Francesco Clemente: Made in India
Published by Charta.
By Jyotindra Jain. Text by Salman Rushdie, Stella Kramrisch. Conversation with Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovski.
Francesco Clemente (born 1952) first visited India in 1973, and was immediately enchanted by its chaotic blend of modernity and antiquity. In the country's larger cities like New Delhi and Madras, Hindu iconography joins in the larger visual cacophony of advertisement posters and hoardings found on temple exteriors, wayside shrines, cinema houses, shops, restaurants, buses and taxis, proliferating in an irreverent bombardment of spirituality and commerce. Nine years later, Clemente would acquire a home in India, dividing his time between New York, Italy and Madras. The artist's iconography reaches deep into Indian religious art and its extraordinary presence in urban visual culture, and his art is profoundly characterized by this resource, as well as by other spiritual traditions flourishing in India, such as Theosophy. Francesco Clemente: Made in India is the artist's love letter to the country. It compiles hundreds of drawings, collages and notebooks made over the past few decades, revealing Clemente's ever-active, image-hungry eye and conveying the great wealth of the vast iconographic archive upon which his work draws. Also included is a 1992 conversation between Clemente and poets Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky, expanding on the influence of Indian culture upon western art and literature in recent decades.