Zen Star (2015)
The goal of my work is to remind the viewer of the necessity to be fluid, to be in a constant state of transformation.
Suited to Clemente’s nomadic lifestyle, watercolors have been an important medium since the artist’s early career. In the 1970s, the artist began traveling extensively, above all in India. Immersing himself in the country’s manifold aesthetic and mythological traditions, he studied Sanskrit and read Hindu and Buddhist literature, while also learning from and collaborating with local papermakers, sign painters, and miniature painters. The Francesco Clemente Pinxit series of gouaches made in 1981 is an early example, integrating the traditions of Indian miniature painting and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts. In Zen Star (2015), the artist again incorporates miniature paintings, blending traditional and modern approaches, connecting geographies, cultures, and time periods.
Watercolor and miniature on paper
18 × 24 inches (45.7 × 61 cm)
Courtesy of Francesco Clemente Studio; Collection of the Artist
Photo: Tom Powel Imaging