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Francesco Clemente, "India IV" (Detail), 2019, Oil on canvas

Francesco Clemente, Clouds VI, 2018, oil on canvas, 71 x 87 inches (180.3 x 221 cm); © Francesco Clemente; Courtesy the artist and Vito Schnabel Gallery

The painter is showing “India” and “Clouds”, at Vito Schnabel galleries in New York and St. Moritz.

It was 1971 when Francesco Clemente first traveled to India. He was with his friend and painting mentor Alighiero Boetti, and would return to live in India for a decade, on and off in Chennai, a southern, coastal region that was once a British military garrison—where he studied Sanskrit, Hindu, and Buddhist literature at the local theosophical society.

The Naples-born American artist divides his time between New York, Rome, and two cities in India—Chennai and Varanasi, a northeastern region regarded as the Hindu spiritual center of the country. It’s no surprise that he is having two concurrent exhibitions which are titled India and Clouds, on view at both of Vito Schnabel’s galleries (one, in New York City runs until January 18, 2020, and another, in St. Moritz, Switzerland, opens on December 27).

GARAGE spoke to the artist about Italy under fascism, Ying and Yang, and godliness and hope in dark times.

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