Photo: Francesco Clemente in Angels’ Tent, 2013 Photograph: Neil Greentree Courtesy the artist

Clemente, Francesco

Naples, 1952

Francesco Clemente | Artistas | Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa



Born to an aristocratic family on March 23.


Publishes several poems in the volume Castelli di sabbia.


Moves to Rome to study architecture at the Università degli Studi di Roma.


Has his first solo show, at Galleria Valle Giulia in Rome.


Meets the artist Alighiero Boetti.


Publishes the book Pierre Menard , a series of photographs inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’s short story “Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote“.
Travels for the first time to India, a country to which he will return for long periods several times in his life.


Meets the actress Alba Primiceri, whom he later marries.
Travels to Afghanistan with Boetti.


Has solo exhibitions at Gian Enzo Sperone in Rome and Turin.


Spends the year in India, where he begins to study Hinduism and Buddhism, which will have repercussions on his work.


Begins to add ideograms to his paintings, which will become a distinctive aspect of his work.


Together with artists such as Enzo Cucchi, Sandro Chia, Nicola De Maria, and Mimmo Paladino, with whom he exhibits at Galerie Paul Maenz in Cologne, Clemente is linked to the Transvantgarde movement, identified by the critic Achille Bonito Oliva.


Participates in the XXXIX Biennale di Venezia.
Has his first solo exhibition in New York, at Sperone Westwater Fischer, where he will show his work again on several other occasions.


Creates his first oil paintings, a series titled The Fourteen Stations, inspired by the Stations of the Cross. Moves to New York, where he begins to study Sanskrit.
Publishes Francesco Clemente Pinxit, which features miniaturists from Jaipur and Orissa.
Exhibits at the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst in Ghent, Belgium. Meets Andy Warhol.


Participates in Documenta 7 in Kassel, Germany.


The Whitechapel Art Gallery in London exhibits The Fourteen Stations.
Has a solo exhibition at Anthony d’Offay Gallery in London.


The Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin and the Kunsthalle Basel organize exhibitions of Clemente’s work. Collaborates with Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat on several works.


Clemente’s work is displayed at three galleries in New York simultaneously: Sperone Westwater, Leo Castelli Gallery, and Mary Boone Gallery.


The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida, organizes a largescale traveling exhibition of Clemente’s work that visits several museums in the United States.


The Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Basel organizes a retrospective exhibition of Clemente’s drawings that later travels to several museums in Germany, France, and Austria.
Exhibits six large frescoes at the Fundación Caja de Pensiones in Madrid.


The Milwaukee Art Museum organizes an exhibition of Clemente’s graphic work that later travels to the Saint Louis Art Museum and the Museo ItaloAmericano in San Francisco.
Exhibits at the Dia Art Foundation in New York. Seven works by Clemente are shown in the Italian Pavilion at the XLIII Biennale di Venezia.
Motifs from the female body begin to dominate his work, a trend that will last ten years.


The Dia Art Foundation’s new exhibition space in Bridgehampton, Long Island, is inaugurated with an exhibition of five paintings by Clemente.


The Philadelphia Museum of Art organizes a retrospective of Clemente’s works on paper that is later shown at a number of museums in the United States and at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.


Exhibits at Gagosian Gallery in New York and at Aidan Salakova’s gallery in Moscow, the first private gallery to be established in Moscow after the collapse of the Soviet regime.


Exhibits sculptures at Anthony d’Offay Gallery in London.
Takes part in the XLV Biennale di Venezia.


The Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris holds an exhibition of Clemente’s works on paper.
The Sezon Museum of Art in Tokyo organizes a retrospective of his work.


Travels to Mount Abu in India for fifty-one days, documenting each day with a watercolor.


Exhibits watercolors at the Städtische Galerie Altes Theater in Ravensburg, Germany.
The Guggenheim Museo Bilbao commissions Clemente to create the cycle of paintings titled La stanza della madre.


Exhibits eight portraits at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.
Takes part in the XLVII Biennale di Venezia.


The exhibition Indian Watercolors is shown at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
Creates more than two hundred watercolors for the film Great Expectations by the Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón.


The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York holds a major retrospective of Clemente’s work that travels to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in 2000. Exhibits at the Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Bologna, Italy.


Creates a mural for the Hudson Hotel in New York.


The Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli in Naples organizes a comprehensive retrospective of the artist’s work.


Exhibits at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin and at the Reykjavik Art Museum.


Exhibits at Gagosian Gallery in London and Galleria Gioacchini in Ancona and Cortina, Italy.


