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Son

© Francesco Clemente

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Francesco Clemente

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Francesco Clemente

Italian, born 1952

Son, 1984

oil on linen

support: 112 x 91 inches (284.48 x 231.14 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund, 1985

1985:3

Collection Highlight

More Details

Provenance

the artist;
to Sperone Westwater, New York, Spring 1985;
sold to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, June 17, 1985

Class

Paintings

Work Type

Oil painting

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

Francesco Clemente has described his paintings as “collected feelings” that act like a visual journal in which he depicts his innermost thoughts and dreams. During the 1970s, he began to explore a series of subjects that relate to the human form and psyche. These often incorporated non-Western symbols and mythology. While the painting’s imagery and title, as read aloud, may initially trigger thoughts of the Earth’s sun, the spelling of its title, S-O-N, implies a duality. In both Western and Eastern religion, the tree is a symbol of fertility and its various components—branches, leaves, and roots—are associated with creativity, knowledge, sexuality, and even death. Painted during a period of great transition, when Clemente was dividing his time between the United States and India, the tree may also serve as a surrogate self-portrait. His interest in the body, including his own, as an extension of nature traces back to Eastern philosophy, which Clemente describes as, “a metaphor of the world according to the rule that ‘as it is above, so it is below.’”

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