During a brief illness in 1946, Davie was rendered temporarily blind. He described this traumatic experience as ‘whiteness’. In contrast, black came to signify 'the depth of life'. Black Mirror
, with its contrasting fields of light and dark, suggests a figure on the threshold of unknown territory.
Date of work
Oil paint on board 121.9 x 121.9 cm © Alan Davie
A Scottish painter and printmaker, Davie drew on imagery and symbolism from various world cultures, both ancient and modern, to create paintings of startling originality. Born in Grangemouth, Scotland in 1920, he first earned global recognition in the 1950s as one of the first British artists after the Second World War to develop an expressive form of abstraction. Fascinated by global mythologies, and seeing himself more as a medium – or shaman – than artist, he attempted to liberate painting from mental processes, creating a style that was spontaneous, improvised and complex.