Antoni Clave Biography

Antoni Clave




Painter, printmaker, sculptor, and designer Antoni Clavé was born in Barcelona, Spain, on April 5, 1913. He trained at the School of Fine Arts, Barcelona before joining the Republican Army, first as a draughtsman and then as a soldier during the Spanish Civil War. Upon its end he fled to France and found work as an illustrator. His first show took place at the famed Au san Pareil bookshop in 1940.

By the mid 1940s he had become deeply influenced by the major abstract artists living in Paris, including Pablo Picasso. While he continued to make abstract works, he also found work as a set designer, and in 1952 he was working as a ballet and opera theater set designer. In 1952 he was invited to Hollywood to work as a art director and costume designer for the film Hans Christian Andersen, which earned him two Academy Award nominations. Other productions included Los Caprichos and Carmen (Roland Petit troupe, 1946, 1949); La maison de Bernarda Alba (Marcel Achard, Theatre l'Oeuvre, 1951), and the Marriage of Figaro (Amurice Sarrazin, Theatre de la cour de l'Archeveché, 1962).

In the late 1950s and early 1906s he incorporated carpets and sculptures, including found object and bas relief, into his oeuvre. He relocated to the South of France in 1965.

Clavé's work is held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Paris; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao; the British Museum, London; and the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, among many others.