We are glad to start a new collaboration with Anna Maria Frastali at ISTITUTO EUROPEO for an internship in "Creative Writing"
Francesco Clemente’s “I Tarocchi”,
and the Twelve Apostles.
Tuesday-Sunday 8.15 am- 6.15 pm
Through Nov. 6
The first floor of the Uffizi museum hosts two series of works by internationally acclaimed painter, Francesco Clemente. Though each series differs in subject, they are similar to each other in technical terms. “I Tarocchi”, or “The Tarots”, is the name of the main exhibition, but there is also a special section inspired by the twelve Apostles.
The paintings “I Tarocchi” were created between 2009 and 2011 in several places- New York, India, Naples and New Mexico. The painter combines the traditional division of tarots with his own symbolic preferences. The 78 cards are separated into two main categories: 22 tramps cards (major arcane) and 56 pip and court cards divided into four suits: cups, swords, wands and disks. The painter introduces symbols such as hearts in different shapes, the sun, the human body and especially the female body scarred or not. The painter is depicted in some of them, such as The Fool, but the works primarily feature portraits of individuals close to the painter’s environment. Big intense eyes and red shapely lips emerge in every painting. Each suit is painted in a different media: watercolor on paper, ink and colored pencil on paper, pastel on paper and finally collage, pencil and ink on paper.
Francesco Clemente focused on one of his favorite subjects for the second exhibition “Self portraits as the 12 Apostles”. Self portrait is the departure point the painter uses to explore the self’s other. Well known features are used in each painting, such as the skin of St Bartholomew, the saw of St Simon and the coins of St Matthew. The same eyes and lips are recognizable in these paintings, too, in an effort to engage the evangelical theme but also interrogate the viewer. One of these paintings will be donated by the painter to the Uffizi museum.
Clemente, influenced by living in India for several years, uses a wide range of symbols in both exhibitions. Moreover, both are inspired by old subjects and both have religion embedded within. Through the subject of self portrait the artist tries to present and illustrate temporal cross-references between the past and the possible present, a question empowered by the gaze of the portrayed persons.
by Anna Maria Frastali