Francesco Clemente/Encampment

Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA)

13 June 2015- 1 January 2016

A multi-part 30,000 square foot installation occupying MASS MoCA’s largest gallery, Encampment presents Clemente’s transitory experience of changing geographies, diverse cultural climates, and consciousness infused in his imagery and art.  Informed by the logistical realities and production opportunities of making art in wildly disparate locations, Clemente’s aesthetic investigation of states of flux delves into the nature of passage itself, between bodily pleasure and changing spiritual states, between acts of destruction and creation, and between the seen and unseen.

The exhibition comprises three elements: extensive installation of six decorated tents, four sculptures, and a series of watercolors.  The show’s centerpiece — gathered for the first time as a complete ensemble — is a suite of six painted canvas tents, created over the course of three years from 2012 through 2014 in collaboration with a community of artisans in Rajasthan, India.  The second section of the exhibition features four works — Earth, Moon, Sun, and Hunger — incorporating both traditional forms and references to contemporary life.  The last section displays a stunning new suite of 19 erotically charged paintings, juxtaposing abstract interludes with scenes of love and intense desire.