Clave, Antoni

About The Artist

Antoni Clave (1913-2005) was a Catalan master painter, printmaker, sculptor, stage and costume designer and was nominated for his work on the film, Hans Christian Andersen. His interest in painting began with a job he was given as a house painter while attending evening classes at the Escuela de Artes y Oficios. From a house painter, he went to designing weekly posters for a cinema and then to a children’s magazine designing posters for advertisements. Antoni Clave began painting in the 1940s with a style influenced by Bonnard, Vuillare and particularly by Picasso. His concept was tranquil scenes tinged with a feeling of sadness with no apparent reason. The characters in Antoni Clave’s work appeared puppet-like and were mostly female, children, clowns, and harlequins. During the 40’s he completed a lot of work for the theatre and ballet in Paris, Munich, London, and New York before beginning book illustrations. He continued with this work until the mid-50’s where he gave it all up to devote himself completely to painting. Antoni Clave’s paintings were mostly abstract and mysterious. He appeared to receive his inspiration from graffiti and textures of different walls. He started to blend scraps of newspaper and other materials into his work much like a collage. By the mid-’60s Antoni’s paintings began to “darken” as he mixed techniques and many of them were mostly black. Antoni Clave performed many one-man shows in museums and galleries around the world and received a comprehensive retrospective in Paris in 1978. 

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