07 Oct Mythology, Magic & Moon Maidens – courtesy of Alan Davie
We’re delighted to be able to offer two terrific Alan Davie paintings in gouache and watercolour. They come from the same private collection where they have been for many decades, conveniently they are the same size and have the same simple silvered frame.
Both are signed, dated and titled in pencil and are from his Moon Maiden series of 1968, the 60s being his most sought after period. These large gouache pictures are painted with sparse shapes and symbols in unexpectedly bright, clear, jewel-like colours as (much of his work is more muted and with denser patterns) and they certainly have ‘the feel good’ factor!
Alan Davie was a man of many interests, all of which influenced him. His love of colour was matched by his love of music; he had been a professional jazz musician, a talented pianist and great admirer of Bach. He spent long periods in the Caribbean and was fascinated by African and Pacific cultures, the signs and symbols of the Celts, Picts, Egyptians, Navajo Indians and Australian Aborigines all of which he blended together with Zen Buddhism, mythology, magic and village folklore to achieve his highly individual abstract work which has been regarded as ‘apocalyptic and triumphant’. Davie saw his role as a shaman or inspired soothsayer; he regarded painting as ‘an urge, an intensity, a kind of sexual need. It’s something I do from an inner compulsion that has to come out.’
Davie’s work was highly acclaimed during his life time and he was frequently referred to as Scotland’s greatest contemporary artist. In 1967 Alan Bowness, a future Director of the Tate Gallery, said ‘Davie is among the major figures in the art of our time’ and his obituary in April 2014 The Daily Telegraph described him as ‘a superstar of British art, feted by Pollock, Rothko and Hockney.’ Encouraged by the likes of these artists, he had his first show in the US in New York in 1956 which was a sell out, with most of his pieces going to major institutions like MoMA.