Vu à Vicky street
Peinture sur aluminium,1990 - (145x130 cm)
In his work as a painter, sculptor and engraver, Clavé was quick to assert a certain humility before his tools and always emphasised the artisanal aspect of his creation. Vu à Vicky Street, just as Sur Alu, which is executed using the same medium, lies at the crossroads between painting (the use of both oil and spray paint) and engraving on aluminium (in this case an assemblage of engraved metal sheets). In 1972, Clavé was engraving on aluminium, creating a total of 11original prints. With Sur Alu, he completes his work by bringing together several attempts (not all of which are kept) into which he breaths “new life” – by unifying and reinventing. This constant experimentation and in-depth research is always combined with the element of chance to whom the artist always conferred an essential role. Clavé liked to describe himself as instinctive. As formulated by Pierre Restany, one could speak in this instance of « artistic recycling ».
Vu à Vicky Street was executed in two separate time periods: in 1972 Clavé begins this work, going so far as to sign it (at the bottom centre of the composition). He will take it up again in 1990 after a second trip to New York, a voyage during which the street graffiti of the American city had a profound impact on the artist. The composition that evolves becomes more intense and the reading of it more complex. The overlapping and tangling together of oil and spray paint introduce the use of mixed media (paint and collage) and a sustained pace that are all hallmarks of the series “Vu à New York”.