Palladium Bestiario V
Lot sold to benefit the Covid emergency activity, intervention project and related volunteers training of the Croce Rosa e Celeste Milan
Palladium Bestiario V
Tempera calda on plaster
Signed and titled on the reverse
155 x 252 x 43 cm
Executed in 1985
This work is in good and original condition. Close inspection reveals a few handling marks along the edges, as well as some light surface dirt. There are some cracks to the plaster in intermittent places, some of which have some associated paint losses. Most of these cracks appear to be inherent to the medium chosen by the artist and are therefore to be expected for such a wall relief.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
In May 1985 Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, formers owners of the popular Studio 54, inaugurated a nightclub called Palladium. The club’s design was entrusted to Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, who in turn enlisted curator Henry Geldzahler to coordinate the club’s decorations. Geldzahler commissioned a group of young painters including Keith Haring, Francesco Clemente, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf. It was Clemente who suggested the decoration should be on site, directly painting the parget walls in the building.
Bought by the New York University in 1997, the Palladium was to be demolished to accommodate students housing. However, agreements were quickly made to remove Clemente's work and to divide it into several individual works. Palladium Bestiario V is the outcome of this second life.
As both the title and the patterns of the work suggest, symbolism is a predominant feature in Clemente's work. Henry Geldzahler confirmed this in a 1994 statement: “Francesco Clemente’s imagery is the most fascinating aspect of his work in all media – its variety, depth, and perversity. Anyone who has ever taken a course in iconography knows the amplitude of saints and graces, the hours, invented animals, the sins and the seas and so on.” (Henry Geldzahler, in Italiana. From Arte Povera to Transavanguardia, Milan, 1994, p. 68)
In addition to the Palladium, Clemente has created four site-specific decorations to date. In 1982, the artist was commissioned to create a fresco in a private indoor swimming pool in St. Moritz. One year later, he painted the walls of Julian and Jacqueline Schnabel's loft on 20th Street, a work that was later moved to West 11th Street. In 1999, Clemente participated in the decoration of Bruno Bischofberger's new home in Meilien, Switzerland which was designed by Ettore Sottsass. Finally, in September 2000, Clemente completed the ceiling of the new Ian Schragers Hudson Hotel's bar in New York, designed by Phillipe Starck.
Working across painting, installation and watercolour, Clemente's dreamlike works are the results of experimentation with symbols, portraiture and the human figure. Throughout his career, the artist has largely shunned the restrictive label of movements and styles. As he once said: “I believe there is such a thing as an imagination shared by the different contemplative traditions. My goal is to collect images and references from these traditions and connect them with the emotions from the present-day, and common experiences.”