Francesco Clemente
Francesco Clemente

Second floor

An interest in the body, the connection with the spiritual plane, astrology, and the influence of Indian culture can all be seen in the works of Francesco Clemente (b. 1952). The stanza or room mentioned in the title evokes Renaissance chambers or rooms, where refuge was sought from the outside world. They were spaces that encouraged rest, contemplation, and calm. If the walls of this gallery could talk, they would reveal the hidden secrets of such an intimate room.

This installation by Francesco Clemente was commissioned by the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao for its inaugural exhibition in 1997. The seventeen panels comprising it were painted with oil and tempera on the remains of a theater curtain; as if it were a fresco, they unfold on the walls and frame the entrances to contiguous spaces. The monumentality of the space and the work emanate grandiosity and envelop the spectator.

Original title: La stanza della madre
Date: 1995–97
Medium / Materials: Oil and tempera on linen
Dimensions: 17 panel cycle
10 panels: 239 x 480 cm; 2 panels: 360 x 480 cm; 2 panels: 90 x 518 cm;
2 panels: 90 x 400 cm; 1 panel: 119 x 480 cm
Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa