Italian artist Francesco Clemente's representational and figurative works reflect his longtime study of non-Western cultures, religious and spiritual themes, and sexuality. Working in mediums and formats that range from watercolor to oil to books to murals, Clemente's pictorial language draws upon William Blake and Allen Ginsberg in addition to his nomadic travels throughout India, New Mexico, and Jamaica. He has worked collaboratively with Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat as well as on films, at nightclubs, and with the Metropolitan Opera. While associated with various art movements, Clemente dodges labels, intent on posing questions about the timeless themes of truth, reality, and being.
Clemente was brought to international attention at the 1980 Venice Biennale. Retrospectives of his work have been exhibited at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY in 1999; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland in 2004; and Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Germany in 2011; among others.