The Albertina adds another coup to its 2022 summer lineup with a modest solo exhibition for one of the pioneers of the Italian Transavantgarde and one-time collaborator of Warhol and Basquiat: the great Francesco Clemente.
- Works include highlights from the Jablonka collection
- A focus on self-portraits and travel-inspired works
- Runs Jul 27 – Oct 30, 2022
- See also:
- Current contemporary art exhibitions in Vienna
On the road with Clemente
(Francesco Clemente, Amalfi 9, 2007; Watercolor on paper; private collection © Francesco Clemente)
The indelible image associated with the Albertina is Albrecht Dürer’s Young Hare, which appeared about 500 years too early for Instagram.
But the museum has an extensive collection of modern and contemporary art. So much so, that they opened a second location dedicated to those very genres.
The acquisition (or donation) of modern-day collections has helped build the Albertina’s archive of contemporary creativity; one such collection was assembled by Rafael Jablonka and passed to the Albertina in 2019.
Earlier exhibitions already began introducing the delights of the Jablonka art to the public (for example, My Generation and the photos of Nobuyoshi Araki). The solo exhibition for Francesco Clemente continues that process, but also draws in works from the Albertina’s other holdings.
The Albertina thereby slips gracefully into a long list of prestigious museums that have showcased Clemente’s art, such as Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Guggenheim in New York (and Bilbao), and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
The presentation includes Clemente’s self-portraits, which gain a greater enigmatic touch when you consider he once said:
I’m an empty chair…I don’t have a self to recognise.
The sentiment finds clear echoes in the white, red and black self-portraits, which seem to suggest the one constant is transformation. Though the secret to the soul appears to be in the eyes.
Clemente’s travels add another layer of context to the works.
The Naples-born artist lives in the US, and has always drawn inspiration from experiences, storytelling traditions and cultural environments encountered on his travels, most notably from India and Varanasi in particular.
In a 2021 interview, Clemente noted:
In India, I learned how to think as an artist.
We see this influence of travel in, for example, the Candomblé series of pastels that followed a journey to Brazil.
In summary, this is a chance to see the work of one of contemporary art’s greats: an artist who once collaborated, for example, with Warhol and Basquiat (the latter worked across the road from Clemente in New York).
Tickets, dates, and tips
Follow Clemente’s journey from July 27th to October 30th, 2022. A ticket for the Albertina includes the temporary art exhibitions within.
When purchasing tickets, consider the option of a joint ticket with the Albertina Modern, which has an Ai Weiwei exhibition (until September 4th) and one (Ways of Freedom) dedicated to the New York school of abstract expressionism from mid-October.
Incidentally, Basquiat is the focus of the Albertina’s year-end flagship exhibition from the beginning of September. Another turn of the circle of life has brought the friends and co-creators together again.
And another concurrent treat is, for example, Tony Cragg’s wonderful sculptures. (The Albertina is spoiling us through autumn.)
How to get to the exhibition
Follow the tips at the end of the main Albertina article.
Address: Albertinaplatz 1, 1010 Vienna