Davie, Alan
piano, cello, sopranino saxophone, bass clarinet, vibraphone, xylophone, ring modulator, trombone
Orderl-No.:  a/l/l 005    
Bio-, Photo -, Discography: 

  Alan Davie

Scottish painter, jewellery designer and jazz musician. The first young British abstractionist to win international reputation after World War II.

James Alan Davie, born Sept 28, 1920 in Grangemouth, Scotland as son of a painter and etcher. He studied at the Edinburgh College of Art from 1937 to 1940. While in the army in WW2, he concentrated on his other artistic talents as poet and jazz musician(alto- and tenorsax, piano); member of the Tommy Sampson Orchestra, touring in England.
After the war he travelled extensively in Europe, and in Venice he was introduced to the work of American abstract painters like Pollock, Motherwell and Rothko (Collection Peggy Guggenheim).
Returning to London in 1949, he made a living as jewellery designer (Vivian Leigh´s jewellery in the film ´Antonius and Cleopatra´) and worked as jazzmusician.
His first one-man-exhibition took place at Gimpel Fils in London 1950.
Since the mid 50´s more than a hundred one-man-shows in all leading galleries of Europe and the US.
By the 1960´s, Davie had works in various important collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Contemporary Art Society, England, and many more (see listing below).

First encounter and collaboration in 1973 with Tony Oxley, the European pioneer of Improvised Music experimenting with amplified drumset (1969). Public performances at Gimpel Fils gallery, Tate Gallery, Maison de Culture, followed.
Duo-concerts in 1974 with Tony Oxley at Harlow College, St. Martin´s Art College, Hitchin College, Gimpel Hanover, Zurich, recordings for Swiss broadcast DRS. First release of these recordings on Vinyl in 1975, re-released in 2003 on Berlin-based label a/l/l.

"The work of Art seems to be something thrown off - a by-product of the process of being and working. Art just happens, like falling in love… I feel very close to the alchemists of old; and, like them, I have in the end reached some enlightenment in the realization that my work entails a kind of symbolic self-involvement in the very processes of life itself. And having thought about it, I am able to come to some definite conclusions as to the essentially paradoxical and enigmatic nature of art and living" (Alan Davie, 1958).

"He developed his own painting philosophy, and in the 1950´s, his introduction to Zen Buddhism led him to understand the artist as a figure that embodies both ´the intuitive creator and the intellectual spectator´. His success in the visual arts continued while he developed his musical career in the 1970´s, and his work continues to have a wide appeal today."

One-man-Shows (selection):

1946 Grant´s Bookshop, Edinburgh
1948 Galeria Michelangelo, Florence
  Galleria Sandri, Venice
1950 Gimple Fils, London
1956/57 Catherine Viviano Gallery, New York
1958 Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (Retrospective)
  Walker Art Gallery (Retrospective)
  Nottingham University (Retrospective)
  Wakefield Art Gallery (Retrospective)
1960 Gimpel Fils, London
  Galerie Charles Lienhard, Zurich
1961 Gimpel Fils, London
  Esther Robles Gallery, Los Angeles
  Galleria del Naiglio, Mailand
  Martha Jackson Gallery, New York
  Pittsburgh Museum of Art
1962 Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (Retrospective)
  FBA Galleries, London (2. Retrospective)
1963 Kunsthalle Baden-Baden (2. Retrospective)
  Kunsthalle Bern (2. Retrospective)
  Gimpel Fils, London
  Kunstnernes, Oslo (2. Retrospective)
  Kunstgewerbeverein, Pforzheim (2. Retrospective)
  Galleria La Medusa, Rom
  Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas
  Museo de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro
1964 Arts Council Gallery, Cambridge
  Tate Gallery, London
  Galerie Gimpel-Hanover, Zurich
  Crestine Gallery, Edinburgh
1965 Martha Jackson Gallery, New York
  Galerie Rudolf Zwirner, Cologne
  Gimpel Fils, London
  Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield
  Court Gallery, Copenhagen
  Galerie Bleu, Stockholm
  Galerie d´aujourd´hui, Brussels
1966 Haken Galerie, Oslo
  Usher Gallery, Lincoln
  Gimpel Fils, London
  Queen´s Gallery, Leeds
  Commonwealth Institute Gallery, Edinburgh
  Castle Museum, Norwich
  Rotterdamsche Kunstkring
1967 Galerie de France, Paris
  Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover
  The Arts Club, Chicago
  University of Minnesota Gallery, Minneapolis
1971 Gimpel and Hanover Galery, Zurich
1982 Royal Glasgow Institution of Fine Arts, Glasgow
1987 Gimpel Fils, London
1988 Gimpel Fils, London
1989 The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
1990 Gimpel and Wetizenhoffer, New York
  Galerie Louis Carre, Paris
1991 Gimpel Fils, London
  Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh
  Galerie M, Krakau
1992 McLellan Galleries, Glasgow
1993 Evan Cohon Gallery, Highland Park, IL
  ACA Galleries, New York
1994 Portugal, Porto, Lissabon, Almada
  University of Brighton Gallery, Brighton
  Hastings Museum and Art Gallery
  Ramsgate Gallery
  University of Northumbria at Newcastle
  The University Gallery, Nottingham
  The Smith Art Gallery and Museum, Stirling
  Bineth Gallery, Tel Aviv
  ACA Galerie, München
1997 Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh
  Gimpel Fils, London
  ACA Galleries, New York (Alan Davie: A 40 Year Survey)
1998 Joseph Rickards, New York
  Faggionato Fine Arts, London
1999 Gimpel Fils, London
2000 Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh (Retrospective)
2000/01 Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
2001 Cobra Museum (Retrospective)


