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The Departure of the Argonaut

Francesco Clemente (illustrated by)
Alberto Savinio (text by)
Petersburg Press; London, UK
Edition: #161/200

Francesco Clemente created lithographs in response to the first English translation of The Departure of the Argonaut, Alberto Savinio's wartime diary written in 1917 (MoMA 1986:1). The text was composed during the First World War, while Savinio was a young army recruit travelling by troop train to southern Italy (Des Moines 2017:[sp]).

The title of this piece refers to the Greek mythical hero Jason and his companions known as the Argonauts who travelled in order to find the Golden Fleece (Des Moines 2017:[sp]). Clemente’s work is a journey which explores the journey of Savinio through art making in a way that is not literal and relates more to Clemente’s interests in mythology, religion and the inner spiritual life which he believes is the universal human condition.

The nature of Clemente’s compositions does not illustrate the story directly, but serve as embellishments that transform in every chapter (MoMA 1986:1). Clemente’s lithographs are a reflection of the mood and geography of the text and create energy and rhythm that augment the author’s reflections (MoMA 1986:1).

Des Moines, 2017. [O]. Available: http://www.iowalivingmagazines.com/2015/02/13/des-moinesart-center-opens-new-print-exhibition-the-departure-of-the-argonaut-prints-by-francesco-clemente/

MoMA, 1986. [O]. Available: https://www.moma.org/d/c/press_releases/W1siZiIsIjMyNzQzOSJdXQ.pdf?sha=ff1e82c77165f2ef

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