cover image Francesco Clemente

Francesco Clemente

Rizzoli, Ann Percy. Rizzoli International Publications, $45 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-8478-1297-4

One of the most imaginative figurative artists of his generation, Francesco Clemente gives concrete form to psychic states, febrile projects of his relentless quest for unity. In Hunger , a bent, apparently nude man bites down bloodily on the trunk of a huge snake coiled in a circle, devouring its own tail against an ominous smoky violet sky and green sea. Glowingly colorful portraits evoke shades of despair, guilt, joy, rage, rebellion and disillusionment. One series of paintings fuses the style of classical Indian miniatures with popular, kitsch, erotic and mythological imagery. The Naples-born painter, who divides his time between Rome, New York and Madras, creates a fragmentary circus of the mind whose phantasms attest to the fact that every artwork is an open-ended set of possibilities resisting literal definition. This lavishly illustrated catalogue documents a touring exhibition that opened at the Philadelphia Museum, where Percy is curator of drawings. Foye is a publisher of prints and art books. (Feb.)