Francesco Clemente at the Uffizi


da/from 9 Sep 11 fino a/until 6 Nov 11

Prints and Drawings Department of the Uffizi

Francesco Clemente. The Tarot

The interest of the Uffizi Prints and Drawings Department in the contemporary dates back to its very origins, in other words the mid-17th century. In effect, alongside the works of the Renaissance period, which were appreciated largely for their historic value, Cardinal Leopoldo through his own interests as a collector, and Filippo Baldinucci in the role of first curator and organiser of the collection, both revealed an intrigued systematic and constant attention towards the "moderns", who were at this time the artists of the Baroque period. The same can be said of the periods that followed, which explains the chronological continuity of the graphic works present in the collection.

Without aspiring to a complete planning of contemporary acquisitions, which are entrusted above all to the qualified generosity of donations, the GDSU is still today open towards living artists and those who lived in the century just ended. This explains why it welcomes in its own modern, albeit already "historic" spaces, a sequence of display initiatives that alternate the so-called Old Masters with presences and narrations that have the value of absolute modernity.

It is within this framework of institutional vocation that we can place the exhibition addressed to Francesco Clemente (Naples 1952) who, perhaps precisely in an awareness of the complex and stratified artistic tradition of this site, has chosen to express his unmistakable creative vein at the Uffizi by addressing a topic as ancient as that of the Tarot.

The drawings, executed in different parts of the world - including Naples, New York, India and New Mexico - call to mind the private places of Clemente, but also the global and collective geography which each of us is experiencing, at least virtually. And the portraits of the exponents of a cosmopolitan cultural community, inserted into the allegorical illustrations of the Astral bodies, the Virtues and the Triumphs, bring together the new and the old continents in a play of glances orchestrated by the artist, who portrays himself in the arcana of the Fool. Alongside the Tarot, twelve canvases in the Sala del Camino featuring the same number of self-portraits of Clemente in the garb of Apostle, continue the mesh of temporal cross-references between the figurative of the past and that of one of the numerous possible presents.

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