Alan Davie CBE RA
The Symbol is Neither Rational nor Concrete
13 March - 17 April 2014
A reorganisation is taking place within me and having not yet found a proper balance between forces I find myself uneasy and dissatisfied with the material product of my efforts...The main reason for dissatisfaction is probably that my brain in its evolution is now able to conceive that a creative impulse is outside my present physical power of expression. I believe that it is only through long and laborious specialised work of an experimental nature that I shall be able to evolve a satisfactory symbolism with which to bring my new vision to light.
From Alan Davie's Travel Journal, 11th May 1948, Paris
Gimpel Fils is presenting an exhibition of Alan Davie's recent paintings, to open three weeks after the artist's death. In a 64-year collaboration between artist and gallery, this is the first Alan Davie exhibition we have held where the artist will not be present. Regrettable as this is, at least Davie had the satisfaction of being involved in the selection and planning.
The small-scale works, oil on paper and pen on paper, are a reprise of many themes which Alan Davie has painted over the decades, from pure abstraction to the delicate line drawings of floating objects, from cross-cultural borrowings from modern and ancient art practice to intimate Lettriste fascination with typography and the random culling of texts in other languages. Above all, Davie is a supreme colourist and over the years, refined and honed his captivating understanding of this aspect of art making. Visitors to the exhibition will be gratified to note the unfailing evolution of his thinking. Davie spent every day in his studio, with breaks for playing his musical instruments, using both activities for creative reflection.
Alan Davie was born in Grangemouth, Stirlingshire in 1920 and died in his Hertfordshire home on April 5th.