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Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Day Auction

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Francesco Clemente
B. 1952
THE KING AND THE CORPSE (FROM THE BOOK OF THE SEA)
watercolour on paper
102 by 105cm.; 40 by 41 1/4 in.
Executed in 1992.
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Provenance

Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner

Exhibited

New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Bilbao, Guggenheim Museum, Clemente, 1999-2000, no. 70, illustrated in colour

Catalogue Note

An Interview with Francesco Clemente

Sotheby's:
Your recurring theme of self-portraiture is tied to the repetition and rebirth of the ego, from where does this need originate for you and how does this effect you in reality?

Francesco Clemente:
I believe that paintings are tools for knowledge, concise keys to access a view of the world. A self portrait is a reminder that at the core of our experience of the self is the perception of change, and that the only certainty is the continuity of discontinuity

Sotheby's:
How do your experiences and creative/dreamy dimension interface and are reflected in your work?

Francesco Clemente:
The distinctive strategy of my work is the constant renewal of materials and formats. Every new material generates a new constellation of images. These images are organized in an open, fragmented narrative. They are used as relative tools, meant to suggest the existence of absolute realities, without dictating them.

Sotheby's:
How has your relationship with the body and its identity evolved over the years?

Francesco Clemente:
We barely understand the body, as we barely understand painting. Our goal is to accept that, what looks like chaos in painting, and in the body, is nothing less than a superior form of order

Sotheby's:
Could you tell us more about your inspiration for the Book of the Sea series?

Francesco Clemente:
As I constantly renew my materials, I also renew the geographical origins of my work. Very large watercolours are more easily made in a tropical climate, where the humidity allows more time to rework the surface. The works of the Book of the Sea are made in the Caribbean, mostly in Port Antonio, and are inspired by the great literature of this area, particularly the poetry of Derek Walcott.

Contemporary Art Day Auction

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London