This picture, thought by the artist to have been completed in 1955, is one of a series of images of the human head and figure that Davie produced at that time. Rendered in pen and ink with coloured chalks, this image fuses a more conventional form of portraiture with the weighted symbolism of his later paintings.
Date of work
Ink and crayon on paper 24.4 x 19 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.