Davie’s paintings of the 1960s were influenced by his interest in gliding, scuba diving and sailing – pursuits that brought him closer to nature. His pictures became increasingly narrative and mythological, with motifs and symbols appearing with greater clarity. His series of Celtic Dreamboat
lithographs combine recognisable shapes with ancient Celtic imagery, the use of colour giving each image new meaning.
Celtic Dreamboat I
Date of work
Lithograph on paper 51.4 x 76.8 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.