Alan Davie


ALAN DAVIE (1920 - 2014)					 

Alan Davie was born in 1920 in Grangemouth, Scotland and attended the Edinburgh College of Art from 1937 to 1940. In 1941 Davie won an Andrew Grant scholarship which enabled him to travel extensively throughout Europe. In Venice his artwork captured the attention of Peggy Guggenheim who purchased a painting and helped to launch his reputation and career. At his first New York exhibition in 1956 The Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo acquired his works for their permanent collections.

Alan Davie, who was also a Jazz musician, was most known for his paintings of symbols and abstracted forms that flow from unconscious improvisations of dream, dance, music and mysticism. Davie was a "modern magician", alchemist and shaman unifying art, religion and the supernatural. His paintings employ elements that are influenced and inspired by Zen Buddhism, ancient arts, African and Indian cosmology and the iconography of myth.

In the 1950s he was introduced to many Abstract Expressionist artists including Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell and Mark Rothko. While recognizing the importance of their work he continued to develop and expand his unique artistic voice.

Alan Davie is widely recognized as one of Britain's most significant living artists. His work is considered to be a critical link between post-war British and International art. Since 2000 he has had major retrospectives at the Scottish National Gallery of Art, Edinburgh, the Cobra Museum of Modern Art, Amsterdam and the Tate St Ives, London.

Alan Davie artwork is also included in numerous museum collections both in the United States and abroad including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Fine Arts, Dallas; Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford; Institute of Arts, Detroit; Kunsthaus, Basel, Switzerland; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; and the Tate Gallery, London. He is also the subject of several monographs and the recipient of multiple awards and honors.


Alan Davie: Jingling Space. Tate St Ives, 2004 Alan Davie, essays by Douglas Hall and Michael Tucker. Lund Humphries Publishers Ltd., London

Selected Works