1.17.2010

FRANCESCO CLEMENTE: Vintage Interview

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An Interview With Francesco Clemente. Front Cover Photograph (c) Richard Avedon /All Rights Reserved. "She and She" Back Cover Painting (c) Francesco Clemente /All Rights Reserved.

Sky and Water, Watercolour on paper
Painting by Francesco Clemente /All Rights Reserved

The following quotes by artist Francesco Clemente were excerpted from An Interview With Francesco Clemente by Rainer Crone and Georgia Marsh, published under the imprint "Elizabeth Avedon Editions | Vintage Contemporary Artists | Random House:" (Here)
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"...about the publication of your book of poems, Castelli di Sabbia. (Naples: L’Arte Tipografica, 1964) "I had been reciting it to my mother since I was five or six, and it was published against my better judgment. It was enormously embarrassing, and it made me into a painter, actually, because I decided that to be a poet was too embarrassing; it was too revealing, and I wanted something more obscure to deal with. I thought of painting that way. That was when I was eleven or twelve years old."

"Paintings are simple things. They are important not so much for what is in them as for what is not there. When we talk of the Renaissance we talk of something fragile; the surprise is that at a certain point, after a thousand years of Christianity, Renaissance artists looked at their bodies again, and looked at their faces, and looked at the world as a sensual place. This feeling of surprise happens again in Tiepolo's skies, and even down to de Chirico's earliest painting. If we talk of Piero della Francesca, what comes to mind is the light. There are two lineages of light in painting. One is a secular light: from Caravaggio to de Kooning. The light is outside; it comes down on things, and makes them what they are. But if we talk of Piero, or talk of Roman paintings, or of the Pompeian paintings, we talk of a light that comes from within and that has nothing to do with the history of man. It is a light that is before the history of man. Giotto is unique because you don't know exactly which way the light goes: his is already a completely secular point of view, but still the light is treated as an inner flow. There is really no one else like him; that degree of mystery is nowhere else. We have to talk in terms of light, because if we talk in terms of formalities, what can we get out of it?"

"It could be a step forward to realize that the rational picture of the world is also an imagination; it has the same reality as a myth. It is the product of the mind; it is not more substantial than the mind. When we talk about mythology we are talking about questions of history, of rational thought and rationalized memory of our past. History is the most tragic product of the rational mind–a picture from which there is no way to escape. The picture of the world that history gives us is the picture of a dead person who looks over his own life. It is as if we are all dead, and we are looking at the world in a glass case. How can we get away from this? I have no answer for it."

5 comments:

Caio Fernandes said...

Clemente is a exelnt artist , i totaly agree with what he says about the diference between poetry and painting ...

Suicide Barbie said...

Provocative and profound. Very interesting and alluring work.

Christina Lindsay said...

He's great. I love your blog xx

EDUARDO POISL said...

Há um tempo em que é preciso
abandonar as roupas usadas,
que já têm a forma do nosso corpo,
e esquecer os nossos caminhos,
que nos levam sempre aos mesmos lugares.
É o tempo da travessia:
e, se não ousarmos fazê-la,
teremos ficado, para sempre,
à margem de nós mesmos

Fernando Pessoa

Te desejo uma linda semana com muito amor e carinho
Abraços

Secretia said...

That is a work of art.

Secretia