Quantcast
Paul’s ART STUFF on a train # 113: ‘Transformation’ - FAD Magazine

FAD Magazine

FAD Magazine covers contemporary art- News, Exhibitions, Interviews and cool art stuff reported on from London

Paul’s ART STUFF on a train # 113: ‘Transformation’

clemente 1

‘Emblems of Transformation 95’ – Courtesy of the Francesco Clemente and Blain|Southern

I tend to associate the Italian Francesco Clemente, now 63, with the big neo-expressionist canvases of the Neo-Expressionist / Transavantgarde movement – which had its moment in art history as the 1980’s antidote to minimal and conceptual, and is best left there. Perhaps that view was always simplistic, but now it’s now way out of date. For many years Clemente has spent much of his time in India, and is more Transcultural then Transavantgarde. He has often collaborated with local artisans, and that’s the case in his new show of 108 watercolours (at Blain|Southern to 4 July). Clemente’s fluid watercolours – often of equally watery themes – are added to by a family of miniaturists from Rajasthan. If the Chapmans make Goya worse to make a point, then the Indians make Clemente better, though of course – being Clemente’s lead – it’s also a form of self-improvement. The key is that the contrasts work aesthetically, counterpointing generality with detail convincingly enough to absorb absurd contrasts of scale; and also thematically – turning the relatively abstract and loose into the wittily surreal and precise. A rainbow becomes a road, a woven pattern reveals swimmers, a tree contains a lovers’ tryst, and hearts are eroticised by the insertion of a sex scene… There are 108 beads in the japa mala which Hindus and Buddhists use to meditate, hence the 108 paintings which serve the overall aim of illustrating transformation through transformation. It’s an entrancing show.

clemente 2


‘Emblems of Transformation 67’ – Courtesy of the Francesco Clemente and Blain|Southern

Most days art critic Paul Carey-Kent spends hours on the train, traveling between his home in Southampton and his day job in London. Could he, we asked, jot down whatever came into his head?

Categories

Tags

Related Posts

Painting at Frieze London

Painting is always the dominant medium in art fairs, and despite all the talk of NFTs and new media, that […]

Frieze Masters is back

Enough of the crowding and superficiality of Frieze London’s opening day, this year I opted for the more measured pace […]

Review: The Factory Project

If you are wondering whether to visit The Factory Project, you’ll want to know about the practicalities, and the quality […]

Sculpture Outside the Gallery

There’s plenty of sculpture lying around outside in London now: not just the permanent stuff dotted about or combined into […]

Trending Articles

Submit Your Work

Submit your work to be featured on FAD