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Francesco Clemente

Galerie Templon | 30 rue Beaubourg

There is something in the art of Francesco Clemente that is like the woman who prides herself on never sweating—a triumph of appearances over function. The ambient, limpid character of his frescoes and watercolors is fervent, even fevered at times. Ingestion and excretion, and their sexual, morphological possibilities, are his predominant themes. He is very often his own protagonist. Yet Clemente offers no bacchanalia, no Rabelaisian adventure. His work, rather, is a kind of gestating Decameron in which all components, all figures, all references and styles wend their way to an incomplete and fluctuant eschatology. The volupté of Europe’s posturing is fretted with asceticisms and orientalisms. Self-portraits bear a message of world-weariness, or of “I have seen this before in another life,” and are rendered in the hand of a (suave) nail. Colors from the heavens of Classicism or Mannerism

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