Carriageworks to present first major Australian exhibition of Italian artist Francesco Clemente

  • Jodie Sloan
  • July 22, 2016
  • Comments Off on Carriageworks to present first major Australian exhibition of Italian artist Francesco Clemente

In an Australian first, contemporary Italian artist Francesco Clemente will head up the second major international exhibition in the Schwartz Carriageworks series, opening on July 30th.

The Schwartz Carriageworks series is a joint venture between art dealer Anna Schwartz and Carriageworks director Lisa Havilah, bringing major international artists to Australian audiences. First announced in 2015, the partnership earlier this year saw the exhibition play host to the work of Ghanaian artist El Anatsui, taking over Schwartz’s Sydney space and collapsing the line between the public and private art worlds.

For this year’s exhibition, six of Francesco Clemente’s highly-decorated tents will transform the Carriageworks public space into an opulent tented village, for Encampment. This will be the Italian artist’s first major exhibition in Australia.

Created over a two year period with artisans from Rajasthan, India, the tents feature intricate patterns, emblematic imagery, and vividly painted human figures, telling stories both real and allegorical. Clemente’s work combines Indian and Western European influences to create a hybrid visual language. Visitors are invited to explore the 30,000 square feet of exhibition space, walking in, around, and amongst the tents.

Encampment will also feature four altar like structures, titled Earth, Moon, Sun, and Hunger, and paintings from Clemente’s erotically charged series No Mud, No Lotus.

Dividing his time between Varansi and New York City, Clemente’s work blends the diverse cultures he experiences, synthesising different experiences from around the world. Rising to prominence in the 1970s, his oeuvre spans four decades, and he has pieces in museums and private collections across the globe.

Francesco Clemente: Encampment opens at Carriageworks on July 30th and will run until October 9th. Entry is free.
Encampment was originally organised by the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and marks the first occasion of Carriageworks collaborating with the North American contemporary arts institution.

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