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Biography of Francesco Clemente

See works in the collection

b. 1952, Naples

1952
Born to an aristocratic family on March 23.
1964
Publishes several poems in the volume Castelli di sabbia.
1970
Moves to Rome to study architecture at the Università degli Studi di Roma.
1971
Has his first solo show, at Galleria Valle Giulia in Rome.
1972
Meets the artist Alighiero Boetti.
1973
Publishes the book Pierre Menard , a series of photographs inspired by Jorge Luis Borges's short story “Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote".
Travels for the first time to India, a country to which he will return for long periods several times in his life.
1974
Meets the actress Alba Primiceri, whom he later marries.
Travels to Afghanistan with Boetti.
1975
Has solo exhibitions at Gian Enzo Sperone in Rome and Turin.
1977
Spends the year in India, where he begins to study Hinduism and Buddhism, which will have repercussions on his work.
1978
Begins to add ideograms to his paintings, which will become a distinctive aspect of his work.
1979
Together with artists such as Enzo Cucchi, Sandro Chia, Nicola De Maria, and Mimmo Paladino, with whom he exhibits at Galerie Paul Maenz in Cologne, Clemente is linked to the Transvantgarde movement, identified by the critic Achille Bonito Oliva.
1980
Participates in the XXXIX Biennale di Venezia.
Has his first solo exhibition in New York, at Sperone Westwater Fischer, where he will show his work again on several other occasions.
1981
Creates his first oil paintings, a series titled The Fourteen Stations, inspired by the Stations of the Cross. Moves to New York, where he begins to study Sanskrit.
Publishes Francesco Clemente Pinxit, which features miniaturists from Jaipur and Orissa.
Exhibits at the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst in Ghent, Belgium. Meets Andy Warhol.
1982
Participates in Documenta 7 in Kassel, Germany.
1983
The Whitechapel Art Gallery in London exhibits The Fourteen Stations.
Has a solo exhibition at Anthony d'Offay Gallery in London.
1984
The Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin and the Kunsthalle Basel organize exhibitions of Clemente's work. Collaborates with Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat on several works.
1985
Clemente's work is displayed at three galleries in New York simultaneously: Sperone Westwater, Leo Castelli Gallery, and Mary Boone Gallery.
1986
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida, organizes a largescale traveling exhibition of Clemente's work that visits several museums in the United States.
1987
The Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Basel organizes a retrospective exhibition of Clemente's drawings that later travels to several museums in Germany, France, and Austria.
Exhibits six large frescoes at the Fundación Caja de Pensiones in Madrid.
1988
The Milwaukee Art Museum organizes an exhibition of Clemente's graphic work that later travels to the Saint Louis Art Museum and the Museo ItaloAmericano in San Francisco.
Exhibits at the Dia Art Foundation in New York. Seven works by Clemente are shown in the Italian Pavilion at the XLIII Biennale di Venezia.
Motifs from the female body begin to dominate his work, a trend that will last ten years.
1989
The Dia Art Foundation's new exhibition space in Bridgehampton, Long Island, is inaugurated with an exhibition of five paintings by Clemente.
1990
The Philadelphia Museum of Art organizes a retrospective of Clemente's works on paper that is later shown at a number of museums in the United States and at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
1991
Exhibits at Gagosian Gallery in New York and at Aidan Salakova's gallery in Moscow, the first private gallery to be established in Moscow after the collapse of the Soviet regime.
1993
Exhibits sculptures at Anthony d'Offay Gallery in London.
Takes part in the XLV Biennale di Venezia.
1994
The Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris holds an exhibition of Clemente's works on paper.
The Sezon Museum of Art in Tokyo organizes a retrospective of his work.
1995
Travels to Mount Abu in India for fifty-one days, documenting each day with a watercolor.
1996
Exhibits watercolors at the Städtische Galerie Altes Theater in Ravensburg, Germany.
The Guggenheim Museo Bilbao commissions Clemente to create the cycle of paintings titled La stanza della madre.
1997
Exhibits eight portraits at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.
Takes part in the XLVII Biennale di Venezia.
1998
The exhibition Indian Watercolors is shown at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
Creates more than two hundred watercolors for the film Great Expectations by the Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón.
1999
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York holds a major retrospective of Clemente's work that travels to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in 2000. Exhibits at the Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Bologna, Italy.
2000
Creates a mural for the Hudson Hotel in New York.
2002
The Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli in Naples organizes a comprehensive retrospective of the artist's work.
2004
Exhibits at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin and at the Reykjavik Art Museum.
2005
Exhibits at Gagosian Gallery in London and Galleria Gioacchini in Ancona and Cortina, Italy.
2006
The Museo Nazionale delle Arti del Ventunesimo Secolo (MAXXI) in Rome holds an exhibition of Clemente's work.
Has a solo show at Galleria Lorcan O'Neill Roma in Rome.
Takes part in an exhibition devoted to Italy at MOCA Shanghai.
2007
Clemente's work is featured in the exhibitions Goffredo Parise e gli artisti at the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna in Rome, Italia 1980–2007 at the Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts in Hanoi, and O debuxo por diante at the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
2008
Clemente's work is included in two group exhibitions in London: UBS Openings: Paintings from the 1980s at Tate Modern and Blood on Paper: The Art of the Book at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
2009
Takes part in the exhibition Bookworks at Spazio Libro d'Artista, Palazzo Manganelli, in Catania, Italy.
The Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina in Naples presents a retrospective of Clemente's work.
2010
The Mary Boone Gallery in New York, inaugurates the exhibition Francesco Clemente. A Private Geography. Participates in Painting and Sculpture: Foundation for Contemporary Arts Benefit Exhibition at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery in New York; the exhibition is organized as a fund-raising event by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. His work is featured in shows at the Civica Galleria d'Arte Moderna di Gallarate (GAM) in Gallarate, Italy; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo; the Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert, Inc. gallery in New York; the Santa Monica Museum of Art in California; the Kunsthalle Wien-MuseumsQuartier in Vienna; the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin; and the Musée Maillol - Fondation Dina Vierny in Paris. Together with Enzo Cucchi and Mimmo Paladino, exhibits works at Galerie Bernd Klüser in Munich.
2011
The Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt inaugurates an exhibition dedicated to Clemente, and Galleria Lorcan O'Neill in Rome presents the exhibition Winter Women, Summer Self.
Clemente's work is shown in group exhibitions held at the CRG Gallery in New York, the Von der Heydt-Museum in Wuppertal, Germany, and the Kunsthalle Bielefeld in Bielefeld, Germany. Publishes the book Francesco Clemente: A Private Geography, with an essay by Arthur C. Danto.
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