New York

Francesco Clemente

Sperone Westwater Gallery and Mary Boone Gallery

Francesco Clemente’s double show presented a different sort of problem, for the difficulty here was not that he has been content to stand still but that in seeking to develop his position he has chosen the wrong move. These two ill-conceived installations were by another artist who falls into the trap of overproduction, but who makes a virtue of his handicap, turning his fecundity into a thematic root around which an ever-expanding body of work can grow. And this body of work is nothing less than a protean discourse on the body, particularly the male body; a metamorphosis of the physical into a graceful, diaphanous state of near immateriality.

At its best Clemente’s work is an investigation of a fractured self, a self ambivalent about its acknowledged desire to dominate. To the extent that that self proves to be an elegant little princeling with an unusually avid appetite for the polymorphous

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