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Saint Louis Art Museum Presents Artist Francesco Clemente’s High Fever

July 17, 2011

Francesco Clemente, Italian, born 1952; Febbre Alta (High Fever), 1982; woodcut; sheet: 26 3/4 x 21 1/4 inches; Saint Louis Art Museum, Friends Fund 20:1988.6; © Francesco Clemente.

ST. LOUIS, MO.- The Saint Louis Art Museum presents the exhibition Focus on the Collection: Francesco Clemente’s High Fever, which brings together a series of nine dark and mysterious woodcuts that explore the beauty, pleasure and pain of love by contemporary Italian artist Francesco Clemente.

Influenced by the mysticism of India, Clemente conveys both the sensual and spiritual aspects of love, including childbirth and motherhood. Clemente exploits the natural grain of his woodblocks to dramatic effect, allowing it to become part of the repertoire of expressive marks found in each of the compositions. The grain and the dark tones of the ink reference the Northern European history of the woodcut.

Born in Naples in 1952, Clemente taught himself to paint after finishing high school. He moved to Rome in 1970 to study architecture. Clemente has been featured in shows at numerous institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Royal Academy of Arts, London; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Curated by Eric Lutz, associate curator of prints, drawings and photographs, and Ann-Maree Walker, research assistant, Focus on the Collection: Francesco Clemente’s High Fever is on view in Gallery 321 from July 15 through October 9, 2011.

The Saint Louis Art Museum is one of the nation’s leading comprehensive art museums with collections that include works of art of exceptional quality from virtually every culture and time period. Areas of notable depth include Oceanic art, pre-Columbian art, ancient Chinese bronzes and European and American art of the late 19th and 20th centuries, with particular strength in 20th-century German art. The Museum offers a full range of exhibitions and educational programming generated independently and in collaboration with local, national and international partners.

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