1938 Andrew Grant Scholarship, Edinburgh
1941 Andrew Grant Scholarship, Edinburgh
1942 Guthrie Award, Scottish Royal Academy
1948 Andrew Grant Scholarship, Edinburgh
1956 Gregory Fellowship in Painting, University of Leeds
  Prix Guggenheim Musee d´Art Moderne, Paris
1963 Painting prize VII Biennale Sao Paulo
1966 First Prize, International Print Exhibition, Krakau
1987 Order of the Southern Cross Award, Brasilien
1991 Senior Fellow Royal College of Art Convocation, London

Collective Shows (selection):

1940 Society of Scottish Artists, Edinburgh
1950 Arte Sin Frontera, Mexico City
1951 Abstract Artists, Riverside Museum, New York
1953 Space in Colour, Hanover Gallery, London
1955 International Young Painters (Rom, Paris, Brussels)
1956 Guggenheim Painting Award, Musee Nationale d´Art Moderne, Paris
1957 Guggenheim Museum, New York
  50 Ans d´Art Abstrait, Galerie Creuze, Paris
  4th International Art Exhibition, Tokyo and Japan
1958 50 Ans d´Art Moderne, World Exhibition Brussels
  Artists under 40, XXIX. Biennale, Venice
  Contemporary British Paintings, Iraque
1959 Documenta II, Kassel
  5th International Art Exhibition, Tokyo and Japan
  Vitalita nell´Arte, Palazzo Grassi, Venice
1959/60 European Painting and Sculpture Today, Los Angeles, Ottawa
1960 5th International Exhibition of Drawings and Prints, Lugano
  British Painting 1720-1960, Puschkin Museum, Moskau, Eremitage, Leningrad
  Das Junge England, Alpbach/Tirol, Neue Galerie der Stadt Linz
  1st International Modern Art Exhibition within the framework of the 150th anniversary of the May-Revolution, Buenos Aires
1960/61 Recent Painting by Six British Artists (Latin America and East Africa)
1961 Malerei und Plastik aus Leeds, Stadthaus Untere Galerie, Dortmund
1962 Pioniere, Curacao Museo
  Kunst von 1900 bis heute, Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, Wien
1963 VII Biennale Sao Paulo (Einzelausstellung im brit. Pavillon, danach in Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Lima, Caracas)
  Visione Colore, Palazzo Grassi, Venice
1964 Salon de Mai, Paris
  Profile III : Englische Kunst der Gegenwart, Städtische Kunstgalerie, Bochum
  Englische Malerei der Gegenwart, Kunstverein, Düsseldorf
  Documenta III, Kassel
  International Drawings I, Darmstadt
1977 Documenta VI, Kassel
  British Painting 1952-77, Royal Academy of Art, London
1983 Contemporary British Painting, Municipal Museum, Madrid
1985 Recalling the Fifties, Serpentine Gallery, London
1986 Celtic Vision, The Conde Duque Cultural Centre Gallery, Madrid
1987 British Art in the 20th Century, Royal Academy, London
1988 International Contemporary Painting, Olympiades des Artes, Seoul
  The Romantic Tradition in Contemporary British Painting
1990 Scottish Art since 1900, Barbican Art Gallery, London
1991 Scottish Art in the 20th Century, Royal West of England Academy


Public Collections

Australia Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
  Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Austria Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, Wien
  Galerie H.S. Steinek, Wien
Brasil Museo de Arte Contemporanea, Sao Paulo
Canada National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
  University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Alberta
England Arts Council of Great Britain, London
  British Council, London
  Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, London
  Peter Stuyvesant Foundation, London
  Tate Gallery, London
  Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  Contemporary Art Society, England
  Cecil Higgins Museum, Bedford
  Ulster Museum, Belfast
  Aberdeen Art Gallery
  Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast
  City Art Gallery, Bristol
  University of Durham
  Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh
  Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne
  Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh
  Scottish Committee of the Arts Council, Edinburgh
  Edinburgh College of Art
  Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow
  Lille Art Gallery, Glasgow
  University of Glasgow
  Glasgow Arts Centre, Dumfries
  Ferens Art Gallery, Kingston upon Hull
  Museum and Art Gallery, Kettering
  City Art Gallery, Leeds
  Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester
  Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne
  University of Newcastle
  Norfolk Contemporary Art Society, Norwich
  City Art Gallery, Wakefield
Germany Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden
  Städtische Kunstgalerie, Bochum
Ireland Arts Council of Ireland, Dublin
  Trinity College, Dublin
  Maclaurin Art Gallery, Ayr
Israel Museum of Tel Aviv
Italy Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice
Netherlands Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
  Stedelijk Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven
  Gemeente Museum, Den Haag
  Boymans-van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam
Norway Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo
  National Gallery, Oslo
Portugal Galerie Fernando Santos, Porto
Switzerland Kunsthalle Bern
USA Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo
  Art Museum, Phoenix
  Berkeley Square Gallery
  Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh
  Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, Oklahoma
  Institute of Arts, Detroit
  Maxwell Art Gallery
  Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence
  Museum of Art, San Francisco
  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  Museum of Fine Arts, Dallas
  Museum of Modern Art, New York
  Peggy Guggenheim Collection
  Peterborough City Museum
  University Art Museum, University of Texas, Austin
  Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford
  Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven


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