Franceso Clemente has taken the head off Edward Albee, strung up fellow artist Brice Marden by one foot andcovered his studio assistant Ricardo Kugelmas with GIANT bees. this is no crime spree but part Clement's take on tarot cards, the centuries-old game of finding the future. But what the future may behold may not be pretty.
Clemente tried his hand at readinf cards and delved into ancient writings about the practice before embarking ona series of works depicting each of the 78 tarots.I never imagined how similar the activities of reading the tarots and painting a picture are,” he says. “In both cases, there is the effort to be completely present, and at the same time, to remove completely oneself from the picture.” Placed in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence last fall the images are now colleted in a book Francesco Clemente: The Tarots published by Hirmer.
The artist’s major arcana consist of 22 recognizable trumps: watercolor portraits of Clemente intimates such as Terence Koh (as the Devil), Philip Glass (the Judgment), Fran Lebowitz (Justice), and Diane vonFurstenberg (the Force), who is shown calmly prying open the jaws of a lion. The minor arcana, divided into four suits (wands, cups, disks, and swords), encompass both portraiture and more abstract symbols