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Francesco Clemente Biography
The Italian painter and graphic artist Francesco Clemente is regarded one of the main representatives of Transavanguardia and Arte Cifra, Italian forms of Neo-expressionism. Francesco Clemente was born in Naples in 1952. At the year of 18 Francesco Clemente moved to Rome and studied architecture at the Università degli Studi di Roma which he never completed, though. The young Francesco Clemente was more interested in visual art than in architecture. In 1971, still before he turned 20, Francesco Clemente had his first solo show at the Galleria Valle Giulia in Rome. In 1974 Francesco Clemente met his later wife. As early as in 1973 Francesco Clemente went onto a journey through India. The country fascinated him substantially. Time and again he returned to India, which is why his works often resonance Indian culture, religion and philosophy. The human body, especially the female body, is among the leitmotifs of Francesco Clemente's figurative paintings and graphic works that show notions of abstraction. The actress Alba Primiceri, his wife, can be found on many paintings by Francesco Clemente. Self portraits, dreamlike-visionary subjects, sexuality and myths count among Francesco Clemente's preferred themes. In 1980 Francesco Clemente traveled to New York, where had a studio in 1982. Two years later Francesco Clemente worked together with Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. The participation in the Venice Biennale in 1980 was the international breakthrough for Francesco Clemente. Numerous further exhibition consolidated his fame. Next to the Kassel documenta exhibition in 1982 large retrospectives at the Sezon Museum of Art in Tokyo in 1994, at the New York Guggenheim Museum in1999, at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples in 2002/03 or at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin in 2004 honored the artist's achievements. In 2011 the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt am Main showed a retrospective of the oeuvre made between 1978 and 2011. Francesco Clemente lives and works in New York, Madras and Rome.