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Clemente, Francesco (Artist) & Katz, Vincent (Contributor). LIFE IS PARADISE: THE PORTRAITS OF FRANCESCO CLEMENTE. New York City, NY: PowerHouse Books, 1999. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 189 pages. Fine/Fine. Signed.

Artist Book. Retrospective collection of portrait-paintings. One of the most beautiful Artist Books of our time. Limited Slipcased Edition of 400 numbered and signed copies that sold out shortly after publication. Precedes and should not be confused with the regular trade edition. The Limited Edition is now rare. A brilliant production by Francesco Clemente and Francesca Richer: Oversize-volume format. Red-orange cloth boards with titles on spine, as issued. Art by Francesco Clemente: Watercolor, oil, and dry media. Essay by Vincent Katz. 9 X 14 inch original lithograph ("Self-Portrait"), encased in its own glassine-and-rice paper sheet, laid-in. It is meant to be framed. Hard board pictorial slipcase with two reproductions, one on each side. Printed on pristine-white, thick coated stock paper in Italy to the highest standards. In pictorial DJ, which reproduces the portrait of his wife and muse, Alba Clemente, and titles on the spine, as issued. Published to coincide with the landmark retrospective exhibition held at the Guggenheim Museum New York in 1999, which travelled on to the new, Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in 2000. Presents, in its Limited Edition format, Francesco Clemente's "Life Is Paradise". Perhaps the single most sensuously beautiful of his Artist Books: A celebration of life as only this Italian aesthete-artist can pull it off. Life is beautiful in Clemente's masterly hands. Seven thematic sequences: "Poets", "Oil On Wood", "Great Expectations", "Children", "Devi", "New York Muses", and "Voices". They include a rich selection of celebrity portrait-paintings that are meticulously chosen, as though they belonged to the artist's personal pantheon of divinities (starting with Alba Clemente) : John Ashbery, Anne Bancroft, Robert Creeley, the late Allen Ginsberg (with whom Clemente collaborated on several major projects), Philip Glass, Fran Lebowitz, Toni Morrison, and Gwyneth Paltrow, to name a motley few. Still, it is the art itself, the rendition, that mesmerizes and enthralls. Some of Clemente's portraits are precise and delicate. Others are dark and fierce. The subject's eyes are always dominant, but each one is rendered differently: Mask-like in one portrait, empathetic and humane in another. Clemente's sheer range will leave the viewer thinking about the infinite number of ways to portray, not just present, a particular human face. "One can wallow for days on end in these faces" (Vincent Katz). An absolute "must-have" title for Francesco Clemente collectors. This is a copy of the Limited Slipcased Edition. It comes with a pristine 9 X 14 inch original lithograph ("Self-Portrait") that is very prominently and beautifully numbered and signed in pencil on recto by Francesco Clemente. The artwork comes in its own glassine-and-rice paper sheet, and is meant to be framed. This title is a great Artist Book. As far as we know, this is the only copy of the Limited Edition available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Clemente signed the artwork, NOT the book, as is his and the publisher's custom. Given an art market in which Clemente commands thousands of dollars, the artwork has been separated from the book in most cases because among art collectors (versus book collectors), it is much more valuable by itself. A rare signed copy thus. 100 plates, 1 original artwork. One of the greatest artists of our time. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER FRANCESCO CLEMENTE TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 1576870537. $1200.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on October 20, 2019.