Antoni Clavé (1913-2005)
Colour Carborundum Etching
30 x 22 ins / 76 x 56 cms
Antoni Clavé 1913-2005
Antoni Clavé was born 1913 in Barcelona. He was a painter, printmaker, sculptor, stage designer and costume designer.
At the age of 13, Clavé started work as an assistant in a textile factory and during the evening studied at the Escuela de Artes y Oficios. Among his tutors were Félix Mestres, Josep Mongrell and Angel Ferrant.
During the Spanish Civil War Clavé served as a draughtsman for the Republican government but at the end of the war he fled to France. After internment at Les Haras camp in Perpignan, Clavé settled in Paris in 1939, drawing comics and working as an illustrator.
During the 1940s Clavé's painting showed the stylistic influence of Bonnard, Vuillard, Rouault and especially Picasso, with whom he became acquainted in 1944. From 1946 Clavé did numerous designs for ballet and theatre in Paris, Munich, London and New York; in the 1950s he turned to book illustration.
In 1954 Clavé started to concentrate on painting. Over time, his paintings became more abstract and enigmatic; inspired by wall textures and graffiti, Clavé began integrating scraps of newspaper and other similar materials into his painting in a collage-like manner.
Clavé was one of Spain's best known and most celebrated artists. His work evolved from a baroque, ornamental style to a pure, minimal aesthetic. In his later years, his work is completely abstract, employing expressive lines and exploring the boundaries of shading, texture and colour.
His theatrical designs have appeared on stages around the world, as well as in numerous films. His works include sets for opera, theater, and ballet, most notably for Roland Petit's ballet company, including Carmen (1949). He was nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design) for his work on the 1952 film Hans Christian Andersen.
His work is displayed in many museums, including the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, National Museum of Serbia, Museo Patio Herreriano de Valladolid, Spain, Tate Gallery, London, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, Museum of Modern Art, Paris, Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid and The British Museum, London.
Antoni Clavé died on 31st August 2005 at the age of 92 years in St-Tropez.