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Installation view of Francesco Clemente: 20 Years of Painting in Santa Monica

Installation view of "Francesco Clemente, Twenty Years of Painting: 2001 – 2021" Presented by Vito Schnabel Gallery and Alexander Dellal at the Old Santa Monica Post Office (Nov 2021 - May 2022); Artworks © Francesco Clemente; Photo by Elon Schoenholz; Courtesy the artist and Vito Schnabel Gallery

Francisco Clemente at Vito Schnabel Santa Monica. Sometimes a show slips away from me – and this is one I wanted to write about but never got around to doing so. Clemente was all the rage in the 1980s in New York, and has kept working prolifically, creatively, since then. This exhibition, Twenty Years of Painting 2001-2021, Vito Schnabel’s first show in the old Santa Monica Post Office, makes the case for Clemente’s continued relevance, working in a variety of mediums and a succession of motifs and subject material. I found his meditations on Greek Helmets powerful. At the same time, mortality and the passage of time are very much on his mind. Clemente’s time in India and his engagement with Indian philosophy also color the work. I was fortunate enough to spend an hour or so walking through this exhibition with Clemente and Schnabel, which was an incomparable experience whose amplitude I never could get on paper. Apologies, and alas!

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