Antoni Clavé 1913-2005

Artist biography

Antoni Clavé born 1913

School of Paris painter, stage designer, lithographer and occasional sculptor, born in Barcelona. Worked as a house painter while taking evening classes in drawing at the Barcelona School of Art. Then supported himself for several years by making drawings for children's comics and designing posters. Also began to experiment with paintings and collages. Fought in the Republican Army in the Spanish Civil War and arrived in France as a refugee in 1939. Moved the same year to Paris, where he at first made his reputation as an illustrator; had his first Paris one-man exhibition at the bookshop Au sans Pareil in 1940, but only began to paint seriously in 1941 under the influence of Vuillard and Bonnard. In 1944 met Picasso and began making figure compositions of kings, harlequins, children, etc. and still lifes influenced by his recent work. Active as a designer for the ballet and opera 1946-54, then gave up this and book illustration to concentrate on painting. From 1956 incorporated collage elements in many of his paintings, his work gradually becoming more and more abstract. Lives in Paris.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.126-7