‘Art just happens, like falling in love.’Alan Davie was born in Grangemouth, Stirlingshire in 1920, the son of a painter and printmaker. He studied at Edinburgh College of Art, 1937-40, working initially as a jazz musician. After early influences of Klee and Picasso he developed a strongly ornamental style which marked his preoccupations with oriental mysticism, including Zen Buddhism, Indian mythology and magic. Declaring that the spiritual path is incompatible with planning ahead, he has attempted to paint as automatically as possible, which is intended to bring forth elements of his unconscious.

From 1953 to 1956 Davie taught in London at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, where he became interested in African and Pacific art.

As early as 1958 Davie emphasised the importance in his work of intuition, as expressed in the form of enigmatic symbols. All these have combined to make him one of the most potent image-makers in post-war British art.

 

Alan Davie

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Alan Davie was born in Grangemouth, Stirlingshire in 1920, the son of a painter and printmaker. He studied at Edinburgh College of Art...