Artist, sculptor, engraver and set designer, Antoni Clavé (Barcelona, 1913 - Saint-tropez, 2005) has always defined himself as an "art craftsman" who loves to juggle the use of different materials and methods.
The years of his formation are characterized by a figuration that will be gradually abandoned in favor of abstract tendencies, which will converge towards the end of his career, towards a disruptive gesture.
Fascinated by the manual aspect since his first training as a craftsman, Clavé approaches the use of tempera, glues and drawing, all techniques that will lead him, in the 30s, to the first experiments with collages of different materials, while developing the wise ability to use every technique learned to know the world.
After fighting for the Republican army in the Spanish civil war, Antoni Clavé arrived in France as a refugee in 1939 and settled in Paris to work as an illustrator. It is in this city that the following year Clavé holds the first solo exhibition, at the Au sans Pareil bookshop located on Avenue Kebler 37, the same place where Max Ernst and other representatives of the Dada movement had the opportunity for the first time to expose. In 1944 Clavé met Picasso and began to create figurative compositions, works deeply influenced by the series of Harlequins, children and still lifes of the Spanish master.
Starting from the fifties, a series of exhibitions that will affirm it on the international scene.
Among the acknowledgments received are: the Unesco Graphic Prize at the 28th Biennale di Venezia (1956), the Matarasso Prize at the 4th Biennial of San Paolo in Brazil (1957), the Kamakura Museum Prize at the Biennale of Graphics in Tokyo (1958) and in 2004 the Tomàs Francisco Prieto award.
In Italy the Spanish pavilion of the 1984 Biennale di Venezia is dedicated entirely to Clavè and the Galleria d'Arte Maggiore in Bologna g.a.m. will dedicate some exhibitions to him in 1995 and 2007, also organizing a solo show in Venice during the 56th Art Biennale (2015) in the spaces of the Scoletta dell'Arte dei Tiraoro and Battioro.
Following the artist's death, two important retrospectives were organized at the Fondation Fernet-Branca in Saint-Louis (2006) and at the Galerie Beyeler in Basel (2008).
In 2011, the first building dedicated entirely to the artist was built in Yamanashi, designed by Tadao Ando, as a symbol of a unique bond between Japan and Clavé.
Today his works enrich the collections of important institutions including: the Fine Art Museum in San Francisco, the Tate and the British Museum in London, the Musée d'Art Moderne in Paris, the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo and the Museo Nacional de Arte de Reina Sofia in Madrid.