A Don Pablo

Bronze,1986 - (195x100 cm)

After the creation of his surrealist objects of 1939, Antoni Clavé would only return to sculpture in 1960. From 1960 to 1966 he worked on a series of small-scale works (of roughly 20 centimetres high), the exception being the sculpture Guerrier attaché that dates from 1962 and srands over a meter tall.

Twenty-four years later, it was with that work in mind that Antoni Clavé created A Don Pablo. Initially titled Guerrier attaché II (Bound Warrior II), the two works have several points in common: the colossal head, the erect body, the legs spread apart and the lower part of the body attached to the base by iron wire. Cast in bronze, the original composition is an assemblage of recovered objects of the sort that Antoni Clavé loved to gather and exploit. The lower portion of the figure’s body is made from an item found near the port of Saint-Tropez (probably part of a boat) which has been carefully bound up and attached to the base by a rope; the head is made up of several sections of packing boxes and metal objects that have been placed one inside the other and reworked.

Between 1984 and 1985, Clavé created an ensemble of thirteen paintings and collages titled “A Don Pablo” for the Musée Picasso in Antibes. Before arriving at the finished pieces, several dozen attempts were worked on by the artist, who, already characterised as a perfectionist became even more so in his ambition to pay homage to he who was both father figure and friend. It is in this context that Clavé executed this sculpture and gave it its definitive name.  This work perfectly illustrates the use of contrast so dear to Clavé. The contrast between the massive size of the figure, his strength that has been annihilated by the ties that bind him and the heavily worked aspect of his grotesque mask that leaves it up to the viewer to decide whether he sees in it a mocking smile or a scream.

Expo Marlborough 2016
Pablo Picasso