Francesco Clemente - The Book of the Sea

Silence, 2001-2002
Watercolor on paper
44-3/4 x 44-1/4 inches (113.7 x 112.4 cm)


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Reception: Tuesday, 25 June, 6-8 pm Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Francesco Clemente. The show will feature 14 new large-scale watercolours on paper made last winter in the Caribbean. They mark the culmination of a long series of such works, collectively entitled The Book of the Sea, that Clemente has been making since his first visit to Port Antonio on Jamaica in 1991. Each watercolour is almost 4 ft. square, an exceptionally ambitious scale for the medium of watercolour. They are characterised by luminous tropical colours, and the artists' unique iconography infused with memories of Caribbean literature, popular culture and mythology. Francesco Clemente, born 1952 in Naples, now divides his time between New York, Rome, and New Mexico, with frequent travels to India. He works in many media, including oil paintings and frescoes, sculpture and printed books. He has collaborated with the poets Allen Ginsberg, Robert Creeley, John Weiners and others, and made sets for opera and dance companies. He has also recently started a series of commissioned portraits. An important retrospective was held at he Guggenheim Museum in New York and Bilbao in 1999-2000. He is currently exhibiting at the Harwood Museum in Taos, New Mexico. The Book of the Sea is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue, with text by the British scholar and novelist, Marina Warner, bringing together the complete series of 54 watercolours for the first time.