Inspired by a tour of Europe he made in 1948 with his wife, where he explored both ancient and modern art, Davie experimented with monotype printing, devising a low-budget technique that involved sandwiching ink between a pane of glass and a sheet of paper, and scratching the paper with his fingers. The resulting image only became visible once the sheet was lifted.
Spirit Over the Landscape
Date of work
Monotype on paper 24.9 x 40.3 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.