Francesco Clemente’s iconic artwork from 1985, The Four Corners, captures the essence of esoteric themes of sexuality and spirituality prevalent in the artist’s oeuvre. The painting showcases a hand emerging from water with fingers arranged in a sacred symbolic gesture, hinting at deeper spiritual undertones. Interestingly, the hand appears to be like a map of the world with an intense focus on Africa.
The artwork measures about twelve feet high and ten feet wide, comprising gouache on twelve sheets of handmade Pondicherry paper joined by handwoven cotton strips. Works with similar themes and sizes have auction estimates available only to subscribers.
The Four Corners remains relevant today as it is the subject of a comprehensive survey of Clemente’s work at Manhattan’s Rubin Museum of Art. The exhibition presents over 40 years’ worth of art including self-portraits, works on paper, frescoes among others. It highlights his imaginative exploration and mastery over various media by creating captivating narratives that draw viewers into hidden dimensions within their subconscious minds.