“I believe there is such a thing as an imagination shared by the different contemplative traditions,” the Italian artist Francesco Clemente has said. “My goal is to collect images and references from these traditions and connect them with the emotions from the present-day, and common experiences.” In this series, he does so by focusing on Homer’s Iliad, one of the foundational texts of Western culture. Clemente recognizes the narrative’s themes of fate, nature, recurrence, and the brutalities of conflict, and responds with nine monumental paintings—blackened, somber—each dominated by a classical Corinthian helmet and signed with a fragment of Homer’s poem. —E.C.
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