Huile et collage sur toile,1959 - (67x96 cm)
The 1958 monographic exhibition at the Galerie Creuzevault in Paris is the consecration of Antoni Clavé as an artist. Although this recognition was in part due to the success of his series of paintings of kings and warriors, in 1958 Clavé embarks upon a different series – this time of still-lives devoted exclusively to fish. The artist had long remained aligned with the Spanish tradition of still-lives composed of fruit, flowers and other elements of complementary symbolism. With his series of Poisson (Fish), Clavé decides to refine the subject, rendering only that which is most essential, which is not, incidentally, the fish itself. The essential point for Clavé goes beyond the representational aspect of the work and resides in the assembling of the different elements that the animal is made of. The essential is the interweaving, the inter connecting of different media on the canvas to form a shape which appears as a fish in the eye of the viewer. As an ultimate gesture, the light coloured circle on the bottom part of the composition is in fact a bit of canvas left bare, empty space, the artist thumbing his nose at the academic rules of composition as well as to his own personal taste for the accumulation of a wide array of material.