Talented but under appreciated, perhaps as well, for Clave is a true artist, and fame or funds perhaps did not corrupt his art as much as some of his peers?  His name and works crossed my eye before and I am surprised at myself that I didn’t notice him until today.  I was even in Barcelona this year and was too busy seeing Picasso and Miro, passing through Tapies even, but didnt notice Clave! Well, might as well, he made my day today!

Like his fellow Catalan and friend Picasso, Clave was prolific and indulged in print-making, stage and costume design, painting, sculpture and even photography. His footsteps crossed between Spain and France, Barcelona and Europe and his art evolved. He is a true artist (and I am eager to learn about him)

What particular crossed my eyes were his images of kings and men smoking a pipe! Van Gogh and Picasso painted men with pipes and of course Rene Margritte famously painte “Ceci ne pas un pipe”, but he has an infatuation with a man and his pipe, dating from the 50’s on.

Roi a la coupe c.1956 (litho 76x56cm, series of 95)
“Rey con pips a la copa azul” (oil on canvas, 105x75cm)
Rey con pipea c.1957 (oil on canvas 77x57cm)
Le roi au Poisson c.1958 (ink and gouache on paper laid on canvas 31x29cm)
Roi a la pipe c.1957-61 (litho, 71x52cm)
Roi au fon noir c.1956 (litho, 76x56cm, series of 95)
Roi a la pipe
Pedro Rei c.1967 (etching, 76x57cm, series of 75)
Roi a la Pipe Rouge c.1959 (oil on paper laid down on board, 76.2×56.5cm, sold Christie’s ’07 for 30k GB)
Man with pipe

Whether executed in various degrees of abstraction in oil on paper or canvas or as lithographs or etching, facing left or right, puffing or still, these bear the same motif and reflected the creativity and multidimensionality of Clave.

Other favorite themes I noticed include the King (Roi), Fish, Birds … and then of course there is the period of abstract forms which I do not like as much.

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