Issue 11, Winter 1955
Antoni Clavé, Catalan born, has become completely Parisian and brings to the French art world a rare exuberance and dash, both in the boldness of his brush and in his palette of black-and-gray spiced with scarlets and purples. His youth in Spain was of extreme poverty and hardship – he began at 14 to work long hours as a house-painter, but still was able to study at night in the École des Beaux Arts of his native Barcelona. At 26 he came to Paris and drew comic strips, music covers, posters until 1943. After the Liberation his first show of paintings at the Galérie André Joly , his first theatre designs [for two Roland Petit ballets: Los Caprichos and the celebrated Carmen] put him at once into the front rank of important painters. With delightful facility and constant invention he has created theatrical décors [Ballabile for Covent Garden, Les noces de Figaro for Aix-en-Provence, Deuil en 24 heures for Roland Petit, and Ruth Page’s forthcoming ballet of The Barber of Seville at the Chicago Opera], about a dozen lithographs, book illustrations [Carmen, La Dame Pique, and the new Rabelais which is considered one of the great illustrated books of the half-century], a new show of paintings in Paris in 1953, in Rome and London this season. Clavé lives and paints in a little atelier on a garden not far from the corner of Boulevard du Montparnasse and the Boul’ Mich’. His future plans: to paint, then to paint some more.