b. 1952, Naples, Italy
Francesco Clemente wrote poetry and painted as a child, and went to Rome to study architecture at the Università degli Studi di Roma, La Sapienza, in 1970. Before finishing the program he decided to pursue art instead, exhibiting widely in Europe. Since 1973 Clemente has often lived and worked in India and in 1981 he moved to New York City, collaborating with artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol, as well as with poets including John Wieners, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Creeley, and Rene Ricard. Clemente's work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions, including traveling retrospectives of his pastels (Nationalgalerie, Berlin: 1984–85) and drawings (Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel: 1987–89). His works on paper were the focus of a full retrospective organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1990, which traveled within the United States and to the Royal Academy of Arts, London (1991). His works on paper have been shown in exhibitions organized by the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1994–95) and at the Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Bologna (1999). The artist's comprehensive oeuvre was the subject of a retrospective exhibition, "Clemente", mounted by the Guggenheim Museum, New York (1999–2000), which traveled to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain (2000). A survey of the artist's work was organized by the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (2002–03). Clemente lives and works between New York, Madras, and Rome.