Alan Davie is one of Britain's most internationally acclaimed artists and is Scotland's most important artist of the twentieth century. He was the first British painter - and perhaps the first of all European artists - to realise the vitality and significance of American Abstract Expressionism. For us Davie has a special place having spent most of his life in the village Rush Green near Hertford, he is a local artist for Blondes. The work that we currently have was purchased by a local family from an exhibition at the Loft Gallery run by the Pilkington family for a period in the 1980’s from outbuildings on their Stanstead Abbots estate.
We here at Blondes Fine Art in Hertfordshire also share his love of the New York Abstract Expressionists and are lucky enough to have a wonderful Richard Pousette - Dart ( see Kettles Yard exhibition) and a number of work by Theodoros Stamos in stock.
Having seen the Jackson Pollock paintings from Peggy Guggenheim’s collection in Venice in 1948, Alan Davie was inspired to begin painting on a much larger scale, with a vigorous, aggressive handling of paint. In 1950 Alan Davie abandoned the human body as a measuring stick - from now on, the latter, when it appeared, was in such a divided state that it was hardly identifiable - assuming an intrinsic dimension, a step away from reality. His compositions, based on the authority of the features, similar to those of Paul Klee enabled the painting to truly occupy the entirety of the plane.
Alan Davie added to a concentration of colour - already a remarkable feature in Jackson Pollock’s work before 1945 - the possibility of recognizing shapes, suggestions of movement and primitive, magical rituals. Alan Davie explored a diverse range of activities: from 1949 to 1953 he earned his living by making jewellery and in 1947 he worked as a jazz musician, an activity he has continued in later life. Alan Davie also wrote poetry during the early 1940s.
As early as 1958 Alan Davie emphasised the importance in his work of intuition as expressed in the form of enigmatic signs. During the 1960s, both in paintings and in coloured lithographs, he represented such images with increasing clarity at the expense of gestural handling. Taking on the role of a disinherited shaman, Alan Davie created a synthesis of mythologies from a variety of cultures for a modern civilisation devoid of its own village myths.
Alan Davie was elected a Senior Royal Academician in 2012.