Antoni Clavé was a Spanish painter, printmaker and sculptor born in Barcelona in 1913. At the age of 13 he was hired to work in a textile shop and at the same time he signed up for evening classes at the Escuela de Artes y Officios Artisticos y Bellas Artes de Barcelona. It was in 1932 that he was first commissioned by Cinaes (Cinematografica Nacional Española) to produce film posters. He managed to make a living with work in advertisement and decoration where he used avant-garde experimentation in collages composed of a wide variety of materials.

When the Spanish war broke out in 1936, with the help of a friend, he was able to join the État-Major of the 31st division, where their mission was to create propaganda posters destined to galvanize the fighters. After the fall of Barcelona, Clavé arrived in France on 29 January 1939 going first to Prats de Molló then to Perpignan at the Haras internment camp. Once freed from the camp, he went on to exhibit in Perpignan the drawings that he had made there; portraits and works executed in gouache. In April he moved to Paris, where he first made a living from illustration work and drawing comics for several periodicals. Through other Spanish painters exiled in Paris, he would ultimately meet Picasso.

In 1942, Antoni Clavé’ son Jacques was born. It is during this period that the artist was influenced by the work of both Bonnard and Vuillard. The following year he created the lithographs used to illustrate Prosper Mérimée’s Lettres d’Espagne. Picasso was interested in Clavé’s work and visited his exhibition in June 1944 at the Henri Joly gallery. After the war, Clavé participated in collective exhibitions in Paris and began creating important decors and costumes for ballets that inspired new subjects for his paintings: The King of Cards and various characters of the Middle Ages as well as Warriors.
Designing for the theatre was another essential part of Clavé’s work. In 1951 he exhibited at the Witcomb Gallery of Buenos Aires and in Rome at the Galleria dell’Obelisco, then at the Galerie Drouant-David in Paris in 1953. A year later he decided to dedicate himself solely to painting. In 1956, Clavé received the Unesco prize for engraving at the XXVIIIe Biennale of Venice and the Sala Gaspar in Barcelona exhibited his paintings for the first time. He began to paint on textile and represented France at the IVe Biennale of São Paulo where he received the Matarazzo prize for painting.
His first major exhibition took place at the Galerie Creuzevault in 1958, the same year that Clavé received the Kamakura prize at the Print Biennale in Tokyo and Arthur Tooth & Sons gallery exhibited his work once again. He created several tapestry-assemblages that were presented at the Bilbao Museum in 1964. 

Numerous exhibitions of his work took place throughout the 1960s.
On his way back to France after a voyage to Japan in the early 1970’s, he stopped in New York City where he was inspired by the graffiti covering the streets and the subway. In 1975 he continued the engravings that illustrated La Gloire des Rois of Saint-John Perse and began to incorporate creased paper into his works. In 1982 at the FIAC, the Sala Gaspar presented a group of his paintings and sculptures and that same year he produced a 9-meter by 3-meter mural for the Barajas airport in Madrid.
In 1984, the Spanish pavilion of the Venice Biennale was wholly devoted to the work of Antoni Clavé.
The exhibition, « Dix Ans de peinture, 1993-2003 » was presented by the Joan Gaspar gallery first in 2003 in Barcelona, then in 2004 in Madrid.
Antoni Clavé died in 2005 in Saint-Tropez.