Francesco Clemente


May 1–June 14, 1997
980 Madison Avenue, New York

Francesco Clemente, Star, 1997 Oil on canvas, 44 × 92 inches (111.8 × 233.7 cm)

Francesco Clemente, Star, 1997

Oil on canvas, 44 × 92 inches (111.8 × 233.7 cm)


The Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by Francesco Clemente. As the series title "Anamorphosis" suggests, these images represent a deliberate distortion of an image which appears "correct" when viewed from an extreme angle.

Anamorphoses were a favorite caprice of the Renaissance imagination, the product of a sensibility where literature, science and the visual arts were closely allied. Anamorphoses also had a practical application: when depicting an image on an arch, dome or vaulted surface, the image was distorted in such a way as to read "correctly" from below.

Morpheus, the God of sleep was so named because of the forms he caused to appear in the dream state. Francesco Clemente's imagery in these paintings explores a private and esoteric area of meaning, while commenting on issues of myth, imagination, and the continuing vitality of the forms of antiquity.

In the catalogue that accompanies this exhibition, the poet Robert Creeley has taken inspiration from this body of work to write six poems, one accompanying each painting. As in previous collaborations, Creeley's use of words successfully complements Clemente's visual language. In one poem, entitled, "The Star," he describes the effect of Anamorphoses:

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