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Francesco Clemente
Clemente Untitled A: surreal mythical landscape, voyage with ocean and animals

1986

$5,000

About

A black and white, large-scale surreal mythical landscape of an ocean voyage, with a snake wrapped around a clock, female figure, greek urns, and animals such as a dog, cat, and bird, printed in black on translucent Japanese paper. Clemente drew this lithograph while working on his large scale de luxe book “The Departure of the Argonaut”, both of which were exhibited on publication at MoMA, New York in 1986. “The Departure of the Argonaut” includes 49 original lithographs overlaying the text of Alberto Savinio (the brother of Giorgio de Chirico). In both “Untitled A” and “The Departure of the Argonaut” Clemente’s surreal, mythological imagery, draws on themes of mortality, eternity, sexuality, and the fluidity of life. Paper: three panels, total 68 x 303 cm / 26.75 x 119.25 in. Lithograph in three panels on buff mould made Okawara (Kozo) paper. Edition 100. Signed and numbered by the artist. Published by Petersburg Press. This epic, three-part print portrays a snake coiled around a clock, whose body transforms into an ocean that spans the center panel. Printed with a snakeskin pattern, the waves toss a boat with three raised flags. In the rightmost panel, the water coalesces into snakes that slide down and stretch to the uppermost corner, curling around a two-handled Grecian urn. Below the urn, an armless, legless classical sculpture of a woman is flanked by two clamshells. In the lowermost corner, another urn touches the head of a snake. Clemente’s fluid brushstrokes and airy, sketched marks capture the movement of the ocean. Its waves mark the passage of time, with a ship floating in the balance. Clemente contrasts the traditional Memento Mori imagery of a clock, marking the mortality of man, with the snake, a symbol of renewal and rebirth. To the right of the ocean, the snakes' phallic heads nudge two-handled vessels. John Keats' poem "Ode to a Grecian Urn" describes the urn's beauty as eternal, yet lacking the vitality and warmth of life itself, and ultimately serving as a reminder of the brevity of human life. The urns can be seen, too, as the ephemeral vessel of the human body. Between the vessels, the armless, legless form of a woman calls to mind Botticelli's Birth of Venus, in which the Roman goddess of love and fertility emerges nude from a clamshell. The length of Untitled A suggests a journey, whether an individual journey of self-understanding, or the larger struggle of man for meaning. A companion piece, Untitled B, employs similar imagery, capsizing grecian urns and ships in the ocean, with a menagerie of animals and human figures spread across the sheets in broad arcs. Here, the clock has almost struck midnight, while in this work’s companion piece, Untitled B, the clock reads 10:45. A prodigious producer of paintings, drawing, and prints, Clemente frequently depicts the nude human form, including intimate self-portraits and couples in erotic embrace. Clemente’s visual language combines art-historical reference and ancient mythology with images of nature, imbuing figurative scenes with a dreamy spirituality. Sex, violence, death and birth provide equal inspiration for Clemente’s nomadic soul-searching. At the age of 21, Clemente travelled to India, where he would later live for a time, immersing himself in the cultural and spiritual traditions of Madras. He currently divides his time between New York, India and Rome. A fixture of the New York art scene since the 1980’s, he has exhibited most recently at Blain Southern Gallery, London and Berlin; James Cohan Shanghai, Daniel Templon, Paris; and Mary Boone, New York. This lithograph is in the collections of Des Moines Art Centre, Des Moines and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra amongst others.

Details

  • Creator
    Francesco Clemente (1952, Italian)
  • Creation Year
    1986
  • Dimensions
    Height: 26.75 in. (67.95 cm)Width: 119.25 in. (302.9 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
    This print is not pre-owned and has been stored in a flat file since its publication.
  • Gallery Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU121125441992

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    $849 In-Home Delivery Shipping
    to United States 0, arrives in 3-8 weeks.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: New York, NY
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 7 days of delivery.

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