Influenced by the surrealists’ attempts to free themselves from conscious thought processes, Davie set out to liberate himself from conventional image making. He devised a method of printing by scratching an image with his fingers. In this print, the resulting image is suggestive of an egg surrounded by sperm, with the rough, jagged lines evoking an image seen through a microscope.
Interested Sperm Around an Egg
Date of work
Monotype on paper 24.8 x 20.2 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.