Clemente exh collage

Francesco Clemente

Inspired by India

September 5, 2014 – February 2, 2015

The first museum exhibition devoted to the Indian influences in Clemente’s work and how they relate to the artistic practices and traditions of various regions in India features approximately 20 works, including paintings from the last 30 years, and four new, larger than life-size sculptures created especially for the exhibition. In contrast to leading conceptual art practices of the 1970s, Clemente refocused attention on representation, narrative, and the figure, and explored traditional, artisanal materials and modes of working.

Since his first trip to India in the 1970s, Francesco Clemente immersed himself in the country’s rich cultures as well as the everyday life and artistic practices of local people. Transforming ancient symbols, myths, and ideas, he has created a personal visual language of dreamlike landscapes, animals, and human figures drawn from recollections of his travels. Themes of sexuality, mythology, and spirituality, along with imaginary narratives of violence, intrigue, fragmentation, love, separation, and jealousy are seen throughout his oeuvre.

Curated by Beth Citron

Support for this exhibition has been provided by Agnes Gund and Contributors to the 2014 Exhibitions Fund.

Image credit: Francesco Clemente (b. 1952); The Four Corners, 1985; gouache on twelve sheets of handmade Pondicherry paper joined with handwoven cotton strips; Private Collection

Related Programming


Francesco Clemente took to the stage with eight personalities from different walks of life (October 1 - November 9) incl. rocker and poet Patti Smith, theater visionary Robert Lepage, rapper-philanthropist Nas, Clemente’s spiritual teacher Gelek Rimpoche, chef Eric Ripert, architect Billie Tsien, The Sopranos creator David Chase, and Oscar-winning film director (Gravity) Alfonso Cuarón.


Francesco Clemente’s film choices for Cabaret Cinema on Friday nights.

Gallery Talks

Artists on Art featuring Jeni Spota, Fred Tomaselli, Julian Schnabel, Philip Taaffe, Sandeep Mukherjee, David Salle, Terry Winters, and Swoon.

Francesco Clemente: Exhibition Overview

Curator Beth Citron gives an inside look at this exciting exhibition and discusses her recent trip to India to visit Francesco Clemente at his studio.

Artists on Art with Julian Schnabel

Here artist Julian Schnabel discusses Francesco Clemente's work, focussing on style and materials.

Artists on Art with Jeni Spota

Here New York-based artist Jeni Spota discusses how “the gaze” connects Francesco Clemente’s work and her own.

Artists on Art with Fred Tomaselli

Here artist Fred Tomaselli discusses psychedelics in relation to Francesco Clemente's work and his own.

Artists on Art with Philip Taaffe

Here New York-based artist Philip Taaffe discusses his relationship with Francesco Clemente over the years.

Special Resources

    Send Your Comments

    Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this site until the Rubin has approved them.