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Alan DAVIE 1920 - 2014

CBE, HRSA

Biography

Born in Grangemouth, Stirlingshire, into an artistic family, Alan Davie entered Edinburgh College of Art in 1937 studying under John Maxwell. He worked in textile design, pottery and jewellery as well as painting. He served in the Royal Artillery 1940-6 and during this time painted, wrote poetry and played jazz. In 1947 he was awarded an ECA Travelling Scholarship and made an extensive trip through Europe. While in Venice, Peggy Guggenheim introduced him to the work of the American abstract expressionists, and this influence can be seen in his paintings of the 1950s.

He settled in London in 1948 and held the first of many one-man shows at Gimpel Fils Gallery in 1950. During the 1950s he became interested Zen Buddhism and oriental mysticism, and he uses an elaborate system of symbols in his painting, more recently looking towards Indian mythology.

He divided his time between Hertfordshire, Cornwall and St Lucia in the Caribbean.