The Museo Nazionale delle Arti del Ventunesimo Secolo (MAXXI) in Rome holds an exhibition of Clemente’s work.
Has a solo show at Galleria Lorcan O’Neill Roma in Rome.
Takes part in an exhibition devoted to Italy at MOCA Shanghai.


Clemente’s work is featured in the exhibitions Goffredo Parise e gli artisti at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome, Italia 1980–2007 at the Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts in Hanoi, and O debuxo por dianteat the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.


Clemente’s work is included in two group exhibitions in London: UBS Openings: Paintings from the 1980s at Tate Modern and Blood on Paper: The Art of the Book at the Victoria and Albert Museum.


Takes part in the exhibition Bookworks at Spazio Libro d’Artista, Palazzo Manganelli, in Catania, Italy.
The Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina in Naples presents a retrospective of Clemente’s work.


The Mary Boone Gallery in New York, inaugurates the exhibition Francesco Clemente. A Private Geography. Participates in Painting and Sculpture: Foundation for Contemporary Arts Benefit Exhibition at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery in New York; the exhibition is organized as a fund-raising event by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. His work is featured in shows at the Civica Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Gallarate (GAM) in Gallarate, Italy; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo; the Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert, Inc. gallery in New York; the Santa Monica Museum of Art in California; the Kunsthalle Wien-MuseumsQuartier in Vienna; the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin; and the Musée Maillol – Fondation Dina Vierny in Paris. Together with Enzo Cucchi and Mimmo Paladino, exhibits works at Galerie Bernd Klüser in Munich.


The Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt inaugurates an exhibition dedicated to Clemente, and Galleria Lorcan O’Neill in Rome presents the exhibition Winter Women, Summer Self.
Clemente’s work is shown in group exhibitions held at the CRG Gallery in New York, the Von der Heydt-Museum in Wuppertal, Germany, and the Kunsthalle Bielefeld in Bielefeld, Germany. Publishes the book Francesco Clemente: A Private Geography, with an essay by Arthur C. Danto.


Shows recent works in various exhibitions: Mandala for Crusoe at Blain|Southern London; Francesco Clemente at James Cohan Gallery in Shanghai; Nostalgia/Utopia at Mary Boone Gallery in New York; and Emblems and Mountains: Recent Watercolors and Works on Paper at Studio d’Arte Raffaelli in Trento, Italy.


Francesco Clemente, curated by Achille Bonito Oliva, is held at Palazzo Sant’Elia in Palermo, Italy.

Francesco Clemente: The Chinese Shadows and Selected Watercolors is on at James Cohan Gallery in Shanghai, and Clemente > Brazil > Yale is held at the Yale School of Art in New Haven, USA.

Solo exhibitions are held at Blain|Southern Berlin and Thomas Ammann Fine Art in Zurich.


The exhibition Francesco Clemente: Inspired by India opens at The Rubin Museum of Art in New York.

Solo exhibitions are held at Mary Boone Gallery in New York and Galerie Bruno Bischofberger in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

Shows Bandiere series at Casamadre Arte Contemporanea in Naples, Italy.

Mother’s Room (La stanza della madre, 1995–97) is exhibited as part of the exhibition The Art of Our Time: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collections, at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.


The Encampment installation is installed at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts, USA. Later on, it tours to Carriageworks in Sydney, Australia.

Takes part in Art Changsha 2015, in China.


Francesco Clemente: Dormiveglia opens at the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.

A Nomadic Life – Francesco Clemente in China is on at Springs Center of Art in Beijing.

Exhibits the series Winter Flowers and Tree of Life at the Santa Maria della Scala Complex in Siena, Italy.

The exhibition After Omeros opens at Fergus McCaffrey in Saint-Barthélemy, France. The watercolors in the series are also shown at the Coro della Maddalena in Alba, Italy.

Clemente’s works are shown at JMM Gallery in Brussels and Galerie Templon in Paris.


Creates the site-specific installation Standing with Truth for Ravello, 2017 in Villa Rufolo, in the context of the Ravello Festival in Italy.

Holds solo exhibition at the Javier López & Fer Frances gallery in Madrid.


A major exhibition, Francesco Clemente: Works 1978–2018 is on at the Brant Foundation in Greenwich, Connecticut, USA.

Francesco Clemente: Napoli è opens at Casamadre Arte Contemporanea in Naples, Italy.

Under the title After García Lorca, Clemente’s most recent works are shown at Galleria Lorcan O’Neill in Rome.


Francesco Clemente. White Caravan, Pink Thread, Red Gate is shown at Dallas Contemporary in Dallas, Texas, USA.