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Almine Rech

The estate of Antoni Clavé

Antoni Clavé was born in Barcelona in 1913. At 13 years of age, and seeking employment, he is hired as an assistant in a textile shop for girdles and corsets. At the same time, he signs up for evening classes at the annex to the Escuela de Artes y Oficios Artísticos y Bellas Artes.

As an apprentice house painter with Tolosa, he is attracted by the manual aspect of the work (distemper, primer, glues, and later the mixing of colors). The young Clavé learns to handle a brush, to draw, the techniques of lettering, and faux wood amongst others.
In 1932, upon winning the second place prize in a poster competition organized by the Caisse d’Epargne of Barcelona, Antoni Clavé decides to leave his job as a house painter. He is hired by Cinaes (Cinematografica Nacional Española) to produce film posters on the façades of three Barcelona cinemas: Catalunya, Capitol and Femina. He manages to earn a living with work in advertising and decoration where he exploits avant-garde experimentation: collages with various material, rope, printed textiles, wavy cardboard, and newspaper.

Selected artworks

  • Antoni Clavé,                                      Deux Mains ,                 1964

    Antoni Clavé Deux Mains , 1964

    Oil on carboard
    105 x 75 cm
    41 3/8 x 29 1/2 in

  • Antoni Clavé,                                      On dirait un guerrier ,                 1986

    Antoni Clavé On dirait un guerrier , 1986

    102 x 48 x 17 cm
    Photo: François Fernandez

  • Antoni Clavé,                                      El Señor Luis,                 1976

    Antoni Clavé El Señor Luis, 1976

    Oil and collage on canvas
    130 x 97 cm
    Photo: Antoni Clave's archives

  • Antoni Clavé,                                      Sans titre,                 1982

    Antoni Clavé Sans titre, 1982

    Ink, gouache, oil on mounted paper
    158 x 78 cm
    Photo: Theodore Voliotis

  • Antoni Clavé,                                      En souvenir d'un masque africain (Masque IV bois),                 1965

    Antoni Clavé En souvenir d'un masque africain (Masque IV bois), 1965

    Wood, cardboard, pair of scissors, strings
    135 x 48 x 18 cm
    Photo: François Fernandez