Archive for April 6, 2013

Artist of the moment…Francesco Clemente….

Francesco Clemente is a fantastic contemporary artist born in Naples, Italy in the year 1952. His father was a judge and Clemente was the only child born to the family.  As a visitor to many different cultures ans societies his art is  wonderful blend of all cultures. For instance his paintings of India give a wonderful and very playful look into Indian culture.

Price range: Very prolific as far as output. Etchings run $2,000 to $10,000. Watercolor $10,000 to $100,000.  Many pastels range $10,000 to $25,000.  Oils range $20,000 to the low six figures. Also has done some work with photography.

Two series that have been well acclaimed by critics include a great number of portraits spanning decades. A glimpse of Neo-Expression can be seen here. Clemente also produced a wonderful series featuring Tarot cards.

In 1970 attended a University in Rome where he began to study architecture.

First solo exhibition in 1971.

Included in the 1980 Venice Biennale.

He also learned the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit.

In 1984 he worked on collaborations with Andy Warhol And Jean Michel Basquiat.

Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Here is a great interview with PBS anchor Charlie Rose.

Has studios in many international cities including Rome, New York, and also in India.

A clip from a show given at the Tate in London:

This clip is a mixture of German and English. I included it because it covers a series the artist did with watercolors that includes 40 paintings.


Its great to see an artist that lived in the 1980s and actually worked with Warhol and Basquiat thriving and doing so well!


Artist of the moment…….Simon Tookoome….

Simon Tookoome was another of the fantastic Inuit artists. Tookoome was both a painter and a sculptor, producing a large amount of work in both mediums. Simon Tookoome was born in the year 1934.

The artist began to produce carvings with antlers and stone during the 1960s.

Tookoome was well diversified in all aspects of life. He worked in mines, in the fishing industry, and even as a camera operator for I.B.C. , the Inuit Broadcast Corporation.

Also renown for his drawings and many of his works on paper or prints have to do with the recurring theme of the shaman performing some magic. Another theme allows the viewer to capture the moment in time as a fish turns into a man, or a man into a bear.

Simon Tookoome passed away in 2010.

price range information:  Tookoome’s drawings range from a few hundred dollars to $4,000. Works in stone, very small sculptures also start at a few hundred dollars.

Included in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada. A link for the musuem:

In this clip we see Simon Tookoome perform a traditional dance.

Some great drawings by Simon Tookoome. I shall also add a hint, if you are taking a video or a photograph of a flat object with your camera, make sure that both objects are at the same  plane. If the painting is at 30%, make the camera at 30% or you will get distortions as we see in this video. Great example of the artist’s work though!

Simon Tookoome passed away in 2010, here see a memorial for the artist.

Like our friend James Houston, the artist who helped bring the Inuit international acclaim, Tookoome also produced a book. The book is titled Shaman’s Nephew, and he won an award from the country of Canada for this work published in 2000.


Artist of the moment…Roberto Crippa

Roberto Crippa was a world renown painter and sculptor that was born in Milan, Italy in the year 1921.

Crippa attended the Brera Art Academy in Milan, Italy.

Price range information:  The artist worked in many mediums. Collages start at a few thousand and reach to $35,000. Oils range $5,000 to $55,000. No pricing available for sculpture works.

Produced his spiral work series from 1948 to 1952.

Crippa was part of the Spacialist movement, artists that were looking to break away from the mold and attack the flatness of a painting, to open it up to another cosmic dimension. The founder of the movement was another Italian painter named Lucio Fontana. Fontana was born in Argentina but moved to Milan, Italy whilst a young child. He also attended the Brera Art Academy. Fontana officially founded the movement in 1947. An example of Fontana’s style is below. The work is oils on canvas but look closely how the artist has attacked the flat surface and created wonderful depth and texture for the viewer.


Participant of the Venice Biennale.

After exploring space with painting Crippa moved on to collage works. Using basic geometric shapes and wonderful complimentary color schemes the artist was able to create wonderful works that were abstract with wonderful textures and movement.

The artist also explored sculpture and relief works that were painted in grays. Again movement through the picture plane and even above and below it is a main theme of the work.

The artist died in a plane crash at the age of fifty years old in Italy in the year 1972.

In comparing the artist to a contemporary artist  it would be English sculptor Daniel Chadwick. This mobile work is a great example of using basic geometric shapes to attack the flatness of a painting.


In this clip we view an artwork by Crippa at auction:

I enjoy this artist for his groundbreaking views on space and movement. His pictures also remind me of modern master Rex Ray with his use of the spiral I was reminded of the many hours spent at grandmothers house playing with the old spirograph games from the 1960s and 1970s! What a fun time!