Francesco Clemente

Vestito/Vestitia

1978–9

Artist
Francesco Clemente born 1952
Medium
Ink and gouache on paper on canvas
Dimensions
Image: 2034 x 3000 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Janet Wolfson de Botton 1996
Reference
T07175

Not on display

Display caption

In 1978 Clemente began a series of large loosely rendered ink drawings of himself, usually nude, together with one other strangely juxtaposed element. He drew himself without the use of a photograph or mirror, and used paper the size of a wall in his apartment in Rome. In this drawing the kneeling artist, with his arm outstretched, stares out toward the viewer. The only other element is the red robe near the centre of the canvas. Although self portraiture is a traditional artistic subject, Clemente explores it in a fresh way. He uses his body as a generic image of nakedness and the robe as the equivalent image of clothing. The two symbols make a proposition about the idea of being clothed or unclothed.

Gallery label, September 2004