a fixed element on the Manhattan artistic scene.
As from then, his exhibitions have continually followed the course of galleries and museums, he sharing art, experiences and friendship with the most recognized American artists of the moment.
Currently, Francesco Clemente lives and works between New York, Rome and Madrás.
- “Retrato de hombre”, original watercolour on page of a book containing six lino-engravings, (1952-?).