A great exhibition in Venice on Antoni Clavé and on the theme of the warrior dear to him

Redazione, Finestre sull'arte, March 25, 2022

Palazzo Franchetti a Venezia ospita dal 22 aprile al 23 ottobre 2022 una grande mostra dedicata ad Antoni Clavé. In particolare viene affrontato uno dei temi più cari e ricorrenti nella sua produzione: il guerriero.  

From 22 April to 23 October 2022, Antoni Clavé (Barcelona, ​​1913 - Saint-Tropez, 2005), one of the artists who have interpreted in a better way the transition from figuration to abstraction, will be the protagonist of a major exhibition in the Venetian venue of Palazzo Franchetti. The exhibition, titled The spirit of the warrior, will be held in conjunction with the 59th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale and will be curated by Aude Hendgen, art historian and head of the Antoni Clavé Archives, and by Sitor Senghor, independent curator.

Around fifty works will be exhibited including paintings and sculptures, including large ones, which intend to explore one of the artist's dearest themes: the warriors. Through this theme, the exhibition offers the opportunity to investigate the Spanish artist's research through the evolution of his style. The warrior is in fact a recurring theme in his research and appears as early as 1958 in his paintings and then also in the world of sculptures. This is followed by the successful series of Kings that dominated Clavé's artistic imagination in the 1950s and thus continues the choice of ancient figures, the last heirs of a vanished civilization who are transformed into powerful archetypes of the Spanish heritage. The paintings range from 1958 to the 1990s and will include some fundamental works already exhibited in the 1984 Venice Biennale. The sculptures, which also include the famous wardrobes, reveal Clavé's love for the most heterogeneous materials, including wood, metal, cardboard, and scrap.
The theme is also linked to the artist's biography: he knows the experience of the war in 1937, then the defeat of the republican army, exile and incarceration. The theme of the warrior is present in his art from the beginning, in his drawings made in the prison camps. It is the exhibition organized by the Creuzevault gallery in 1958 that marks a real turning point in his artistic career and in his public recognition. His subjects are clear: Kings and Warriors, transformed, transmuted also thanks to the assemblage technique. This theme of the fighter occupies a privileged role, particularly in relation to the statuary and African masks he surrounds himself with in his Parisian studio: his first bronze sculptures made in 1960 represent warriors. Also present in his wardrobes, and on a monumental scale, they are always the subjects, with the kings, in his "tapisseries-assemblage".
Recognizing an influence of the iconographic imagery of statuary and African masks, the exhibition will then be hosted from 23 March to 27 May 2023 at the Donwahi Foundation in Abidjan.


A Venezia una grande mostra su Antoni Clavé e sul tema a lui caro del guerriero