Tents become canvas for renowned painter Francesco Clemente.
Event planners embrace tents as blank canvases for event design, and now tents have been raised to the level of fine art as a literal canvas for the work of Italian painter Francesco Clemente.
Known for his nomadic themes, Clemente used three large–scale canvas tents for his depictions of what he describes as his “cave paintings,” with every aspect of the exteriors, interiors, walls and roofs painted in intricate detail. The tents were exhibited at the Blain|Southern gallery in Berlin, Germany, in Fall 2013.
Produced in India, the exhibit’s tents evoke the 3000–year history of tents as shelter, but are characterized “by a discontinuity or fragmentation of context, bringing together myriad cultural and art historical references,” according to exhibit organizers. “Each of the structures immerses the viewer in a rich, color–infused environment that melds Eastern and Western traditions of art, philosophy and religion, reflecting the artist’s nomadic desire not to belong.”
Clemente characterizes the tents as movable chapels that can be sheltered and slept under, or daydreamed and prayed within, “for contemplation of the sacred in a modern age defined by digital speed. Expanding the traditional relationship between art object and viewer, these paintings function by enveloping and surrounding the viewer to evoke an experience of painting that is both seen and physically felt,” according to the gallery’s exhibit commentary.