• Francesco Clemente, Due, 1979, gouache on paper laid on canvas, 39 2/5 x 59 1/10".

    Francesco Clemente

    Museo MADRE
    Palazzo Donnaregina, via Settembrini, 79
    May 29–September 14, 2009

    Curated by Pamela Kort

    Of the painters heralded at the dawn of the ’80s by critic Achille Bonito Oliva as the new “Italian trans-avant-garde,” only Francesco Clemente retains his stature, and even he seems poorly understood. Famously cosmopolitan, Clemente has long been a resident of New York and even longer been fascinated by India, yet he is one of those artists who remains obsessed with origins, both metaphysical and personal. So an exhibition such as this one, focusing on Clemente’s relationship to Italy and to his hometown of Naples in particular, should be peculiarly revealing: Is he an Italian artist, or, rather, a nomad nostalgic for Italy? Subtitled “Shipwreck with the Spectator 1974–2004,” MADRE’s show of some 120 works will culminate with the grand fresco Ab Ovo, made for the institution in 2004–2005—the artist’s most ambitious endeavor in the medium.