Created the same year that Davie travelled to America and met leading abstract expressionists such as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, this painting formed part of a series of seven works; the first time the artist worked on a theme in this way. Painted with bold areas of black and white, there is a monumental aspect to the picture that recalls the ancient civilisations that fascinated Davie.
Image of the Fish God
Date of work
Oil paint on board 153 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.