Fiori d’inverno a New York
An exhibition by the Comune di Siena in collaboration with the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut
curated by Max Seidel in collaboration with Carlotta Castellani
This exhibition is an act of homage on the part of Francesco Clemente to Siena, the city that in 2012 paid him the compliment of commissioning from him the banner or 'Palio' awarded to the winner of the famous bareback horse race. At the invitation of Max Seidel, the artist will display, for the first time, ten large-format artworks divided into two distinct cycles, created from 2010 onwards.
The Fiori d'inverno a New York (Winter Flowers in New York City) series was created together with the artist's wife, Alba Primiceri, and consists of five canvases with representations of large-scale flowers, which took the artist six years to produce (2010–2016). Certain flowers found in the winter months in New York were chosen as the basis for these pictorial elaborations, which are distinguished for the careful selection of vegetable pigments and for their slow execution in several phases. The theme of Winter Flowers is a meditation on old age, and on the irreducible joy that can characterise this stage of life.
The Albero della vita (Tree of Life) cycle produced between 2013 and 2014 instead contains some highly recurrent motifs of his production since the Seventies linked to the cycle of life theme. Clemente's iconography freely draws on the most varied sources such as classical mythology, Buddhism, oriental history and literature and the contemporary imagination, but it clearly reveals his interest in the contemplative traditions of India, a country where the artist lived for long periods from the early Seventies and where he continues to spend many months of the year.
The exhibition was promoted and organized by the Comune di Siena in collaboration with Opera Gruppo-Civita. The catalogue, edited by the publisher Sillabe s.r.l., is accompanied by a presentation by Daniele Pittèri, Max Seidel's interview of the artist and a text by Carlotta Castellani.